Renting a moving truck and driving it yourself can save you cash when it comes to your move, but you do need to make sure you know how to load it correctly. A poorly loaded truck can be more difficult to drive. It also increases the chances of damage to your belongings. The following guide can help you pack your U-Haul truck rental like a pro.
Position heavy items properly
Whenever possible, place the heaviest items near the cab of the moving truck, which means loading them first. This includes large pieces of furniture as well as heavy boxes. After the heaviest items are in, start each new row with the heaviest items toward the bottom of a stack and lighter items on top. By positioning weight in this manner, you avoid a top-heavy truck that will be prone to fishtailing or even flipping on a tight corner. If you aren't sure how well you handled weight distribution, take corners and curves very slowly until you become used to how the rental truck handles.
Take advantage of tie-downs
Most rental moving trucks have tie down loops at regular intervals in the loading area. You can use your own sturdy ropes or rent tie-downs along with the truck. Ropes and ratchet straps work best, as bungee cords often have too much give for this purpose. As you load the truck, stop each time you reach a row of tie-downs. Thread a rope through the tie-downs, stretching from corner to corner tiedown point to create a large X out of rope. Tighten and tie securely. By doing so, you prevent items from shifting significantly as you drive. This is especially important if your truck isn't fully loaded since items will otherwise shift into the empty spaces.
Don't leave any unsecured empty space
Speaking of empty space, you need to do your best to avoid it in the loaded area of the truck. Stack items all the way to the roof. You can even push bags of bedding or clothing into odd-shaped openings to fill the truck completely. The goal is to fill each row completely as you load before starting the next row. Think of it as a sandwich -- stack to the ceiling of belongings, followed by your rope tiedown, then your next stack of items. This will go a long way to preventing shifting as you drive.
Talk to a rental company for more help.