Do It Yourself Move
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
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 particular problem.
Before deciding whether to handle your own move, take a
look at these factors:
- Do you have the time needed to do the entire
- Packing, loading, unloading and driving can
be very time-consuming.
- How many items do you need to move?
- Remember that heavy furniture and appliances
may be difficult to handle.
- 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
- If you are making a long-distance move, factor
in the costs of food and lodging.