What NOT to Put on a Moving Truck

April 5, 2022

Load Legally and Safely with these Moving Truck Tips

Moving prep can be a lot of work. But preparing for a move is much more than just packing all of your belongings and loading up the truck.

Whether you’re moving across the country or a few streets down, you should be aware of the best practices and protocols for hiring movers and/or loading your vehicles. That includes being aware of items you personally or legally shouldn’t store in the back of your rented vehicle. 

Moving with a rented truck? Here are a few things you should NEVER put on it.

Daily Essentials

Whether you are moving across the country or down the block, the last thing most people want to do after driving and unloading the truck is unpacking. It’s best to keep your everyday and essential items in a bag in the car with you (or carry-on/checked if flying) so you won’t have to scramble to find them after you’re settled. This includes your wallets, keys, laptops and chargers for school and work, your cellphone charger, medications, toiletries and other daily use items.

If you’re moving with children or pets, make sure you have snacks, entertainment, doggy bags and whatever else you may need on-hand and not in the truck.

Firearms and Ammunition 

If you have personal firearms and ammunition, you’re going to first want to check the local and state laws of your new home before considering transporting them. If the law allows, safely store your weapons and take them with you in your vehicle (or properly ship if flying) rather than letting movers deal with them. Most movers will not take on the risks.

Flammable and Hazardous Material 

Most people are aware that you can’t travel with fireworks, explosive chemicals, and other hazardous materials. But there are also tons of common household items that are hazardous and/or illegal to transport and thus should never be packed and put on a moving truck. 

The first thing you’ll want to watch out for is anything flammable. Flammable liquids such as cleaning supplies, canned gasoline, lighter fluid, garden chemicals/fertilizers, certain hairspray, and nail polish remover should be properly disposed of before moving. 

It is illegal to store certain hazardous materials on a moving truck. For a comprehensive list of prohibited items, refer to the local and federal state laws. Most movers will also be aware and tell you if an item can or cannot be transported on a truck.

Food and Open Bottles

Food prices are on the rise. But that doesn’t mean you should try to bring your fridge and freezer with you when you move.

Be sure to get rid of all perishable foods, used condiments, and open bottles before you load up the truck. Transporting food is not only unsanitary if it breaks open during the move, but it can also become spoiled. In order to avoid having extra food, be mindful of your shopping habits as you get closer to moving day. Try to plan meals around the food you still have in the fridge and freezer. 

If you do have rare perishable food items that you want to preserve, be sure to pack them in a cooler with dry ice. If you have movers, let them know that there is food inside so they can handle it accordingly.  

Important Documents 

Movers are not responsible for lost items or damaged items. Hence, small valuables such as jewelry and important documents such as passports, financial statements, and birth and death certificates should never go in the back of a moving truck. 

Jewelry and small valuables should be kept in an essential bag and either travel with you in your car or be checked for your flight. Even if you are moving drawers or file cabinets where you typically keep these documents, it’s suggested you take them out and travel with them in your carry-on, checked luggage, or car.

Plants & Pets

Living things should not go on a moving truck for several reasons. For starters, the concealed air space. There’s no natural sunlight or proper circulation in the back of most moving trucks, which could be life-threatening to both plants and pets.

Traveling can also be turbulent and cause things in the moving truck to shift. Putting plants in the back of a truck runs the risk of pots breaking and soil getting all over your possessions in the case items are shifted during the move. If you have the room, try to fit your plants and pets in the car you’re traveling in.

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