Moving Truck Sizes

Written By

Machaela Casey
Mockup of a truck in a city.

How To Pick The Right One


moving van with boxes and furniture

You’ve made the decision: you’re going to do the move yourself.  You just need a truck.  Simple enough.  Before you rent, though, make sure that you’re choosing the right size vehicle for the job.  Renting something too small can be a nightmare.  Imagine packing the truck full…and then finding you still have plenty of boxes to load.  Or, consider the opposite problem. You over pay. You choose something that’s way too big.  Unsecured items slip and slide around inside during transport, only to arrive damaged and broken.  Take the time to find the right sized vehicle for what you need.  It’ll pay off in the end.


To figure out what size moving truck you need, take a quick inventory.  Vehicle size is loosely based on the number of bedrooms you have in your space.  More bedrooms mean more furniture, which requires greater cargo space.  Also, take note of any bulky items you will need to move.  For example, appliances and other big items will take up space (and weight) in your vehicle.  Account for all items that are part of your property.  Don’t forget about anything you may store outdoors, like patio furniture or grills.  Once you have your goods inventoried, it’s time to figure out what vehicle size is best for you.


Professional moving trucks come in a variety of sizes. Remember, you want to find a vehicle that is just the right size for what you need.  If you are in between sizes, it’s always best to size up.  Check out the most common rental options:

1.  High-Roof Cargo Van: This is your best bet for a local move of a small space, like a studio apartment or a dorm room.  These vans typically have a cargo space of 250 cubic feet and can carry an estimated 4,000 pounds.  These vehicles are great if you aren’t comfortable driving a box truck.  And, since they’re the smallest, they’re also the most fuel efficient.

2.  Small Truck (10-12 feet): This is the vehicle that you want to move a larger studio or a one-bedroom apartment.  They offer up to 400 cubic feet of space, and have an estimated weight limit of 3,500 pounds.

3.  Medium Truck (14-17 feet): This vehicle is usually a good fit if you’re moving out of a two-bedroom apartment or a small home.  They offer up to 800 cubic feet of space with an estimated weight limit of 5,000 pounds.

4.  Large Truck (20-26 feet) This sized vehicle is what’s needed for moving out of a larger apartment or a three to four-bedroom home. They range between 20-26 feet long and have a cargo space of up to 1,500 cubic feet with an estimated weight limit of 10,000 pounds.  People usually rent these vehicles for a long-distance move.


At Nelson Westerberg, we’ve been in the moving business for over 110 years.  We have a full fleet of rental vehicles (and the packing supplies) to help you move safely and efficiently.   Working with us is easy.  Give us a call, and we’ll talk you through your options. We have cargo vans plus small, medium, and large sized trucks available for rent, all categorized by cubic feet of space available and weight limit.  It’s easy. With just a few details, we can provide you with the rental vehicle that will best suit your DIY move.