Storage Removals

Congratulations! You have made the decision to use an outside self service storage. What now?

There are sure to be various options available to you in your area, and it is up to you to check them out carefully. As an incentive to get business, it is the practice of some storage companies to offer a free truck to enable you to move your belongings to the unit. On the face of it, this sounds very attractive, but you must note carefully all the restrictions. A set number of free miles may be on offer, after which they may charge a high rate per mile for the remaining distance. Or, the number of hours that you use the truck free of charge may be restricted, and you may be charged a premium rate for the remaining time you use the truck. The lesson to be learned is to read the small print carefully. If the storage facility offers a truck rental service at a “special” price, compare the special price with other local truck rental companies to be sure you are indeed getting a bargain. You should also make enquiries about negotiated discount rates with truck rental companies. You may also have the option of renting your own truck, or if you choose a mobile storage unit you will not even require a truck.

The design of many storage companies allows you to drive directly to your unit, back the truck up to the door of the unit, and unload.

Mobile Storage Units
Some storage facilities offer the possibility of mobile storage. In this event a mobile storage trailer will be dropped off at your home. You will specify the size of trailer you require. You will pack your goods into this trailer and the storage facility will collect it on an agreed date, generally within a few days. The company may also offer a service where their workers come to you home or office and pack all the items professionally and then load them into the trailer. You will then lock the trailer with your own lock and the storage company will remove it to their facility. It may be worthwhile paying for this service which offers extra convenience and ensures that your goods are efficiently packed to prevent damage, and the space in the trailer is used to the best advantage as professionals know how best to load it. It should be noted that in many cases people run out of space in the trailer because of poor packing and loading. Whichever way you go, you are generally responsible for ensuring that the trailer is safely and securely packed, and you will lock the unit with your own lock in the interests of greater security. When it is packed, the storage company will collect the trailer and take it to the designated storage unit in their facility. The use of mobile storage units removes the worry of renting a truck, and there will be ample time to load the trailer, either by yourself or by the company’s workers.

When you are thinking of the mobile storage unit option, you should take into consideration various points including:

The storage container needs to be moved to storage when it is loaded. It cannot be left at the home or office location indefinitely. Most storage companies will require it to be moved as quickly as possible after it has been loaded.

If you want to park a trailer outside your home for a period of time and you live in a condo or apartment, you will first have to get permission from your homeowners association or landlord.

You should have a flat hard surface on which your storage unit can be loaded. If your home or office sits on a steep hill it may not be a good idea to use such a unit.

The storage company will refuse to drop a trailer in an underground parking lot as this is not permitted.

When you are considering price, bear in mind that rates for the service are dependent on location, and sometimes even the time of year.

Mobile storage unit option as opposed to renting a truck, may be preferable for people who are nervous about driving a big truck.

You are in a position to control exactly how your goods are packed, and you can know exactly where everything is positioned when you want to remove items from storage.

If you pack your goods yourself, you may find that insurance companies will be unwilling to insure your goods in storage. Therefore, it may be desirable to have your items packed professionally by the expert workers from the storage company.

Truck Rental
The storage company you have chosen may offer you free truck rental or an arrangement with a preferred truck rental company which offers discounted rates. Read the small print on the contract and make sure that you are in fact getting a bargain. The rates for time used after the specified number of hours may be very high and the negotiated discount rate may in fact not be very competitive. In any case you may prefer to hire your own truck. If you do, here is a guide on what to look for when you rent a truck yourself (DIY or Do It Yourself) to move your items into storage.

It is important to plan in advance if you wish to rent a truck, load it and transport your goods to a storage facility without professional assistance. Whether you are moving a single item by yourself or the contents of a large home into storage, you need to make suitable preparations if the move is to be easy and successful. The three important requirements you must consider are the truck, assistance and money. The fewer the number of people assisting you, the longer the move will take and the more money it will cost. At an early stage you should approach family and friends and find out whether they are prepared to help you give a firm commitment. If not enough friends are willing or able to help out, you may have to hire labor, which will increase the cost of your move. It is usual that when you have arrived at your storage facility you will be assisted by their staff to unload, but you need to check in advance if this service is available and whether you will have to pay extra for the labor.

