How To Drive A Moving Truck
What’s it like to drive a moving truck?
While it’s not all that different from operating a typical vehicle, driving a moving truck requires a few basic adjustments. It’s bigger, some buttons may be in different places, some controls may not work the same way and the blind spots may not be where you’re used to. Familiarizing yourself with the truck and how to drive it will help you and your belongings arrive safely.
Pre-trip maintenance check
A successful move with a rental truck starts by making sure the truck is in good working condition. Inspect the truck for the following:
- Dents, dings and damage. Note any existing damage in your inspection contract so you aren’t held responsible for issues that were already there.
- Tires. Make sure there is plenty of tread on the tires and that they appear to be in good condition.
- Brakes. Test the brakes to see if they’re in working order.
- Lights. Have a friend stand outside to confirm the headlights, brake lights and turn signals (both front and back) work properly.
- Air conditioning/heat. Does the air temperature change correctly? Depending on the time of year, these functions can be really important during a long drive.
- Radio/sound system. This one isn’t necessary for safety, but a drive across the country can get boring without music or other audio entertainment.
How to drive the moving truck
When the time comes to get behind the wheel, follow these tips:
- Keep a safe distance. Trucks require more room and time to stop than cars, so keep several car lengths between you and any vehicles in front of you.
- Turn wide. Moving trucks are longer than typical personal vehicles, so they have a wider turning radius. Turn wide to avoid curbs and other objects.
- Change lanes and pass with caution. Don’t pass on hills or curves because they can slow the vehicle down and require more time to pass safely. Keep in mind that the truck is bigger than most vehicles, so you’ll need more room to switch lanes.
- Stay off your phone. While it’s wise to keep your phone charged in case of emergencies, avoid using it while driving. This can cause distractions and many states have laws preventing it.
- Choose parking spots wisely. Look for spaces where you can pull through instead of spots where you’ll have to back out. Set the parking brake before getting out.
- Keep the truck secure. Park in well-lit areas, if possible. Make sure to lock the passenger and cargo areas.
- Use help when backing up. Rental trucks have more blind spots because there’s no rearview mirror — only side mirrors — so it’s helpful to have help when backing up. But even with assistance, check multiple times for people or objects in your path and keep your windows down so you can hear outside noise.
How to move without driving a truck
If you’re uneasy about driving a moving truck, there’s another option. You can move without having to drive — often for a price comparable to truck rental! U-Pack is a “you pack, we drive” company, so your belongings get delivered door to door and you don’t have to worry about driving the equipment.
Compare rates with a free moving quote or call a helpful moving consultant at 800-413-4799. If you have any questions about driving a moving truck or moving with U-Pack, leave us a comment. We’re here to help!