Moving Weight Restrictions

Concerned about the weight of your move? 

What do sectionals, armoires, refrigerators and lawn mowers all have in common? They’re heavy! But do you know how much they weigh? Probably not. It’s not typically something you think about until it’s time to move. 

When comparing moving companies, you may notice weight comes up in two ways: First, full-service companies charge by weight. And second, truck rental and container services have loading limits for their equipment. Understanding these weight restrictions and how they can affect a relocation is critical. Let’s take a look at why weight is important and learn about an alternative moving option that doesn’t focus on weight at all.

Scale, reading 0, on orange background, showing how you could measure moving weight guidelines.


Why moving weight matters when choosing a company

How much your belongings weigh for a long-distance move has significance for two reasons: price and safety. In some cases, the weight determines the cost of the relocation. And overloaded equipment can be dangerous to transport. Check out the information below for more details.


Weight plays a critical role in determining the price for full-service and military moves. It also impacts the fuel costs when using truck rental. Learn how these factors affect the cost:

Full-service companies

Traditional movers use weight to determine costs. They send a representative to your home to look at everything, estimating the weight (and the price). Then on moving day, they’ll weigh the truck empty and loaded, and base the final price on those numbers. But if their estimate is way off, you may be stuck paying a lot more than expected — except you won’t know it right away.

Military moves

Weight is important for military families because moving allowances depend on accurate weight tickets. Otherwise, the government may delay reimbursement. If you’re planning a military move, talk to your branch’s Transportation Office about limits. Then, research companies that supply tickets. If doing a DIY move, you’ll have to stop at certified scales to get empty and full tickets.

Fuel efficiency

The heavier a vehicle, the more energy it needs to move. The U.S. Department of Energy found that every 100 pounds added to a vehicle reduces the miles per gallon by 1%. Truck and trailer rental companies don’t include fuel costs in the quote. This means you’ll pay for fuel out of pocket, and the heavier the equipment, the more often you’ll stop to fill the tank.


Safety is a concern because overloaded equipment can be dangerous to transport and maneuver. Consider the following when adding weight to a trailer, truck or container:

Trailer sway

When a trailer has been improperly loaded, it can create a whipping motion called trailer sway. This can cause accidents and be a hazard to other motorists, so it’s critical to adhere to the equipment’s weight capacity. It’s also vital to balance the weight throughout the trailer.

Braking distance

The weight of a rental truck impacts the vehicle’s braking distance, especially when it’s fully loaded or driven in adverse weather. Adding more weight than you should makes it even more unsafe. This is another reason why it’s critical to follow the listed loading capacity.

Equipment handling

Portable storage services use forklifts or other machinery to lift containers to and from the moving equipment. But if the container is too heavy, the forklift may not be able to support its weight. If this happens, the container could fall and damage the surrounding area, and possibly your belongings.

Don’t want to worry about moving weight?

If you’d rather not worry about the weight of your belongings, consider using a company that charges based on space instead — like U-Pack®. U-Pack based prices on the linear footage your items take up in a moving trailer or the number of containers you use. Your quote includes fuel and basic liability coverage, so you know the cost upfront. No surprises! And, we’re happy to provide weight tickets for military members upon request.

Get a free online quote or call a U-Pack representative at 844-362-5303844-594-3077 to learn more.


Have questions about moving weight and how it can affect your move? We’re happy to help! Leave a comment below, and we’ll answer shortly.