If you have opted for a do-it-yourself move
, you will have to load your rental truck
with your self-packed boxes and goods, and transport the shipment to your new
home. While all the packing and heavy lifting may seem like the most difficult
aspect of your move, safely and effectively maneuvering your rental truck can
also be daunting. Read on for helpful tips for driving your rental truck to your
new home for your move.
Know your route
Before you hit the road, make sure you well
aware of your route. Planning your travel path in advance will allow you to
prepare for road weight restrictions or avoid low bridges that will not
accommodate your truck. Also, maneuvering a cumbersome moving truck will be much
easier if you are confident in navigating your route. Getting confused or lost
will only make your trip stressful and difficult. If you do not already own one,
you may be able to rent a GPS unit from your rental truck agency.
Turning and passing
Your rental truck is longer and wider than a
car, so you must take turns slowly and carefully. Your truck will require more
area to turn than a smaller vehicle, so you will have to make wider turns.
- Always use your turn signal, and signal as soon as possible before turning.
- Check all of the mirrors before making any turns.
- Never pass a vehicle that's moving faster than 40 miles per hour, and stay
out of the passing lane on highways.
- Always use your signal and check your mirror to ensure you have ample room
to change lanes.
- Never pass cars on hills or curves, and avoid making sudden stops or
changing lanes abruptly.
Trucks require more time to stop than other
vehicles. If you know there is a stop approaching, be sure to brake early. Never
tailgate--always keep at least five car lengths between you and the vehicle
ahead of you.
Be wary of overhead clearance and restrictions
Your rental truck
will require at least 14 feet of overhead clearance to safely pass. When
planning your travel route, check for low overpasses and bridges. Additionally,
be aware of low-hanging tree branches, drive-thru restaurants, banks, and
parking garage entrances. There will often be a signs alerting drivers of the
permitted clearance in tight passages. Look for signs prohibiting truck traffic
on bridges, in tunnels, and on certain roadways.
Parking a bulky moving truck can be tricky. Make sure
you take your time, exercise caution, and check all mirrors while parking.
- Always park with your wheels turned away from the curb when you are parked
uphill, and toward the curb when facing downhill to prevent the truck from
- Set the emergency brake every time you park.
- Avoid backing into parking spaces in lots. This can be extremely difficult
to maneuver in a large truck. If possible, it is best to park far away from any
business entrances where the lot is empty, so you can avoid having to back out
of the space. If you must back up, ask someone to direct you. Never back up if
your truck has towing equipment.
- Park in well-lit areas. To protect your goods, keep all doors locked.
Padlock the safety chain from the towing device to the truck, and the safety
chain from the towing device to the towed vehicle.
When driving a rental truck, you will be responsible for
fuel costs. While the truck will be provided with gas in the tank, you will be
responsible for replenishing what you use. Using green driving methods
to conserve your fuel will not only help
the environment, but save you some money, too!
- Don't speed. The faster you drive, the more fuel you will be burn.
- Don't accelerate too quickly. Be light on the gas pedal to reach your
desired speed slowly.
- When slowing down or stopping, slowly let up on the gas and brake
- Always wear your safety belt.
- Pay attention to all road signs, especially those pertinent for
trucks--including weigh station stops, truck restriction signs and overhead
- Drive slowly and cautiously. Avoid speeding, making abrupt stops, or taking
turns quickly and sharply. Not only will careful driving keep you safe, but your
cargo as well. Reckless driving will cause your shipment to shift and sustain
- Be extra careful at intersections. Always check both ways twice before
- If you are traveling long distances, take turns driving with a family member
to avoid fatigue. Ideally, you should not travel more than 500 miles per day.
- If you are moving alone, make stops every few hours to stretch your legs and
rest your eyes. Always stop at hotels to get a full night's sleep, and never
drive while you are tired.