How to Safely Drive a Rental Moving Truck

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Although renting a moving truck might save you some money, it’s a major responsibility to drive. You’re transporting both your material livelihood – all your possessions – but your own body and possibly your family’s – on a huge, clunky, heavy vehicle. Maintaining a safe drive should be your number one priority. While you don’t need specific certification to rent out a moving truck, you should take certain precautions if you’ve never driven a truck in the past. In this blog post, I’ll give you some essential safety steps to follow when you’re driving a moving truck in order to get you, and your possessions, to your new place completely safely.

Inspect the Truck

Before you even start driving, check the truck’s tires, if it’s signals and lights are working properly, and if it’s mirrors are intact and properly aligned – you need to ensure that the truck is in working condition and proper shape to drive. If there is any damage to the truck’s inside or outside make sure to take photos of it and document it prior to your ride so you don’t get charged for it later on.


Keep Distance from Other Cars

By keeping a safe distance from other vehicles on the road, you’re ensuring your safety – it’s even more of an essential need when you’re driving a truck rather than a smaller vehicle, since the added weight of trucks make them slower to come to a total standstill. Make sure to maintain at least double the distance you would from other vehicles when you’re driving a sedan or smaller car – just to be safe.


Be extra careful in bad weather

When it’s raining, snowing, or the streets are otherwise slick with water or ice, it’s essential to drive with even more of a distance between your truck and other vehicles, and to drive at least 10 miles per hour under the speed limit.


Pay attention to Loading

Every truck has a certain weight limit that should not ever be surpassed. Find out the truck’s recommended GAWR and GVWR in order to figure out how much weight can go onto the truck.


Brake Carefully

Let’s say your truck gets a flat tire, or you need to stop short for some reason – never just slam down on the brakes. Slow the truck at more of a gradual pace and pull over to the side of the road. If you break suddenly, it can make you dangerously lose control of the truck.


Turn Carefully

Keep in mind that due to added size and weight, a truck is going to need much more driving space then a smaller car when it turns – don’t forget this when you drive; allow wide space for turns.


Keep a Safe Speed

The typical safe rule is to drive a truck at half the speed of which you’d drive a car – this is extra important for people that only rent trucks and don’t have the experience to know how driving a large truck feels. Slow and steady wins the race!


Take Periodic Breaks

If you’re making a long distance move, don’t drive for a period of time exceeding ten hours. Professional working truck drivers aren’t supposed to drive for more than eleven hours a day and typically rental truck companies shorten the duration to ten just to be safe. Take breaks of at least thirty minutes after eight hours of driving – this will ensure that your alertness and energy is sharp. You don’t ever want to be tired or slightly drowsy behind the wheel of a truck.


Pay attention to the Schedule

Unless it’s calibrated specifically for trucks, a GPS isn’t going to give you totally accurate information – since you’re driving more slowly than you would be with a regular car, you should give yourself twice the time that the GPS or map application estimates – just to be safe.

If you follow the above rules, any amateur driver can safely drive a rental moving truck to any new location.