The Official Blog of Penske Transportation Solutions

Taking the Stress Out of Madison Move Out

As the sleepy days of summer come to an end, Madison, Wisconsin, is teeming with activity as thousands of University of Wisconsin students prepare for the annual event known as Madison Move Out.


Each year, college students move out of their apartments when leases end – typically around Aug. 15 – only to move back in again a day later when the new lease terms begin.

Penske Truck Rental has been hard at work, preparing to meet the demand of student movers by relocating rental trucks from across the state and beefing up staffing at the company’s Madison rental location.

“We try to prepare ourselves knowing there will be an influx of reservations that will be coming in a short span of time,” said Tony Stromer, district rental manager, who anticipated demand to double at the Madison rental location.

For students and residents alike, Madison Move Out has become a bit of an annual tradition.

“The student housing is not too far from campus,” said Bryan Johnson, Madison’s recycling coordinator. “With all of their leases ending, we have about 20,000 people moving on the same day.”

Last year, 579 tons of materials – mostly furniture and other items that not able to be donated – were sent to the landfill during Madison Move out.

Some students tend to be “homeless” for a night, finding other accommodations between when the old lease ends and the new one begins.

“It is a bit of a headache for the movers,” Johnson said.

Helping Hands

Penske began planning for Madison Move Out in the spring, as rental leaders mapped out projections based on advance reservations. The demand was monitored on a weekly basis throughout the summer.

“We do not have that many trucks on hand, so we do have to get very creative,” Stromer said. “We have to maximize the fleet. You are talking about trucks getting rented two, three or four times each in a three-day span.”

With Monday expected to be the busiest day, associates at the Madison location worked through the weekend to put some finishing touches on preparations for the Move Out rush.

“Right now, we are scheduled to have 11 rental associates on hand. That’s double what our location would have on a normal day,” Stromer said.

Despite the hectic nature of the day, associates will be there to make the experience as pleasant as possible for customers.

“Everyone is chipping in, doing something different,” he said. “One person is doing check-in and check-out. One person will go out to the lot with the customers to answer any questions they may have, while others are pulling trucks around for customers.”

To help relieve some of the stress, Stromer said water, coffee and snacks will be on hand for customers to enjoy while their reservations are being fulfilled. Associates will be treated to lunch.

“When we come together as a group, it makes this whole process go very smoothly, so we can take care of all of our customers,” Stromer said.

Penske Truck Rental offers free unlimited miles on all one-way truck rentals, discounts for AAA members, college students and members of the military as well as packing supplies and 24/7 roadside assistance. Are you ready to make a reservation? Visit the Penske Truck Rental website for more information.

By Bernie Mixon