Safety Tips for Driving a Rental Truck

Man passing a moving box to woman from a van.

When you’re planning a do-it-yourself move, for some people, the most intimidating aspect is the thought of driving that giant moving truck from their old home to their new neighborhood. Whether your drive will be on the busy city streets or an open highway, you want to be sure you know how to properly handle any size rental truck to keep yourself and others on the road as safe as possible.

Enjoy a Safe Ride in Your Moving Truck

Make sure you safely arrive at your destination in your moving truck by adhering to the following safety tips:

Get comfortable in the truck first. Sit in the driver’s seat and take note of the controls; know how to turn on the windshield wipers, headlights, parking brake and hazards. Make sure the mirrors are adjusted properly so you can see all angles of the road as well as possible.

Map out your route. Make sure you know exactly where you are going before you put the key in the ignition. This way, you can ensure you’ve got plenty of gas, or at the very least, you will know where you can easily stop to refuel if necessary. Plus, you can potentially avoid any congested areas that may be difficult to navigate in the moving truck.

Use caution during turns and stops. Don’t forget, large rental trucks will require more clearance for turns than your car or SUV. Plus, the size and weight of the truck means braking will require more time than you might be used to.

Keep your hands on the wheel. Avoid using cell phones, eating, or trying to read a map when you’re on the road. If you need to make a call, make sure you can do so hands-free. Or, pull over to the side of the road to have a conversation or read your map. Just be extra careful when re-entering traffic!

Adjust for a full load. When you rent a moving truck and drive it to your home to load up, keep in mind that once it’s full of your belongings it will handle differently. For instance, braking will be more difficult with a full load.

Follow the rules of the road. Any rules of the road that apply to commercial trucks also apply to a moving truck. Follow the posted speed limit, avoid tailgating, and obey all traffic lights and signs. Additionally, avoid making sudden stops or lane changes. In fact, it’s recommended to leave extra room in front of you and refrain from passing other vehicles on hills, curves or narrow roadways.

As a side note, it’s also important to know how to pack your moving truck so you can not only utilize all the space correctly, but ensure that none of your belongings get damaged while you’re in transit. Distribute the weight evenly, putting appliances in first, followed by larger items, and then fill all the open spaces with packed boxes.

National Storage offer both U-Haul truck rentals and Penske truck rentals throughout our locations in Michigan and Ohio to ensure a smooth moving day, plus a variety of self storage units for all your household storage needs. Contact us today to learn more.

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