(Topic ID: 298033)

How many Pinball machines fit in a 20' box truck?

By pinlink

76 days ago


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  • 34 posts
  • 21 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 75 days ago by chuckwurt
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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    #1 76 days ago

    Looking to move about 15-20 machines and the best way to do that.

    Checking out Uhaul they have a 20' and a 26' truck I could rent. How many machines could I fit in the 20 footer if they are all folded up? Mostly modern B/W games, some 80's B/W, no EM's. Don't want to take the heads off.

    Anyone have experience with this?

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    #2 76 days ago

    I've used that size U-Haul truck before, and it's best to pad and ratchet-strap the games to the tiedown bars on the sides of the box. I had no trouble moving 9 or 10 games. Remember there is a "hump" on each side where the wheels are. Beware the aluminum loading ramp is only a bit bigger than the wheels of most utility hand trucks so be very careful loading and unloading on that ramp.

    #3 76 days ago

    Approximate dimensions folded up on its back are: 29″ (76 cm) wide, 30″ (76 cm) tall, and 56″ (140 cm) deep (dimensions are without wrapping materials).

    Back of the envelope math says up to 24 in the 20 footer absolute max, with 16 fitting comfortably.

    #4 76 days ago

    Moved 15 games in a 26' Uhaul. There was room for a few more. I have varying sized machines though with headless EMs and SS, a few widebodies and some wider System 11 backboxes.
    I would say the important question is how far are you moving them? Shorter distance perhaps you could shove them real close and fit that many in the 20' truck (and drive REAL slow).

    #5 76 days ago

    Rule of thumb is 1 foot of truck = 1 game.

    So, even though this is advertised as a 20' truck, based on the usable box, it's only a 16' truck, so only 16 games.

    However, as RussMyers pointed out, the wheel well hump is really going to kill that number, and probably reduce it down to 12. I'd advise going with a different rental truck if it's similar in price.

    #6 76 days ago

    I fit 26 pins in a 26' Uhaul truck. Six were pins with the head detached early SS pins. The rest were modern Stern and BW pins.

    #7 76 days ago
    Quoted from newovad:

    I would say the important question is how far are you moving them?

    Long ways, about 700-800 miles.

    Also, this video shows the inside of the 20 foot truck, and there is no wheel well hump.

    Here are the dimensions for the 26 foot truck.
    JH-dimensions (resized).png

    #8 76 days ago

    It's only like $200 difference between the 20' and 26' truck. I would just prefer the 20' truck if they can all fit since I assume it would be much easier to handle over such a long distance.

    #9 76 days ago
    Quoted from pinlink:

    Long ways, about 700-800 miles.
    Also, this video shows the inside, and there is no wheel well hump.

    Here are the dimensions for the 26 foot truck.
    [quoted image]

    You need to be careful with the "no wheel wheels" thought - sometimes different "vintage" rental trucks are laid out differently so some might have wheel wells and others might not. Since fuel mileage, rental cost, etc will be nearly the same I would say go with the 26' truck to "play it safe". REMEMBER you are always better with a little extra space than you are not having enough room. Also some people are "more creative" fitting 100 pounds of shit in a 50 pound box" than other people are. If it was me I would look into a Penske with a lift gate instead of dealing with loading 20 machines with a ramp. Even with help loading 20 machines using a ramp will be a ton of work (talking from experience).

    #10 76 days ago
    Quoted from too-many-pins:

    If it was me I would look into a Penske with a lift gate instead of dealing with loading 20 machines with a ramp. Even with help loading 20 machines using a ramp will be a ton of work (talking from experience).

    Yes. Get a lift gate.

    #11 76 days ago
    Quoted from pinlink:

    It's only like $200 difference between the 20' and 26' truck. I would just prefer the 20' truck if they can all fit since I assume it would be much easier to handle over such a long distance.

    Believe it or not driving a 26' truck down the highway is no different than driving a 20' truck except the 26' will likely ride better. If you don't have some experience driving a truck ALWAYS REMEMBER to watch for low bridges, signs, etc when you are not on a main highway. Don't drive under anything you are not sure is high enough! Motel drop off areas (at main entrance to lobby), fast food drive through, drive up window at bank, etc. are all examples of stuff to avoid.

    In town - or in tighter places - a 20' will be a little easier to handle but once you step up to anything bigger than a van you will be driving a "truck" that is 8' wide and tall.

    #12 76 days ago
    Quoted from EdisonArcade:

    Yes. Get a lift gate.

    The plan was to hire movers to help me load and unload on both ends. But maybe a truck with a lift gate should be an option if I can move them myself.

    #13 76 days ago
    Quoted from pinlink:

    The plan was to hire movers to help me load and unload on both ends. But maybe a truck with a lift gate should be an option if I can move them myself.

