Updated Wednesday, December 18th 2019
Ryder Truck Rental is certainly a well-known, brand-name company. It boasts more than 80 years of experience in the fleet management industry. In fact, if their website is any indication, they are clearly more committed to commercial offerings than to offerings for renting a truck for a one-time, household move. As a result, you too might feel overlooked in the process if you're looking to Ryder for your personal move.
Still, the great price and ease of making a reservation could convince you to overlook their lack of hand holding.
Author: Francesca Di Meglio
Updated: Wednesday, December 18th 2019
For the purposes of this guide, I planned a long distance move (1,100 miles) from a three-bedroom home in Fort Lee, NJ (New York City area) to Kissimmee, FL (Orlando area). I ordered the service in the fall. I completed the order, then later canceled it. The company never took my credit card information, which is different from most other moving companies.
Regardless, a long-distance move was not a plausible one for Ryder because of its round-trip policy requiring customers to pick up and drop off vehicles to the same location.
I am also planning a fictitious move from Fort Lee, NJ to Ridgefield Park, NJ for my parents to give you an idea of the company's local moving services. By keeping the particulars of the move roughly the same for each order, I've made it possible for you to easily compare.
Discover what we'd be loading into that big rig:
I live in a three-bedroom home with two large flights of stairs. In addition to the bedrooms, there are:
My parents live in a similarly sized home with three floors and three bedrooms, but they also have the following:
The quotes I received are based on the info above.
Like most of these fleet management companies that have taken a bite out of the moving business, Ryder Truck Rental does not really have a thorough website.
For example, it lacks resources you'll find on most any moving container or moving truck site. Regardless, the process for renting a truck online can still be quick and easy. And the price is seriously kind to your budget. However, I did not appreciate the change in price from when I reserved the truck online to when I viewed my reservation in email. It was still a decent price - more affordable than some other moving options, such as moving containers - it was higher than I originally expected.
You can choose among sprinter vans, box trucks, and straight trucks. Without any other fees, the vans are $35 per day, the box trucks are $39 per day, and the straight trucks are $89.95 per day. These are definitely bargain prices. But you must remember - and Ryder reminds you in fine print - that these do not include "variable fees, fuel, or any applicable taxes." Of course, the listed rates are good for my location (Newark, NJ) and are valid for 120 days from the date the reservation is made.
One part of the process that confused me was the statement about daily rate charges being applied "based on rental calendar days and not 24-hour periods." This led me to believe that pickup and drop off times did not matter as much as the chosen date. But I tested my understanding, and I was wrong. The times do matter. My total cost was more if I picked up the truck at 9 a.m. and dropped it off at 11:30 a.m., as opposed to picking up and dropping off at 9 a.m. respectively. (Those times are arbitrarily chosen, by the way. There's no secret sauce here.)
Another concern I had was the result of a technical glitch. It might have been a one-off, but I'm not sure.
I had input "Dec. 1" for the truck pick up date and "Dec. 4" for the drop off. But when my reservations popped in my email, it was scheduled for the next day instead. I immediately canceled it because I worried I would incur a charge. It never came to that. You don't provide the company with a credit card number or any payment until you pick up the vehicle, so you can cancel anytime. (Of course, you should be courteous and cancel ahead of time, so the truck will be available to someone else who needs it.)
In the end, I opted for the 26-foot straight truck. It has up to 1,600 cubic feet of cargo space and from 26,000 gross vehicle weight (GVW) to 33,000 GVW, which refers to the maximum weight the truck can be when it is fully loaded and all fueled up. (Don't worry, I had to look up "GVW", too.) What might be more important to know is the fact that this truck can ultimately handle between 8,000 and 15,000 pounds of load capacity. Hello enormous and heavy china cabinet!
Technically, I could sign up to rent a Ryder truck for my move from New Jersey to Florida. The only problem is I would have to return the truck to the Newark location after I dropped off everything in Florida. In case you're wondering, that would undoubtedly add unnecessary costs to any move. This is not to mention the exhaustion I would incur taking a 20+ hours drive back and forth between states. Frankly, a root canal sounds more pleasant.
On the other hand, these truck rental options are tailored for a local move. Newark is certainly a workable distance between Fort Lee and Ridgefield Park in New Jersey. The total estimated cost for the straight truck on its own with a Friday pick up and Monday drop off at 9 a.m. was $269.80. (But my price shot up to $359.80 if I picked up at 9 a.m. and dropped off at 11:30 a.m.)
Then, I added the premium options for physical damage and liability insurance. On the website, I saw the total estimate as $456.18. But when I opened my email with the confirmed reservation, I saw the total as $608.24. I assume this is because the tax was not included. But it still felt like bait and switch. I felt deflated and disillusioned. Of course, my pockets felt emptier. Don't get me wrong. The price is still good. But it's not as affordable as I thought it would be.
Once you get an estimated tally for cost of the rental truck, you are prompted to select insurance.
You can choose between two options each for physical damage and liability coverage. I chose the premium options for both. Unlike some of its competitors, Ryder does not suggest checking with your own auto insurance and credit card company to determine if you need the additional coverage in the first place. You should, though.
