Extreme Truck Packing

When you’re loading a truck, do you sometimes get to the end of the truck and find you’re out of truck space? I hate that. But when you have exceeded the limits–how about INCREASING THE LIMITS? Sometimes you can do that.

In the first picture below there is a bulky trundle bed frame tied

    on the outside of the closed door.

You need to have some sort of small platform at the end of the truck in order to do this. Some trucks do not have it, but the majority of trucks do, as does this one as you can see in the picture. There is about a 12 inch platform where you can stand and close the door, or in this case, tie excess inventory on the back!

"Wasn't That Supposed To Be Inside The Truck?"

“Wasn’t That Supposed To Be Inside The Truck?”

Needless to say, you want to have the item tied on tight. You don’t want it falling off on the highway. But if you use at least two ropes or cables, and tie them tight, you can feel pretty secure the item will stay there. In this case with the trundle bed frame, we first thought of standing it up straight, but the bars on each side of the truck where we could tie the ropes, were too low to accommodate that. The bed frame was much more secure by resting it horizontally across the platform.

But what do you do when the 12″ platform is not enough accommodate the multiple excess pieces you need on load? In the next picture below, the movers PULLED OUT THE RAMP a couple feet so there were about three feet of “platform” beyond the normal 24′ of truck cargo space.

"I Hope It Doesn't Rain"

“I Hope It Doesn’t Rain”

However this technique really must be included in the “Don’t try this at home” category, because of the following risks:

1) You certainly cannot drive very far like this. The items in this case are mattresses and box-springs which are very vulnerable to rain!
2) It would be pushing the patience of a police officer who might drive by.

But it can save having to make a second trip. I have to say I would have been more comfortable with another couple straps tied across horizontally. But the items got there safely . . . This is definitely Extreme Truck Packing!

A “Tight Tier”


Really the only way to pack a truck for a residential move is in “Tiers.” Tiers preferably approach being flat and go from side to side in the truck. In this Tier, a dresser is the main “Base.” Heavy, flat-top objects are the best kind of “Base,” and you cannot do much better than that than with a large dresser!

Above the dresser are packed five “Levels” for a total of six Levels. These Levels include boxes, suitcases, and a chair.

A quilted pad lays in front of the tier, because a mattress is going to be stood up against the Tier. The mattress will constitute Level 1 of the next Tier as the truck is packed Tier after Tier towards the back of the truck.

Are Chinese Tire Chalks A Safety Hazard to the Moving Industry


Recently in the moving industry, a parked moving truck got away and rolled down the hill into a house.  Fortunately no one was hurt, but it was close!

The newspaper article said the moving workers said the truck was chalked, but the tire chalk “broke.”  This sounds suspicious except that I’ve seen tire chalks that are supposed to be rated for a box-style moving truck, but seem to bend under the weight of the truck.

The picture above is the type most commonly used on 20′ to 26′ moving trucks (trucks having a “gross vehicle weight” of under 26,000 lbs)  I’ve used this type of chalk for 19 years without incident, but 19 years ago they were usually American-made.  And now they are all Chinese-made. A  few months ago, we were trying to park the truck on a relatively sharp street in the the Oakhurst neighborhood of Decatur, GA.  The worker placed the chalk in front of the back tire, and the truck SMASHED THE CHALK FLAT, and rolled over it.  I was in the driver’s seat at the time, so I just stepped on the brakes.  The worker had to scramble to find a big enough rock nearby to do the job the chalk was supposed to do.

On Sunday we were unloading at a house in Alpharetta, GA.  The driveway had an incline, but less than the street in Oakhurst.  The picture below is of the the chalk on the tire in that driveway.  It held, but it seemed to “bend” the chalk (we also used a big rock on the other back tire)  With previous chalks of this type, the black rubber triangle would keep its shape and hold solid.


Are the Chinese practicing “Value Engineering” in the manufacture of these tire chalks?  That is, are they “engineering out” value, or this case the density in the rubber–Less dense rubber chalk equals less cost.

The owner of the Moving Supply warehouse where we buy these chalks is checking into it.  I wonder if we will have to go to using the heavy metal tire chalks like the Fire Departments use below?


Using “Panel Vans” on a Small “Assisted Living” Move

This is a Nissan NV3500 we used for an Assisted Living move from Birmingham, AL to Woodstock. It has 9′ of cargo space behind the door, and it’s “high cube” is 74″ high so you can stand up in it. We also stood up a full size mattress and box spring “in a tier” which is very helpful in maximizing the load.

We got about 1800 lbs in there including the moving equipment. The great thing is it gets 23 mpg gas as opposed to say an Isuzu with a 16′ box which only gets 10.5 mpg diesel.