Most people are familiar with the common moving truck or rental van. These
can be found at many different locations, such as service stations, and
equipment rental stores. They are ideal for very small moves that can be easily
accomplished in one day. A do-it-yourself move means just that-you must buy or
acquire your own packing materials, and arrange for a crew of people to load and
unload the truck.
Successful do-it-yourself moves
are those moves where the load is small and manageable, and where the distance between origin and destination are modest.
Doing it yourself when there are large amounts of furniture, or more valuable
possessions, are less successful because of the greater chance of damage, not to
mention the longer amount of time needed to complete the move.
When renting a truck for a do-it-yourself move, you must make sure that the
truck is large enough for its intended use, without being too large. Rental
agency operators say that the most common problem is people renting vehicles
that are too small or large for the job at hand.
Larger trucks may require the driver to possess a special driver's license,
depending on the jurisdiction, than is required to operate a car or small truck.
You need to check with the jurisdictions the truck will be operating through-not
just the requirements at origin and destination.
You also need to be sure that you know how to drive the truck that you rent.
Some companies offer units with power steering and brakes, other do not. An
automatic transmission may or may not be available. Remember, these are real
trucks-not modified cars. They handle differently than a car. They have large
blind spots, and proper mirror use is mandatory for safe operation. They are top
heavy and must be driven slower, and braking distances are longer. The driver
must be careful when changing lanes and be aware of overhangs and other
obstructions that don't pose problems to ordinary cars. Backing can be a
- Do you have the time needed to do the entire job?
- Packing, loading, unloading and driving can be very
- How many items do you need to move?
- Remember that heavy furniture and appliances may be difficult to
- Are you physically capable of loading and unloading on both ends
of the move?
- This is a hard work. Long driving accompanied with carrying heavy
boxes is a very tedious process.
- Will you have family or friends to help you? Always have people to
help you through the relocation process.
- Remember, moving companies have liability insurance for their
employees in case of injury and obtaining extra insurance for your self-move
might be more expensive.
- Do you have a license to drive a big truck? You may need a special
permit to drive one.
- What about the rest of the family, children, and pets? There may
not be enough space in the truck for your family and your pets. You'll have to
make provisions for them to follow in a separate car or to reserve flight seats.
- If you are making a long-distance move, factor in the costs of
food and lodging.