U-Haul, with its brilliant orange and white paint scheme, huge lettering, and geographically-themed murals, is the largest and most recognized truck and trailer rental agency in North America. U-Haul owns over 135,000 trucks, 107,000 trailers, and has over 16,000 franchised dealers.
There is virtually no American or Canadian community not served by U-Haul and their Mexican market is rapidly expanding.
U-Haul trailers vary from 6 feet in length for a unit designed to be towed by a small car up to 36 feet for towing behind a heavy-duty truck. Often U-Haul rental trucks will tow U-Haul trailers to make the move more economical.
In-Depth Look at U-Haul
U-Haul was formed in 1945 by Sam Shoen along with his wife, Anna Mary Carty Shoen, after Sam was discharged from the U.S. Navy in Los Angeles and had to move themselves back to Portland, Oregon. They attempted to rent a trailer to transport their belongings but were unable to find one in all of L.A. They packed what belongings they could into their car and disposed of the rest.
The Shoens moved again, this time up to Ridgefield, Washington, where Sam began manufacturing trailers and enlisting gas station owners as franchised rental dealers. By 1952, the Shoens had 3,000 trailers available on the west coast and were expanding nationally, as well as beginning to rent enclosed moving trucks.
Over the years, U-Haul has expanded into trucks, trailers, specialized hitches, trailer wiring, propane fuel filling, self-storage units, lawn maintenance equipment and, even at one point, rented video players and VHS tapes. U-Haul pioneered the one-way, long distance drop-off concept of moving rental trucks and trailers that is a service still at their business model core.
For the do-it-yourself mover, U-Haul offers plenty of services above and beyond their rental trucks. They also provide the U-Box storage container units for even more flexibility for residential and business moves alike.
U-Haul is currently owned by AMERCO, a holding company that also operates and runs Amerco Real Estate, Oxford Life Insurance, and Republic Western Insurance. Latest numbers show that the Shoen family still retains 55% ownership of U-Haul’s publicly traded stock and remains active in the day-to-day management of the U-Haul company.