    I made that mistake ONCE when I bought about 70 machines around 500 miles from home and didn't feel like moving all of them by myself in one afternoon. (I needed to move them about 10 miles from the sellers location to the nearest storage units I could find). I paid two guys from U-Haul to work for me for 4 hours moving the machines. They showed up two hours late and I already had over 1/2 the machines moved by myself. Then they dropped the first machine they tried to wheel up the ramp off the side of the ramp & I told them I really didn't need that kind of help. So in the end I paid two guys for 4 hours and did everything by myself. NEVER AGAIN!

    #14 76 days ago
    Quoted from pinlink:

    The plan was to hire movers to help me load and unload on both ends. But maybe a truck with a lift gate should be an option if I can move them myself.

    Is this for Banning Auction? If so Penske truck all the way.
    I've done this for pinball shows with both of these trucks and trailers.
    The key is that dumb ramp on the u-haul trucks. You will need a dolly with the fatter pneumatic tires.
    I was never full up, but you can fit 20-26 machines easy in a 26', 15 easy in a 20'. (Edit, Thats folded up, coin door toward sky)

    #15 76 days ago

    I was just told by a Penske rep that only the 26 foot trucks have the lift gates, and you can not do a one-way rental for those. Meaning you have to drop it off the same place you pick it up which is not going to work for me.

    Quoted from too-many-pins:

    Then they dropped the first machine they tried to wheel up the ramp off the side of the ramp

    Definitely afraid of that happening.

    #16 76 days ago
    Quoted from pinlink:

    I was just told by a Penske rep that only the 26 foot trucks have the lift gates, and you can only do a one way rental for those. Meaning you have to drop it off the same place you pick it up which is not going to work for me.

    Definitely afraid of that happening.

    Tell them you have a $100 tip for each of them, and if they drop the pin they lose the tip.

    #17 76 days ago

    After a bit more research, no rental companies will allow you to do a one-way rental on a truck with a lift gate. You have to pickup and return from the same area. So I guess the lift gate is not an option, and I am back to planning on hiring movers at both ends to help me load/unload the truck.

    #18 76 days ago
    Quoted from pinlink:

    After a bit more research, no rental companies will allow you to do a one-way rental on a truck with a lift gate. You have to pickup and return from the same area. So I guess the lift gate is not an option, and I am back to planning on hiring movers at both ends to help me load/unload the truck.

    Use an Appliance Hand Truck to reduce the risk of them flipping machine off the side of the ramp. Also have them "practice" with cheapest & most beat up machine you will be loading. Getting 15 to 20 machines up a ramp on a box truck without having issues is no easy task! It can be done but you need to be ready for the unexpected.

    Ramp will be slippery when trying to drag machines up and down it. Angle (or incline) is fairly steep so it takes a lot of energy to pull each machine up. And machines will be top heavy (even on an appliance hand truck). Add the fact that the ramp is only about 4 or 5" wider than most hand trucks and you can realize just how risky a ramp is when loading machines.

    Sometimes you can find an area where you are loading (or unloading) where a hill (or something similar) will help you with ramp incline which will make the job a little easier. But you and your help will not be happy after loading that truck.

    Typically I use enclosed trailers when moving machines but renting "bigger" enclosed trailers is nearly impossible. Especially for a one way rental. Deck height on an enclosed trailer is about 1/3 of a typical truck so it makes things a heck of a lot easier to load & unload.

    #19 76 days ago
    Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

    Is this for Banning Auction? If so Penske truck all the way.
    I've done this for pinball shows with both of these trucks and trailers.
    The key is that dumb ramp on the u-haul trucks. You will need a dolly with the fatter pneumatic tires.
    I was never full up, but you can fit 20-26 machines easy in a 26', 15 easy in a 20'. (Edit, Thats folded up, coin door toward sky)

    People are already planning! I’ll be one of those guys

    #20 76 days ago

    While I can't comment on number of machines I can tell you the ramps are extremely narrow and while we never dropped a game we came dangerously close a couple of times. Dangerously close... If I had to do it all over again, and I realize you can't due to the one way, I wouldn't think of doing it without a lift gate.

    Jeff

    #21 76 days ago

    FWIW, I used a 26' Penske to haul my collection across-country six years ago. A 26' truck was the biggest one I could get. No liftgate because one-way. Suffice it to say we got 24 pins loaded and had enough room to add a few more odds and ends in there before we were full. I could never have done it without my 16 year old son's assistance. We were both sore for a couple days afterwards.

    The thing is, if you intend to use all of the floor, as opposed to only strapping pins to the walls, then it means you are going to have to plan for padding in between machines and make sure you pack it tight enough to lessen the amount of rubbing that could happen. That in turn eats into the full capacity of whatever truck you're hauling with.

