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No Tears With These Tiers: Zone Your Rental Box Truck For A Smooth Move

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Many people who are relocating choose to rent box trucks for DIY moves. Look at this site to find a box truck that is right for your move. Additionally, here are some tips to help you maximize the zone theory of loading a moving truck. Whether for your house or your office, this method works the same for all moves.

Moving Truck Tiers: the Basics

One of the biggest keys to a smooth move is to divide your moving truck into zones or tiers and load it appropriately. You need to plan strategically before you start loading the truck so that everything goes in the right zone. It may help to stage your items in groups separated by tiers.

Once you finishing loading one tier, you tie it off using rope or straps to the bars or loops provided on the inside walls of your rental truck. You start with the front of the truck first and move backwards, and for each zone, you start at the bottom with the heaviest items, and place the lightest items for that zone on top. This way, you avoid making your truck top heavy, which can be a hazard once you get on the road.

For this system to work, you need the following:

  • a moving truck that is only as big as you need (the rental company can make recommendations for length based on your number of rooms and how full they are)
  • cardboard moving boxes (makes stacking easier)
  • packing tape
  • a large marker (to label boxes)
  • shrink or bubble wrap (for fragile items that can't be boxed)
  • ties, straps, or ropes
  • blankets or moving pads (may come with your truck)
  • hand cart (to move multiple boxes at once)
  • heavy-duty work gloves

The "Attic"

Some trucks come with a portion of the cargo area that juts over the driver's cab; this is called the "attic" in moving lingo. Fill this with small electronics, fragile items, and anything irreplaceable (photos, documents, etc.) that isn't traveling in the cab or a separate vehicle. Even if the truck is broken into while parked, these more valuable items won't be accessible.

Front Zone

The front of your truck should contain your heaviest items. Load appliances here, as well as heavy furniture, like bookcases and armchairs. This is also an ideal location for boxes of books.


Bulky items should be packed along both sides of your box truck. This is where you should place mattresses and sofas.


In the middle tier, stack your lighter weight items, such as boxes of kitchen wares, toys, and clothing. Tables and desks should be placed first, and then you can fill boxes in on all sides of them. Place chairs and other irregularly shaped light items at the very top, and make sure they are secure.


The back of your truck should house the items you'll need first at your new destination: a change of clothes, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and pet gear. If you're moving your office, this may be where you want your coffee maker, power cords, and telephones to make setting up easier.

The back of the truck is also a perfect space for irregularly shaped items that can't be stacked, like

  • grills
  • garden tools
  • lawn mowers and snow blowers
  • bicycles
  • floor lamps
  • coat racks

Even if you're doing a DIY move with your rental vehicle, you can still hire people to help load and unload the truck. You'll be able to supervise the loading and decide where to place everything, and with the tier system, your move is almost guaranteed to be a breeze.