The premium option for physical damage is $25.58 per day and provides protection against loss or damage to the truck up to a $500 deductible. The basic option is $23.49 per day and provides protection up to a $1,000 deductible.
Liability insurance also includes a premium and basic option. The premium liability coverage costs $36.53 per day and protects you with auto liability insurance limits of $1,000,000 while operating the truck. The basic option costs $31.31 per day, and it provides limits equal to the minimum limits required by state law while operating the vehicle, whatever that may be for you.
Not surprisingly, Ryder recommends you purchase insurance. I might recommend that, too.
In general, truck rentals are the most affordable option for DIY movers. Ryder falls nicely into the price range you'll find among these truck rental companies. However, I was taken aback by the price change from website to email. Not cool!
Whenever budgeting for a truck rental, you must also consider the price of fuel and variables that might pop up. What if you end up keeping the truck longer than you anticipated? The price is, after all, an estimate. So brace yourself for the possibility of paying more than you expected. Still, Ryder, like its competitors, should not break the bank.
Someone who wants none of the bells and whistles available on websites associated with traditional moving companies will appreciate Ryder. The renter also has to be comfortable driving one of those big boy trucks. It's not for the faint of heart, and I've mentioned before, I don't have the chutzpah to get behind the wheel of a big rig. But this is a good, affordable option for the DIY mover with more courage as a driver than I'll ever have. Of course, the person should be making a local move. This is not at all a convenient or practical option for those moving far away.
Truck rental in general is affordable, and Ryder falls within the price range of its competitors. It is definitely worth a look if you are willing to drive yourself. It can be especially affordable if you stick to a strict schedule, plan ahead for fuel costs, and need a smaller truck than the one I chose for this review.
All you have to do is fill out a form with basic information and choose the vehicle you'd like to rent. Unlike more traditional moving companies, you have to determine for yourself what size truck is appropriate for your move, but the ease of reserving a truck makes up for it.
One welcome difference from some other moving companies is that you're not overwhelmed with choices. This makes it easier to figure out which one will be a good fit for your move.
Planning a move is a chore, and you have to fit it into a packed schedule. The fact that Ryder's reservation process takes minutes and requires little effort is well appreciated, especially by a working mom like me.
Truck rentals give you the ultimate freedom in your move. Unless you hire professionals to help load the truck (which isn't a bad idea), you are on your own. You can keep your own schedule and have more control over the process. For those who don't mind driving the truck, this is a big benefit!
When I signed up for the reservation online, I saw the total estimated price, including insurance, as $456.18. But when I opened the confirmation of the reservation in my email, I discovered the total was actually $608.24. The price difference of $152.06 probably accounts for the tax, and it's not a deal breaker. A price tag of $600 is well within reason and fair market value for these truck rentals. But you feel as though you have lost something from one step to the next. It just gives you the perception that you've been swindled, which can lead to a sense of buyer's remorse.
From the moment you first enter the Ryder Truck Rental site, you will notice this company is geared toward commercial clients. You have to really seek out the individual truck rental options. There is little to woo you or even explain what you're getting for the price. You will find no tools offering help in deciding what size truck to use. Most of the content and language is aimed at commercial clients.
As a result, you might get lost in the process, especially if you haven't made it your job (like I have) to review moving company services. If I hadn't planned this move a few times already, I might not have know a "straight truck" was the best option for the amount of stuff I have to haul, for example.
A long-distance move is virtually impossible with a truck rental company, such as Ryder. The requirement to bring the truck back to the same location where you picked it up makes no sense for someone moving far away. I would have had to pack up my belongings in New Jersey, drive them to Florida, and then drive the truck all the way back to New Jersey to return it. Yeah right.
Renting moving trucks means driving moving trucks. It is not for everyone, so this can be a downside or an upside, depending on who you are. I, for one, prefer not having to drive a giant truck. But that's just me. It may be different for you.
Ryder defines itself as, "a Fortune 500 commercial fleet management company that provides transportation and supply chain solutions". A veteran of the business, Ryder is well known and has strong brand recognition. More than 50,000 customers turn to the company every year. In fact, it describes itself as "one of North America's largest fleet of trucks." Ryder employs about 33,000 as logistics engineers, drivers and experienced maintenance technicians.
With more than 500 locations across North America, Ryder offers customers the chance to rent (or lease, in some cases) 37,000 "late-model trucks, tractors, trailers, and vans," according to the company website.
Founded by James Ryder, the company is now headquartered in Miami. It's come a long way from its early days. But being in business for more than 8 decades, Ryder can honestly boast of its staying power and experience.
One of the distinguishing factors of Ryder is its commitment to U.S. veterans. In fact, the company announced Nov. 8, 2017 that it was selected for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Hiring Our Heroes Lee Anderson Veteran and Military Spouse Employment Award. This honor recognizes overall excellence in hiring and retaining veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses.
Sustainability is on the minds of Ryder's leadership. The company recently began renting and leasing 125 medium-duty electric panel vans by Chanje.
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