Although it can be necessary and exciting at times, the act of moving isn’t always something that people look forward to, especially if it involves renting a truck.
Not only do these massive vehicles cost an arm and a leg to rent at some locations, but they can be terrifying to drive if you’re not used to it.
Luckily, we have some quick and easy safety tips to get you and your moving truck to your destination safely, and without any hassle.
Plan Your Route
Assuming that you know where your destination is before renting your moving truck, it would be beneficial to plan a route that would best suit driving a truck.
If you know there are some treacherous freeway entrances and exits, narrow streets, or busy intersections along the way, do some research to see if there are some ways that you can avoid them.
Even if it means your drive takes a little longer, it’s always better to be safe than sorry in this type of situation, particularly when you don’t feel as comfortable driving as you usually might.
Take A Few Practice Drives
Before you set out on the open road, it is a good idea to get comfortable with the rental truck that you are driving.
Take it around your neighborhood or an empty parking lot a few times to get a feel for how it drives.
See how sensitive the brakes are, how wide it turns, where all of the interior buttons are located.
Even if you consider yourself to be an expert driver, a moving truck is rarely going to drive the same as your everyday vehicle.
The last thing you want is to be unsure of how the truck drives when you’re surrounded by other cars and drivers.
Know The Height Of Your Truck
Although you may have an idea of the height of your rental truck, it’s good to have that number at the front of your mind when driving.
Therefore, before you drive under any overpasses, check the road sign for the clearance height of the bridge, so you’ll be able to know whether your truck will be able to safely drive under it.
If not, pull over to the side of the road, and find another route.
In addition, if you are confronted with any low-hanging branches or other obstacles on the street, and have any doubt about whether you might make contact, your best bet is to steer clear altogether.
Do A Maintenance Check Before Leaving The Lot
Before you even drive out of the rental company’s parking lot, you must do your own maintenance check of the vehicle.
Although it’s unlikely that any company would rent an unreliable vehicle to a customer, you can never be too safe in situations like this.
Some things to look for on the exterior include visible damage, tires low on air, etc.
Furthermore, on the inside, turn the truck on and check to see if there are any warnings or check engine lights that are activated.
Also, go through all of the truck controls to make sure they are in working order such as the windshield wipers, brake lights, parking brake, and turn signals.
If something doesn’t appear to be working correctly, let someone working there know immediately.
Load The Truck Safely
Although this may not have anything to do with specifically driving the truck, packing everything into the truck safely and securely can prevent several accidents while on the road.
If everything is loose in the back and knocking around and getting damaged, this can lead to the driver panicking at high speeds or trying to immediately pull over, resulting in an accident.
So, making sure that everything you are moving is loaded properly will be one less thing that you have to think about while focusing on driving the truck.
Easy On The Gas
If you’re used to quickly accelerating in your normal car, you are going to need to change your driving style when behind the wheel of a moving truck.
Not only does it most likely have a different engine, but the weight, force, and many other actors are different.
Speed is not the name of the game when driving a truck, not only because they are harder to control, but they also take a lot more to stop once they get going.
Therefore, slow and steady wins the race when driving this type of vehicle, and countless accidents can be prevented by slowing things down.
Also, don’t be concerned with the flow of traffic, most other drivers will be thankful that a truck isn’t trying to keep up with them.
Much like how the acceleration is a lot different on a moving truck than normal vehicles, so are the brakes.
Chances are, your moving truck, is much heavier and larger than any car you normally drive.
Therefore, it also takes more force and power to stop, especially at high speeds.
So, it’s necessary for you to apply the breaks earlier than you might normally do, to give the truck enough time and space to come to a safe and complete stop without accidentally hitting anyone or anything.
Once again, you can never be too careful when you’re behind the wheel of such powerful machinery.
On the topic of breaking, another thing you should be aware of while driving a moving truck is the distance between you and other cars on the road.
Although you should never tailgate, no matter what type of car you are driving, you should especially be wary when in a moving vehicle.
Such a truck will not have nearly the stopping ability as a regular car, and any close call is likely to turn into an accident.
With Southfield truck accident attorneys claiming that truck accidents are likely to result in catastrophic injuries in comparison to most typical traffic collisions.
So, it’s in your best interest to avoid this from happening at all costs, and keeping your distance from others on the road is one way to do this.
Use Your Mirrors
Although it may take some time getting used to, moving trucks don’t have rearview mirrors, because they would be blocked by the truck’s bed if they did.
This makes being aware of what’s happening around you on the road that much more important because you don’t have as much visibility as you might be used to.
Thankfully, trucks this size have modified mirrors to help make up for this lack of visibility.
Nevertheless, it is crucial to remember that these mirrors don’t mean that you can see everything!
There are still plenty of blind spots on moving trucks, so you have to be extra diligent about being aware of where other cars are on the road when changing lanes or just driving in a straight line.
Always double-check before making a lane change, merge or turn, and never hope for the best.
All in all, driving a moving truck can be a stressful experience at times, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.
People accomplish this feat every day and you can do it too!
Just remember that safety comes first when behind the wheel and follow these essential moving truck safety tips to get you where you need to be safe and sound.