The following are some valuable tips when considering a truck rental to place items in storage:

An early booking can save money.

On week days the prices are usually more competitive than at week-ends, so try to rent a truck mid-week.

If your goods are not packed correctly they are likely to become damaged during storage, so be sure to obtain the correct packing supplies before packing.

If you need family or friends to help with the packing, ask them as early as possible.

Familiarize yourself with the gauges and controls of the truck before you set out, so that you are comfortable driving it.

There will always be advantages and disadvantages to any type of move. The following are some of the advantages and disadvantages of a DIY move:


This type of move will cost less than a full service of self-service move.
You get the opportunity of a road trip.
You are in total control at all stages.
You can choose your own time for the move and follow your own schedule.

If the truck rental company does not supply pads and dollies free, you will have to provide them. Each pad costs about $12 and each dolly about $7 per day to rent.

You will be responsible for any damage done to the goods in transit. If the storage company moves the items, they assume responsibility.

While you are able to take out insurance, note that this will be more expensive than standard insurance offered by the truck rental company.

You may not find it comfortable to drive a large truck.

You will be responsible for the gas and toll charges. If you fail to return the truck with a full tank of gas you will be charged premium rates for a refill.

You may have to pay for additional mileage and if you do not return the truck at the time stipulated you may be charged a premium rate per hour thereafter.

You will have to pack the goods to be stored. If there are valuable items of furniture or antiques you may decide you need these to be packed by experts to prevent them from being damaged en route to the storage unit and during storage. Packing must be done well and wisely or there is likely to be damage. The storage company may possibly provide you with this service, but it is usually offered only when you rent a truck from them directly or use a preferred vendor.

If you intend to rent a truck, you are advised to rent it as early as possible.

A truck is just a truck!
Don’t you believe it, you will have to verify which type and size will be suitable for your requirements. You should shop around and get estimates. In order to give an accurate estimate, the estimator will need a list of the items that are to be moved from the house. When you rent a truck you should ask these questions:

Bearing in mind that a truck drives differently from a car; do you feel comfortable driving a truck?
Do you need a permit to drive a commercial vehicle?
Are additional miles covered in the contract with the truck rental company?
Does the truck run on gas or diesel?
Must you return the truck with a full tank?
Where is the most convenient drop-off point near the storage unit?
If you have a car or boat which you intend to store, can you tow them with the truck?
How do you operate the lift?
Is there air conditioning in the cab and trailer?
Are you covered by your auto insurance while you operate the truck?

You may be protected by your auto insurance when you drive the truck, but this is not usual. Therefore you must contact your auto insurance office and find out how much extra it will cost for additional insurance to cover you and the truck if necessary. You must also clarify with the truck rental company if they provide roadside assistance.

It is advisable to have the items being moved to storage covered adequately by insurance. Many trucking companies offer minimal or no insurance protection. Full and self service movers offer better insurance cover, and if you do require additional insurance you will be offered better rates by an insurance company if you are using full or self service movers. Your goods may be covered by household insurance, but it is important to clarify exactly when this policy ends.

When you are examining the estimates, you should bear in mind that mom and pop rental truck outfits do not offer extra benefits such as roadside assistance, and price alone should not be the determining factor when you make your decision.

Truck Size
You will need to calculate the size of the truck you need, so that you don’t pay for space that you don’t use. You require approximately 125 to 150 cubic feet for each furnished room. The following is a guide to convert cubic feet to the actual size of the truck:

10 ft truck - 1 bedroom small apartment - approximately 350 cubic feet
15 ft truck – 2 bedroom house or apartment- approximately 750 cubic feet
20ft truck – 3-4 bedroom house– approximately 1250 cubic feet
25 ft truck – large 5-8 bedroom house – approximately 1550 cubic feet