Be extremely careful when loading and unloading a truck on your own. It is highly recommended that a professional mover takes care of loading and unloading heavy items onto a moving truck. Remember, heavy lifting can cause substantial strain and injury if the mover is untrained. If you are supervising a mover or undertaking the task yourself, here are the basic steps for loading a truck.
Trucks and trailers should be loaded properly to ensure the safety of your belongings during the moving process. Plan ahead so you have an idea of what you should load first. Most moving companies will provide trucks with a loading ramp. If your truck does not come with one, ask the company if they can provide one. Also request a few dollies of different sizes to accommodate all of your appliances, furniture, and boxes.
When loading a truck, always load large, heavy items on bottom and smaller, light items on top. Affix all belongings to the tie down rings on the truck. You can also secure items by loading them in between larger items. Lay out a protective floor covering to protect items placed on the floor of the truck. After loading, cover your belongings with a blanket of plastic sheet to keep them free of dirt and dust.
To load your moving truck properly:
- Place items such as refrigerators, armoires, and washing machines against the front wall of the truck
- Turn furniture, like sofas and mattresses, on their side and anchor between other heavy items.
- Place flat and long objects, such as mirrors or mattresses, against the side walls.
- Once you load the heavy, large items, fill empty space with large boxes.
- Use small boxes to fill in open spots at the front of the trailer.
- Finish loading the leftover boxes on the floor at the empty end of the truck.
- Fill in empty spaces in the truck with bagged pillows, blankets, or other soft, flexible items.
Stay safe when loading your rental truck
- Do not rush. Safety is key.
- Take more trips, rather than overloading a dolly and risking injury or damage.
- Squat and lift with your legs, minimizing strain on your back.
- The truck should provide more than enough room for your belongings. You are better off having leftover space, rather than not having enough.
- Double check that everything is secure before driving off.
- And again, larger heavy items on bottom, smaller light items on top!
Loading Large Items in a Rental Truck
For most DIY movers, loading large items on a moving truck is the biggest challenge. Don’t risk injury when loading your truck by taking the time to carefully load and unload large items.
Lifting heavy items
The largest appliances and furniture need to be loaded first. Take your time with these items, especially if they require more than one person to move. When lifting heavy items, squat and lift with your legs to avoid added stress on your back. Keep the object close to your body and do not twist at any point during the lift. Take frequent rests and listen to you body.
Using a dolly
A large item that you cannot lift alone, such as refrigerator, requires a dolly, which can be rented. Do not overload a dolly, because this can increase the chance of injury to yourself or damage to your possessions. Also, secure the appliance to the dolly using straps.
Rent a ramp for rolling large furniture and appliances into the truck. Always go backwards up the ramp with a loaded dolly. It’s also a good idea to have someone follow it up the ramp, to make sure it stays secure. This will make your job much easier and safer.
When loading large appliances, position them as upright as possible to protect any moveable parts inside. To move a refrigerator, attach the dolly to the suction line side so that it faces down when tilted.