What You Didn’t Know About Trucks


“‘So what size trucks do you have?” It is probably the second most common question from a customer behind “How much do you charge per hour?” But unlike the dollar figure per hour question, truck size as it relates to furniture moving, is a largely misunderstood question. When you look at a truck with a box on the back, there are a couple of important things to understand.

A common reference to a one, three or five ton truck is misleading. Let me explain; the weight of an empty truck on a scale is called the Tare weight. If you were to load it full of furniture and drive over the same scale, the new weight is called Gross Vehicle Weight or G.V.W. If you subtract the G.V.W. from the Tare weight you get the Aggregate. This aggregate is the amount of weight you are actually carrying in the truck. And there lies the confusion: if you are asking your mover “what size trucks do you have?”, it could be a five ton Tare, Aggregate, or G.V.W.! There is an even more significant issue when it comes to truck size, as it relates to your inner city move.

The key issue for a local move is the box size and its volumetric capacity. A five ton truck set up for hauling small heavy weights (think car batteries) may have a high G.V.W., but the box would be relatively small. Conversely, a truck used to haul bags of potato chips could have a large box with less weight-bearing ability. And what does this have to do with your move? Both of these trucks may have trickled down to the local furniture moving trade. On first glance the five ton seems to be the better option, but the key issue is volumetric capacity, therefore the lighter truck may be more appropriate for your local move. There is an extra issue for you to consider when making inquiries about truck sizes. How well can your mover pack the truck? If there are 30 cubic meters of volumetric space, can he fill it completely? Some movers have excellent spatial recognition, others have none.

The key for a consumer to understand is that a professional mover will  bring the proper truck and crew for your job. Your job is to figure out who the true professionals are!