moving truck

You packed your belongings, reserved a moving truck and are now thinking about what moving day will look like. Advance planning will make moving day go a lot smoother and faster. This article provides you with tips to help in preparing for loading the moving truck.

Before moving day arrives, consider the following tips to helps ensure a trouble free moving day:

1. Find additional helpers.

You will likely need to move heavy items and large boxes onto the moving truck so it is best to have additional help on hand. Ask a few friends or relatives to assist you on moving day. If friends and relatives seem to go missing when you move, sometimes the rental truck company will provide you with contacts such as individuals or temporary employment agencies to call. Make sure you have a good supply of gloves, drinks and snacks to keep the crew working throughout the day. Make sure everyone has adequate footwear as slips and falls are common on moving day.

2. Be Prepared.

The week before moving start taking a few cartons and items towards the front door or garage. This will take a lot of stress off your crew on move day and save you time too. If your crew is getting tired, do the reverse at destination and take the following week to move the items to their final destination.

3. Rent the right equipment.

Moving trucks come in many shapes and sizes. Most rental companies can provide you with a form that calculates the size of truck required so ask for this form and rent the right truck. It is better to rent a larger truck and take one trip rather than a smaller truck and many trips, especially if you are moving across town. Moving trucks generally include a ramp. However, you may want to consider renting a dolly to help lift items onto the truck and floor runners to protect floors, especially if it a raining or snowing outside. Ensure there are ample pads on the truck as unprotected furniture can be easily damaged if not fully covered. You should also have ropes to tie certain items to the walls of the truck as large pieces will fall over if not secured properly. For trucks with high roofs you might want to rent or buy a ladder. Rent wardrobe cartons for hanging clothes and drapes. One wardrobe carton will handle 3 feet of hanging garments.

4. Disassemble larger items.

Take the time before moving day to take apart larger items such as beds, tables, and desks to increase available space in the moving truck. Wrap and tape together all lose and awkward pieces. Place all hardware in a Ziploc bag and tape it to an unfinished part of the item that is being disassembled so that they did not get lost or mixed up with screws and other hardware from other disassembled items. Take a picture of the disassembled item before taking it apart so that you can reassemble easily, especially if it is a complicated piece such as gym equipment.

The next step in preparing for moving day is to decide in which order the truck should be loaded. If you want to be really detailed, walk through your house and create a list in the order that your items are to be loaded.

Follow these tips when considering how to load your truck:

1. The truck should be loaded in tiers.

To do this, load the front of the truck with heavy furniture in a single row across from one side to the other. Then place lighter items on top until you reach the roof of the truck. Load another row of heavy furniture and place lighter items on top and continue to the back of the truck. Pad all finished and upholstered items for protection and avoid loading large pieces on the side. Leave beds until last and use to hold furniture from falling back by tying them off after loading. This way, if the load shifts while being transported, you will not have furniture falling on you when you open the doors at destination.

2. Handling techniques.

Roll carpets rather than folding them to avoid creases and tie them with rope to make them easy to carry. If dressers are too heavy, remove drawers and load separately, but number the drawers as some furniture will need the exact drawer in the same slot. Tie cupboard doors shut so they don’t flip open when tilted. If moving a hide-a-bed, tie the bed closed so it does not open if tilted forward. Rakes, shovels and other tools can be taped together to ease loading and unloading. Drain all mowers, trimmers and such so that they do not contaminate your furniture through spills. Place glass and pictures between box springs and mattresses when placing on truck to protect them.

3. Protect the home.

Prior to moving, place runners on floors and tape pads to the inside of major doorways and banisters to limit damages.

4. Use cars to transport fragile items if necessary.

Don’t put items in the cab of the truck as they can fall over and distract the driver and limit visibility to mirrors and windows.

5. Save space by filling gaps under tables and on top of chair seats.

6. The last things to go on the truck should be large plants or awkward shaped items.

7. Loading the truck will take twice as long as unloading, so pace yourself accordingly.

8. Drive slowly and carefully as a loaded truck does not stop or turn like your personal vehicle.

Watch out for overhangs at stores, hotels and gas stations that might be too low for your rental truck. Know the height of your truck before you drive.

9. Always back the truck up with a helper at the back of the truck.

This will assist you by providing an extra set of eyes to ensure you do not damage the truck or other property. Make sure you keep your helper in view at all times so you do not run over them. Stop the truck if you lose sight of them.

When moving day finally arrives, follow these tips to help ensure a safe move:

1. Dress appropriately

Avoid loose sleeves or anything that might snag. Be sure your shoes are durable and have a good grip.

2. Follow proper lifting techniques.

Rather than bend over and lift with your back, bend your knees and lift heavy items with your legs.

3. Don’t be a hero

Ask for help if you think something is too heavy. You will be glad the next day when you can still bend over.

4. Pull the dolly backwards.

When pulling the dolly up the truck ramp, make sure you go backwards and have someone follow behind to make sure nothing slips. Do not overload the dolly. It’s better to make more trips than to risk injury.

5. Have enough padding on hand.

Use pillows, towels and sofa cushions for padding. Place around fragile items for extra protection.

6. Have regular rest breaks.

Injuries and damages to your furniture happen when your crew gets tired, thirsty and hungry. Make sure everyone paces themselves and drinks lots of fluids throughout the day.

7. Feed your troops.

Lots of water, juice and pizza or subs go a long way to helping during the move! Only crack open the bubbly after the job is done and the truck is safely returned.