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How to Safely Load and Unload a Moving Truck

a man and woman have a rug on their shoulders as they unload a moving truck

It's a myth that you have to hire a moving company to help with the whole moving process. If your budget is tight, you can load and unload the moving truck yourself. However, the loading process can be challenging. It's hard enough to unload a moving truck, but it's even harder to figure out how to load it. You have to fit everything in and make sure nothing shifts while you're driving, plus be sure to not damage your belongings or get hurt.

In this article, we will provide you with tips on loading and unloading a rental truck or moving container safely and efficiently. We'll also share the best practices for moving so you can make sure the whole process goes as smoothly as possible.

Is it Easier to Load or Unload a Moving Truck?

It's hard work either way. However, when loading, you have to pad and wrap furniture, and then fit it correctly in the truck. An unload is much simpler. You just need to get the stuff off the moving truck or container and into your new home.

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Loading Your Moving Truck

When the time comes to pack and load your moving truck, it's essential to consider a some important things.

Park on a Level Surface

You don't want your belongings sliding around, so it's important to park on a level surface. Parking on a level surface will also make it easier to load and unload the truck. In hilly neighborhoods, it may be difficult to find a level spot, but it's worth it to walk a short distance. If there's no level surface, be sure to engage the emergency brake and block the wheels with cement blocks or large rocks to keep the truck from rolling.

Safety First

You don't want anyone to get hurt, so it's essential to take all necessary safety precautions. Safety precautions include wearing gloves and comfortable shoes, and lifting with your legs, not your back. Lift with your legs, don't lift more than you can handle, and get two people to lift heavy items. It's also helpful to remind everyone to take breaks and stay hydrated.

Load Efficiently

The key to loading a truck efficiently is to start with the heavy items, and then fill in the gaps with lighter boxes. It's also important to load the items in a way that prevents them from shifting during transport. For example, you might want to put a couch against the wall of the truck and then fill in the gaps with smaller items. Heavy items go up toward the cab in the front to keep the truck stable. Light stuff should go at the top.

Organize Yourself

You don't want to be scrambling for packing supplies when you're in the middle of loading the truck. Before you start, make sure you have all the supplies you need: furniture blankets, plastic shrink wrap, moving straps, and a dolly or hand-truck. Pick a location for supplies that's close to the truck so you don't have to waste time walking back and forth. Ideally, all your boxes should be labeled so you know where they go in the new place.

Use Moving Dollies

If you have a lot of heavy furniture or appliances, it's a good idea to use moving dollies and hand trucks. Moving dollies will make it easier to load and unload heavy items. Moving dollies that have rubber wheels have the added benefit of protecting your floors from scratches. They also make it easier to move items around in tight spaces.

There are a few things to keep in mind when using moving dollies. First, make sure the dolly is properly secured before you start loading it. Second, be careful not to overload the dolly. You don't want your belongings falling off or the dolly tipping over.

Use Furniture Pads

Furniture pads, or moving blankets, protect your furniture from scratches and dents. They also prevent furniture from moving around in your rental truck. If you don't want to buy them, you can rent them from your truck rental company.

Use Tie Downs

Use tie down straps or rope to keep your belongings secure. Keeping belongings secure in the truck is essential because it prevents them from moving around and getting damaged. It also prevents injuries, as your belongings are less likely to fall on people when you open and unload the truck.

Moving soon? Find affordable local movers to do the heavy lifting for you on our mover marketplace.

Unloading Your Moving Truck

When you're unloading your moving truck, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first is that your belongings may have shifted in transit. This means you'll need to be careful when unloading, so you don't get hurt or damage anything.

It's generally not a good idea to move heavy furniture yourself, so if you have large or heavy items it's best to ask for help from friends or family- or hire moving labor. Trying to do it all yourself can be dangerous and lead to injuries.

Take Regular Breaks

Unloading a truck can be tiring, so it's important to take breaks. If you're feeling fatigued, it's best to stop and rest. This will help you avoid injuries and stay safe while unloading your belongings. It also helps to have several friends or family members there to help, so you can take turns unloading the truck.

Use an Assembly Line

To make things go more smoothly, create an assembly line of people to load and unload the truck. Instead of everyone bumping into each other because they're all at the back of the truck, everyone will have a designated spot. An assembly line is also more efficient because it prevents items from being dropped or misplaced.

Be Careful with Heavy Items

If you have any heavy items, be careful when lifting them out of the truck. You don't want anyone to get hurt, so it's important to lift with your legs and not your back. If you're not sure how to lift something, or it's too heavy for one person to lift, ask for help.

Moving soon? Find affordable local movers to do the heavy lifting for you on our mover marketplace.

Moving Best Practices

Moving best practices are important to keep in mind to ensure a smooth, successful move. 

Packing Tips

You'll want to use strong moving boxes that won't break easily. It's also a good idea to label your boxes so you know what's inside of them. When packing fragile items, use bubble wrap, packing peanuts, newspaper, or thick towels to keep them safe. You'll also want to label these boxes "fragile" so everyone knows to handle them with care.

Packing Supplies

When packing your belongings, it's important to use suitable materials. Essential supplies include:

  • Heavy-duty moving boxes
  • Packing tape
  • Bubble wrap for fragile household items
  • Small boxes for small items
  • Mattress covers

For more moving hacks, read Moving Hacks: Packing Tips and Tricks to Make Moving Easier.

How Movinglabor.com Can Help

MovingLabor.com is an online marketplace designed to create a stress-free experience by connecting you with moving labor pros for your move. We provide you with a list of pre-screened, qualified moving helpers in your area to choose the one that best fits your needs. On MovingLabor.com you can hire local movers for help with:

  • Furniture moving
  • Load a moving truck
  • Unload moving truck
  • Moving heavy items, like pianos and safes
  • Packing and unpacking
  • Moving furniture in your existing home
  • Single item moves

Search your zip code today to find and hire hourly movers near you to help you with your move!

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