How to Move a Refrigerator in a Pickup Truck [Detailed Guide]

How to move a refrigerator in a pick up truck

Let’s face it, moving an appliance as heavy as a fridge is no mean feat at all! But if you are curious about how to move a refrigerator in a pickup truck then this article will guide you on how to do that the proper way.

By the way, we should let you know that the ease of moving a fridge in a pickup truck is often relative to the size of the fridge.

It is also important to factor in the distance between the truck and the location you will be moving the fridge from.

Thankfully, there are tools and techniques that make this a lot less stressful.

How to Move a Refrigerator in a Pickup Truck – Essentials

The following are some useful essentials required to make moving a fridge in a pickup truck hassle-free:

  1. Tape
  2. Dolly or cart
  3. Sliders
  4. Two Adults
  5. Measuring tape
  6. Rope
  7. Blanket

How to Move a Refrigerator in a Pickup Truck – A Stepwise Guide

To move a fridge in a pickup truck:

i. Prepare the refrigerator by emptying it of its contents.

ii. Place the refrigerator on a durable appliance dolly

iii. Move the fridge to the pickup truck with the dolly.

iv. Secure the fridge in the pickup truck with strong and heavy-duty straps.

Preparing the refrigerator

Emptying the fridge is a no brainer because it makes the fridge lighter and prevents messy events like food items spilling out of the fridge while it is in motion.

So, the first thing to do is transfer all the perishable items in your refrigerator into a cooler if you have any. You can then package the non-perishable items properly and load them back in after your move is done.

Apart from the items in the fridge, the refrigerator parts should also be removed. This will include shelves and trays in the fridge.

To prevent rattling and the possibility of breaking one of the shelves when the refrigerator is being transported, the shelves and storage bins may be taped in place.

But if you don’t have enough tape, you can have them removed and packaged separately.

Afterward, unplug the refrigerator and take it off the wall.

Then, clean the insides of the refrigerator and shut the doors.

Use a rope to bind the doors to the refrigerator to prevent them from opening when moving the fridge.

You should also consider using a blanket to wrap the refrigerator, to prevent scratches on the body of the fridge.

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Placing the refrigerator on the dolly

Without a dolly, it wouldn’t be so easy to move your refrigerator to the pickup truck and you will need several arms to get the job done.

In fact, it may be almost impossible to get it done if the refrigerator is quite big. Moreover, trying this on your own is potentially dangerous because you may get injured in the process.

Now, some people think a hand truck would do the same job as a dolly. But a hand truck wasn’t designed to move items as large as a refrigerator. If you don’t have a dolly, then you may want to borrow one from your friends or neighbors.

Placing the refrigerator on the dolly is easy and will be easier with the aid of sliders.

The essence of the sliders is to move the fridge to the dolly without scratching the floor surface.

If the dolly doesn’t go under easily, you can tilt your refrigerator a little for it to sit on the dolly.

The next thing is to secure the fridge to the dolly with straps. This is particularly necessary if you will be taking the unit up or down a fleet of stairs. It is to prevent the fridge from falling off the dolly while it is being moved.

If you are in the market for a suitable moving dolly, then you may want to consider the highly-rated Mecete Enhanced Stair Climbing Cart with 6 WheelsAs its name suggests, it is suitable for moving heavy items not just on flat surfaces, but up and down the stairs without hassles.

This heavy-duty cart can also withstand weights of up to 500 pounds. But if the items you plan to carry it with exceeds 150 pounds, the manufacturer recommends that you get another person to help you. Meanwhile, when it is fully extended, it is 176 centimeters high and 60 meters wide.


Moving the refrigerator to the pickup truck

This is probably the part you’ve been waiting for.

A regular pickup truck comes with a loading ramp attached. But it has been observed that most people don’t have this.

With a loading ramp, you can easily wheel your refrigerator into the pickup truck. If this isn’t available, you and the possible help you have may have more work to do.

To move the refrigerator into the pickup, keep your fridge upright on the floor. Then, get into the back of the truck and grab the dolly handle.

Most importantly, ensure that you have two helpers standing on each side of the bottom of the refrigerator. If you are lucky to have up to four people including you, two of you can get on the truck while the other two stay at the bottom of the dolly.

So, as the people in the truck lift the refrigerator, the people below will lift from the bottom. This action should be carried out simultaneously.

Once you’ve got the refrigerator in the truck, move it to the back of the truck.

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Avoid leaving the fridge in an upright position in the truck because doing that can cause the fridge to fall hard to the floor of the truck and get damaged if you drive on a bump.

By the way, if you don’t have bungee straps to secure the fridge to the dolly with, then you may want to consider the Keeper Adjustable Flat Bungee CordIt extends from 10 to 54 centimeters to accommodate different sizes and is super strong and durable.

