How Long Does It Take Movers To Load A Truck? (It Depends!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

When you’re moving, every little detail counts. The packing needs to be done right, the budget has to be on point, and you also have to plan out the logistics. One of the lesser-noted parts of this process involves moving all your stuff into a truck. Most people don’t realize this, but movers are often paid by the hour. Knowing how long it’ll take a moving crew to load a truck, then, makes life a lot easier.

It’ll take two movers anywhere from 3 to 5 hours to fully load your truck. This is dependant on how much you have, as well as how many movers you have working for you. Anything less than 3 bedrooms will take 3 hours or less while a 4 to 5 bedroom house will take longer.

Knowing how much it can take for your moving company to move house is a major factor in being able to time everything out. If you’re curious about knowing how much it’ll take to load your home, you’ve come to the right place. We got the prices for you.

If you will be doing your own packing and need to purchase boxes, you may want to learn more about the 12 Different Types of Boxes.

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How Long Will It Take For Movers To Load My Home Up?

Moving house is a highly time-intensive procedure that requires a lot of planning. Thankfully, when it comes to planning your move, you don’t have to worry too much. This handy chart is here for you.

Apt/House SizeNumber Of MoversHours To Load OR UnloadTotal Hours For Both Loading + Unloading
1 Bedroom22-35
2 Bedroom33-46-8
3 Bedroom3-43-47-9
4 Bedroom+4+5-68-10+

How Can You Figure Out How Many Movers You Need And How Long It’ll Take?

The numbers above are general guidelines that can help you figure out a ballpark answer, but the truth is that every home is going to be a bit different. That’s why there are some variations in the numbers we provided. Here’s how you can get a better idea of what it’ll take to get you moved:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask moving companies about their suggestions. Movers load and unload trucks daily. They, of all people, are going to know what you will need the most. It is their job, and they usually have a nearly instinctual ability to figure out what you’ll need from a quick description alone.
  • Houses generally require more time and movers than apartments. A house doesn’t just have bedrooms. It also has a garage, a living room, and maybe an attic if you’re fancy. This means you will naturally acquire more “stuff,” including lawncare devices like lawnmowers. As a result, it’ll take longer to load your home up if you had a house.
  • If you have a collection of items, expect to add at least one extra hour of loading time. Collectors tend to have a lot more objects and knickknacks that need to be packed. Depending on how big your collection is, it can take an hour or more just to pack it. This is particularly true of artwork, which is often far more delicate and needs a special loading procedure.
  • Use your own personal discretion. If you are a hoarder or a pack rat, then you will have a much harder time packing everything up. In cases of extremely cramped situations, it’s best to act like you have an extra room, just in case.

How To Account For Flights Of Stairs During Your Move

Obviously, loading up a truck means that you’ll be going in and out of the home multiple times. One of the most important factors to keep in mind involves the number of stairs. After all, it’ll take a lot less time to load up a ranch home than it would a New York City apartment on the 18th floor.

If you have a flight of stairs that you need to take into account, then the best thing that you can do is add between 30 to 60 minutes per stair flight. This is enough time to add all the walking back and forth, plus account for the unusually tricky lifting that can come with a set of stairs. Thinner stairs can be more problematic than larger ones.

Are There Any Items That Can Cause A Lag In Timing?

Yes! Most major items that take up lots of space should be given extra time. Examples of items that may need additional time to carry include grandfather clocks, pool tables, parson’s desks, sofas, and pianos. Not sure how much time to add? 20 to 30 minutes is a good ballpark, at least for most home layouts.

Are There Any Issues That Can Contribute To Longer Loading Times?

Along with having large, bulky items that are awkward to carry out, another issue that you may have involves the time it can take to disassemble certain items. After all, you’re never expected to take out an entire bed without taking it apart. The good news is that most beds and cabinets don’t take long to disassemble.

The bigger issues tend to come when you have items that are literally installed into your home, such as tables that were bolted to the wall or classic cabinetry that was just nailed to the floor. This can take up to an hour to uninstall, depending on the setup as well as the type of installation that you have done to it. Sometimes, a complex piece of furniture doesn’t have to be completely disassembled.

Which Takes Longer, Loading Or Unloading A Moving Truck?

There are a lot of things that can vary, but this is one issue that almost never does. The truth is that loading a moving truck tends to take longer than unloading it. How much longer, though, can vary greatly. The biggest reason for its variety include:

  • Stairs. If you’re moving from a ranch to a third-story apartment building without a lift, then you are going to have an unloading time that might be equal or greater to what you had during loading.
  • Installations. Let’s say that you have a desk nailed to a wall for some reason. The time that the desk is getting removed from the wall will add loading time, though movers won’t have to worry about installing it at your home.
  • Storage. Sometimes, people tend to lock away items in storage while they try to figure out where they want to keep them in a home. If you are putting away a bunch of clothing in storage, then you might be able to see a drastically lower unloading time for the rest of your goods.
  • Walkway Length. If you have to park your truck around the corner to get to your apartment building, you’re going to have to add time for that to your schedule. You would be surprised at how much time a long walk to the new (or old) home of choice can add to moving.

Do Most Moving Companies Charge Per Hour?

While it depends on the company, the overall look we’ve seen is that most companies tend to charge per job. They will ask you a general question about how many rooms, the locations of each house, and if you have any large items. From there, they tend to do number-crunching on their end to get an estimate on how much they would need to charge for the hours worked.

Sometimes, the estimate is not as high as the actual price. This is why it’s best to go with a company that has a price guarantee with a flat-rate fee. After all, most of us do not like to get surprises and it’s better to be able to rely on a quote.

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Related Questions

How much should you tip movers?

Believe it or not, you are supposed to tip movers. It’s a service industry after all. Most moving companies suggest tipping your movers between $4 to$5 per mover, per hour. So, if you had two movers for three hours, you will need to save an additional $30 for tips. It’s not much, but it definitely helps movers feel appreciated for all the work they do.

Do movers take beds apart?

If you go with most moving companies, the answer is yes. Movers are supposed to take your bed apart and put it back together as a part of their services. It’s very unusual to hear of a moving company that does not take apart furniture, but it happens once in a while. If you get a price quote, it’s always best to ask exactly what it covers before you sign on the dotted line.

What do movers not move?

If you are moving home, most items will be moved by your crew. However, movers are not allowed to transport hazardous materials. This includes pesticides, medications, acids, car batteries, chemicals, or fuel tanks. If it can explode, leak noxious fumes into the air, or potentially eat through the truck, your movers will not be able to carry it.Moreover, movers are not allowed to move anything that is deemed a biological hazard. This includes things such as a syringe depository or a collection of used needles. (Though, we’re not sure why you’d want to move that stuff!)

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Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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