    Not that this will apply to your case, but I will say that we found that couch-cushions were really great to use as spacers. It may not be easy to see in this photo but we did get eight rows of three pins all pressed together in the truck. I didn't have any casualties, aside from an acrylic topper that I should have removed before I stretch-wrapped one of the pins.

    Good luck!

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    #22 76 days ago

    Lots of those trailers won’t be full. I expect pretty high prices.

    #23 76 days ago
    Quoted from jj44114:

    Lots of those trailers won’t be full. I expect pretty high prices.

    The convenience of being local to Banning auction is I dont have to worry about rental till after the first 3 days. You have following week to clear games.

    Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

    People are already planning! I’ll be one of those guys

    Please say Hello on Friday if your there! Love to meet Great Pinside peeps.

    #24 76 days ago

    As someone who rents trucks somewhat often check out Penske.
    Also, are you willing to fly out and get a truck?
    Are you flexible on dates?
    For example, South Bend to Grand Rapids with a 26' Penske truck is $999, same truck on the same date from Nashville to Grand Rapids is $99 (not a typo).
    Also, ALWAYS get insurance, the roof on a 16' Penske truck is over $6000 to replace (Penske rep told me).
    $6k was just the roof, not the sides or any structure, it's just crazy.

    #25 76 days ago

    In my experience, uhaul truck reservations are worthless. More than once I’ve reserved a 20 foot truck only to show up and be told ,”Sorry we don’t have any”.

    #26 76 days ago
    Quoted from coolwhs:

    ALWAYS get insurance, the roof on a 16' Penske truck is over $6000 to replace (Penske rep told me).

    #27 76 days ago
    Quoted from uncivil_engineer:

    In my experience, uhaul truck reservations are worthless. More than once I’ve reserved a 20 foot truck only to show up and be told ,”Sorry we don’t have any”.

    Check ahead if they'll rent a big truck to a regular person. Some will only rent to companies.

    LTG : )

    #28 76 days ago

    Too bad you didn't disclose your location. I bet a few helpful pinsiders would help you on both ends. Most would refuse pay and do it out of the kindness of their hearts, but you should at least feed them and a few cocktails...after the lifting is done.

    #29 76 days ago

    If you are doing this for the auction & are "unsure" what you might buy I would say get their however you planned to get their and don't even worry about renting a truck. See what you can buy - then rent a van and a storage unit. Move the machines you bought to storage then make the trip to go pick them up sometime down the road.

    I know this sounds like a "crazy" approach but in the end you will save money because you will only buy stuff at logical prices since you are not trying to "fill a truck". Who knows how crazy prices might get! And on the "flip side" if things are going cheaper than expected you can always rent additional storage units and make more than one trip to pick machines up.

    I have done things this way more than once and it has always worked out great for me. I never felt any pressure to "overpay" just to fill up a bigger vehicle, was able to move stuff home at a time that worked out great for me and in the end it worked out being "cheaper" that way every time.

    Two years in a row I even rented storage near Allentown PA a month before the Allentown Pinball Show just to "stage" machines in Allentown getting ready for the show. Then moved the machines from storage with my van & trailer on set up day.

    Another thought if you don't mind towing a trailer is rent a smaller truck & a trailer to pull behind it. That way you can load 8 machines into the 6x12 trailer and don't have the hassle of getting everything up the ramp into the rental truck.

    #30 76 days ago
    Quoted from uncivil_engineer:

    In my experience, uhaul truck reservations are worthless. More than once I’ve reserved a 20 foot truck only to show up and be told ,”Sorry we don’t have any”.

    This happens more often than you would think. I think at least 1/2 the times I have had trucks reserved they didn't have a truck for me and sometimes when I did get a truck I had to take something different than I had reserved. Especially when renting from smaller locations!

    #31 76 days ago

    I hope to be in this hobby long enough to have to deal with this kind of first world problem. I suggest google searching truck rental companies (Uhaul, Budget, Hertz, Enterprise, Penske, etc.). Call them and ask for rates. You can often negotiate the rates. I know a long time arcade machine collector who's rented Uhaul 26' trucks dozens of times, and always negotiates the rates. As coolwhs said, you will get different rates depending on the pickup and destination. If you're dropping off a truck to an area that is facing a shortage of trucks for a seasonal event (convention, large auction in the area, etc.), they'll give you a cheap rate for you to get the truck to that destination. It's either that or lose the rental at that hot location that you would have delivered their truck to.

    #32 75 days ago

    How many folded and well wrapped games can you fit in one of those Sprinter vans?

    #33 75 days ago

    I believe a full box like the truck shown is $20k to replace.
    It also is probably not covered even with insurance since the bridge is a stationery object with correctly marked height, but I haven't had that problem yet, thankfully.

    #34 75 days ago

    I put 12 into a 16’ truck with them all strapped to the walls. I’d say you could add 3-4 more with a 20’ truck.

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