The Evolution of U-Haul Trucks

Feb 17, 2016

Perhaps nothing is as synonymous with U-Haul as moving trucks. Whether you’re in a congested city or driving along a two-lane highway in a rural area, odds are it won’t be long before a U-Haul truck drives by.

Today, U-Haul trucks are easily identified with their U-Haul Orange and white color scheme. But they didn’t always look that way. In fact, the look of our trucks isn’t the only thing that’s changed over the years. Here’s a timeline of U-Haul trucks and how they’ve evolved from the very first ones that rolled into service in 1959, to those that drive the roads, highways and interstates of North America today.

1959 U-Haul Truck






U-Haul introduced rental trucks designed for household moving to its fleet in 1959. They were initially available for In-Town rentals only, but by 1960 U-Haul was renting trucks one-way, becoming the first company in the industry to offer both trucks and trailers for one-way rentals.

U-Haul Ford Econonline VanOLD FORD Pickup







A Ford Econoline van was added in 1965, and in 1966, U-Haul added pickup trucks and cars to the rental fleet. U-Haul has partnered with Ford for more than 50 years now.

TC Truck_aluminum







In 1976, the 16-foot aluminum TC moving van joined the fleet. This was arguably our most popular moving truck ever because of its durability and special features. The TC included a Ford FE engine, which was Ford’s first big-block engine. It provided a lot of power and had thick cylinder walls so it was nearly impossible to blow the engine, allowing it to be rebuilt over and over, if needed. Also in 1976, U-Haul introduced rental trucks to the Canadian rental fleet.


1987 Ford EL 17 ft Studio Shot

As part of the Company’s restructuring, U-Haul launched a new truck-buying program in 1987. This included the introduction of the 17-foot EL.


1988 JH-P_1






In 1988, U-Haul converted from aluminum to fiberglass reinforced plywood (FRP) to construct van boxes and unveiled the 26-foot JH Super Mover—the largest in the industry—with air-ride suspension. JH was a nod to Joe Hansbury, a longtime team member who had a monumental impact on U-Haul products.


2010 TT truck photo1







In 2010, the 20-foot TT joined the U-Haul fleet. This new model was manufactured in response to our customers who asked for a moving solution that fit between the existing 17-foot and 24-foot trucks.

New JH 2015








In October 2015, U-Haul unveiled the brand-new, 26-foot JH-D. This new model has a gross vehicle weight rating of 22,000 pounds, which is a ton more than other models. Also, its fuel-efficient V10 engine and six-speed transmission team up to offer better fuel economy. All of this is built on a custom suspension that makes it feel as if you’re driving a much smaller vehicle.


Did you drive (or ride in) an old U-Haul truck for a move “back in the day?” Tell us about your experience in the comments section.

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