Safety when doing a Do-it-Yourself move is vital.
Know what to look out for.
Rental Truck Safety
If your planning to use a rental truck for your move, there’s a few things to know before getting behind the wheel and driving to your new destination.
Renting And Driving The Truck
To rent a truck, no special license is required. All you need is your regular drivers license. This will make it easier if you’ll be sharing the driving time, or feel apprehensive about driving a truck, and need to ask a friend or family member to drive the truck.
Inspect The Truck
Inspecting the truck thoroughly before you drive off the lot of the rental company is essential. You want to make sure the truck is in good working order. You will want to check the tires, lights, signals and mirrors. Depending on the weather conditions, you will want to make sure the AC/heater is working.
Familiarize Yourself With The Rental Truck
Whoever will be driving the truck should spend a bit of time sitting in the drivers seat getting comfortable with the location of all the controls, such as: ignition, turn signals, gas, break pedals, mirrors, windshield wipers etc. and knowing what gas to use. It is a good idea to review the owner’s manual.
When deciding What Size Moving Truck Should You Use find out what the maximum weight for each truck is. This weight limit should never be exceeded. To properly load a truck to maximize your space read How to Load a Moving Truck.
Watch Your Speed
It is recommended to always follow the speed limit of the state/s you are driving through. However, driving slower than you would a car is advised at all times, around half the speed. Accidents in trucks can be reduced if driver’s slowdown and pay attention to the speed, especially when taking corners, turns and backing up.
Trucks are heavy and the larger the truck, the heavier it’s going to be. It is crucial to provide enough space between you and other vehicles to allow a safe amount of time to brake, and if needed, come to a complete stop.
If you find you need to stop suddenly for any reason, perhaps a flat tire, don’t slam on the breaks, slow down gradually and pull over. If you brake suddenly, this could cause the truck to become out of control.
It’s important to know what the clearance height is when driving a truck. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has a set minimum height clearance of 14’ – 16’ on major roadways and interstates. Some bridges, overpasses, gas stations and tunnels do have a lower height clearance. Knowing the clearance height of your rental truck before setting off can avoid any potential damage to the truck. In most cases, you will be given advance notice and warning signs allowing you to exit before approaching a low clearance area. If it’s uncertain whether you have enough clearance, always stop immediately to assess if your truck can pass safely. Below is a guide to truck size and clearance height. Always double check with the truck rental company the height clearance of the truck you rent.
Truck size - Clearance height10 ft 10’ 14 ft 10’ 16 ft 11’6” 17 ft 12’ 20 ft 13’ 22 ft 13’6” 24 ft 13’6” 26 ft 13’6”
When driving the rental truck, bear in mind that it handles differently when full or empty. Understanding the differences and how to maneuver the truck in each situation, grants you mastery of driving a moving truck!