March 4, 2024
Moving Without a Box Truck
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You have finally taken the plunge into home ownership. You are ready to say goodbye to the apartment and hello to your own single-family house. On moving day however, you don’t want to have to deal with the expense and hassle of renting a box truck. Between you and your friends, you have a couple of pickup trucks and a utility trailer. What else do you need?

As you are assembling the necessary supplies, bear in mind the concept of cargo securement. All 50 states have laws on the books requiring people to secure any and all cargo they intend to transport on public roads. Failing to do so could result in being pulled over an issued a fine – especially if you’re involved in an accident.

With the preliminaries out of the way, here’s what you need to move without a box truck:

1. A Selection of Tiedowns

The best way to secure cargo is with tiedowns. You have your choice among many different types. You can invest in generic truck tie-down straps like cam straps or buy a well-known brand like Rollercam. You can use ratchet straps from the local DIY store. You can even use bungee cords or rope. Whatever your choice, you must make sure that all your cargo is absolutely secure before you drive away.

2. A Selection of Tarps

Unless you can guarantee that the weather will be perfect for your entire move, you should get yourself a selection of tarps as well. Borrow them from friends or buy them from the DIY store. They are pretty cheap.

Tarps will keep rain and snow off your loads. But even if precipitation isn’t a problem, they will also protect your possessions against insects, bird droppings, and any debris kicked up by other cars and trucks.

3. Moving Blankets

Be sure to get your hands on some moving blankets to protect your furniture. Cam straps, ratchets, general truck tie-down straps, and even rope can damage furniture pieces through the sheer force of tying everything down. Furniture can also be damaged by making contact with other pieces during transit. Moving blankets mitigate that damage.

4. Sturdy Boxes

Throwing your belongings in a box truck allows you to cut yourself a little bit of slack when it comes to packing. But when you’re using an open pickup truck or trailer, you don’t have that luxury. So make sure to get yourself some sturdy boxes that you will not worry will fall apart in transit.

You can still get free boxes from grocery and department stores if you’re willing to ask. The best time to go looking for free boxes is first thing in the morning. The overnight stocking crew has probably left a ton of them back in the loading dock. You want to get your hands on them before they wind up in the dumpster.

5. Packing for Fragile Items

Finally, get your hands on some packing materials to protect your fragile items. Glassware from the kitchen does very well cushioned in packing peanuts, bubble wrap, and even raffia. Tissue paper works well for protecting fragile plates and bowls, picture frames, and even small electronics.

Renting a box truck can make moving easier and a little less risky. But you can still do the job with pickup trucks and trailers. Just be sure to have the right equipment to secure your loads and protect them against weather and other hazards. Take the time to do things right and you shouldn’t have any problems. Your biggest worry could be having enough pizza to reward all those friends and family members who helped.

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