Types of Moving Vehicles

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Regardless of how far away you are moving and the amount of stuff you bring with you, you are likely to need a truck. You may plan on renting one to drive yourself, or you might decide to hire a moving company to transport your things for you. Either way, there are many different trucks and vans designed for different types of moves. The following is a list of the most common trucks and moving vans.

Moving vans

The most common type of vehicle used for moving is the moving van. There are, in fact, a few different types of moving vans:
  • Panel van - A panel van is the smallest type of moving vehicle, since its chassis, or framework, is based on that of a regular car. Due to its small size, a panel van is good for those who are not moving a lot of stuff. They are ideal for moving into a dorm room or studio apartment or for just moving large items like a dining room table.
  • Parcel van - These vans are larger than panel vans and are used for transporting the contents of a medium-sized home. Parcel vans are usually between 12 and 15 feet long and can hold up to 3,000 pounds. These compact vans often have a door connecting the cab to the storage area.
  • City van - City vans are perfect if you are moving to, from, or within a city, since they are specially designed for city driving. These vans feature oversized windshields, allowing for better visibility. City vans also have lower cabs and tilted steering wheels, which make the vans easier to maneuver around tight city blocks.

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If you are transporting the goods of a large household, then a van might not be able to carry everything. Instead, you would need to use one of the two types of moving trucks.
  • Straight trucks - Straight trucks are generally used for medium or large local moves. These trucks can be anywhere from 16 to 26 feet in length and can hold around 10,000 pounds of goods. Straight trucks can typically hold the contents of a 2,000-square-foot home. They are comprised of a tractor and cargo hold mounted on the same chassis.
  • Tractor-trailers - If you are moving long distance, your goods will probably be transported in a tractor-trailer. Tractor-trailers are comprised of a towing engine (the tractor) attached to a trailer (used for carrying the cargo). Since the trailers themselves can be anywhere from 28-to-53 feet long, 102 inches wide, and 110 inches high, these moving trucks can transport the goods of a large household. Since these trucks are built with air-ride suspension, any potential damage will be minimized. Also, should the tractor break down during the move, a new tractor can be delivered and attached to the trailer in a relatively short time.
When picking the right truck for your move, the decision should be based on how much stuff you have. If you rent a straight truck for a one-bedroom apartment's worth of goods, your items will slide around during the move and likely get damaged. At the same time, if you rent a small van for a medium-sized home, you could end up having to make two trips or squeezing everything in. Use the above information to find out which moving truck or van will be best for your move.

  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on August 27, 2009

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