More so, the flat design of this bungee cord makes the cord a suitable option for moving the fridge because it won’t make marks on the fridge or spoil the finish. Its outer jacket is also UV-resistant to prevent fading and wear.

Keeper 06119 Adjustable Flat Bungee Cord




Securing the refrigerator in the pickup truck

Even though you’ve placed the refrigerator at the back and even left it on the dolly, that doesn’t give a 100% guarantee that your refrigerator won’t fall.

If you’re moving cross country, then it is important to secure the fridge in the pickup truck.

Firstly, get a set of ratchet straps to tie the refrigerator to the truck. Then, secure one of the straps around the top of the fridge and the other should be placed at the front.

Also, ensure the fridge is as close enough to the truck as possible.

Then, tighten the straps. The straps should be connected to the truck’s anchor points and not some random area. This would keep it secure until you arrive at your destination.

Here’s a video from Buddytruk that will show you how to move your refrigerator with a dolly. Check it out.


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Learning how to move a refrigerator in a pickup truck is not difficult. But if you don’t follow the procedure as you should, moving the refrigerator may be a real pain in the neck (quite literally).

So, clean your refrigerator, get a dolly and move it into the pickup truck with the help of your friends or neighbors. It is better and a lot easier to enlist help as opposed to getting the job done yourself.

In short, with adequate preparation and the recommended essentials, you should get your refrigerator in a pickup truck in less than 30 minutes.

Thinking of making the move without a dolly? Learn how to move a refrigerator without a dolly in this post.

How to Move a Refrigerator in a Pickup Truck — Related FAQs

How do I move my refrigerator down the stairs?

To move a refrigerator down the stairs to get it into the pickup truck:

  1. Measure the tight spaces: If it looks like the refrigerator is going to be a tight fit, the doors, and other blockages might have to go. This way, you can get the refrigerator where you want it with little stress.
  2. Find someone to help: Moving a refrigerator down the stairs is something that can be safely accomplished with two people. One person guides the refrigerator from one end, and the other person guides it from the other end.
  3. Move the refrigerator carefully: With the refrigerator on a dolly, tilt it back to a 45-degree angle, and move it carefully.
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Will I Damage my Refrigerator if I Transport it On its Side? 

Transporting a refrigerator on its side can stretch or break the springs in it.

The refrigerator’s compressor motor is suspended inside the compressor housing on three to four springs and those springs are in place to hold the motor load upright. If stretched or broken, it can cause a shudder stop condition, that is, the refrigerator makes a shuddering noise every time the compressor stops and sometimes when it starts.

Most people say that transporting a refrigerator on its side is fine as long as you pad the compressor area where the shuddering sound comes from. However, you may not be able to pad that area because it is placed in a very discreet place at the bottom rear of the refrigerator.

Why Should the Refrigerator be Moved Away From the Wall?

During transport, the refrigerator should be moved away from the wall to allow air circulate through the refrigerator coils.

The refrigerator is like an air conditioner. It takes out heat from the inside, pushing it outside of the refrigerator. If there is enough space for the air to carry the heat away, the refrigerator can work well. So, asides from the fact that placing the refrigerator away from the wall reduces the risk of bumps, it gives way for air to run through the refrigerator coils.

How Can I Unload My Refrigerator From the Pickup Truck?

To unload a refrigerator from a pickup truck, get somebody to help manage one end of the refrigerator while you handle the other end, while you both let the refrigerator down slowly.

If you have to go down a flight of stairs, move one step at a time until you get it down. Meanwhile, always communicate with your partner, so you both know when to move, wait, and drop at any point because you might get tired and want to rest a bit.

How Long After Moving Can I Put on My Refrigerator?

Keep the refrigerator standing, and unplugged for at least 4 hours before putting it on. The compressor oil of the refrigerator needs some time to settle before you can start using it. And not only that, all of the refrigerator needs some time to settle.

You can plug in your refrigerator after 4 hours have passed. Ensure that the thermostat control is on the ON button, however, do not start loading food immediately after. Give the refrigerator some time to cool down to temperatures that are safe for food storage, which might take up to 12 hours.

What Happens if I Don’t Leave My Refrigerator to Settle After Moving?

If the refrigerator is not left to settle after moving, the compressor oil which might have leaked into the refrigeration system during movement can cause a blockage after the refrigerator is turned on.

The compressor oil helps to lubricate and cool any part of the refrigerator that’s getting hot. Without this oil, the refrigerator can break down very quickly, needing frequent replacements of parts to keep going.

So, leaving your refrigerator to settle after moving is important to keep it in proper working order.


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