11 Tips for Driving a Moving Truck
Driving a U-Haul truck isn’t too different from driving a regular vehicle. Our trucks are designed to make moving and driving a simple experience that any DIY mover can accomplish.
Follow these tips for a smoother driving experience during your move:
1. Drive slower
Follow posted speed limits and reduce your speed in harsh weather conditions or when on a bumpy road. Slow down when driving on wet and icy roads.
2. Put space between you and other vehicles
Make sure you have enough space between yourself and the vehicle in front. The recommended amount is about the space of five vehicles. Remember to never tailgate.
3. Apply your brakes sooner
You want to begin braking sooner than normal as your truck weighs more than the average vehicle. Also, remember to increase the space between your truck and the vehicle in front of you.
4. When turning, give yourself extra room
Your truck will cut corners more on turns so always go into turns with enough room between you and the curb, this is especially true for right turns. Turn slowly and look ahead for potential traffic jams in case you need to brake suddenly.
5. Take your time when switching lanes
Turn on the turn signal and use your side-view mirror before switching lanes. Keep in mind that your truck is longer than the average vehicle and you’ll need ample space in front and behind before switching lanes.
6. Don’t pass unless necessary
Refrain from passing other vehicles when driving uphill, on curves, or on narrow roads. Passing in a large truck requires more time and distance to overtake another vehicle and should be done only when necessary.
7. Follow all road rules
Pay attention to changing speed limits and to vehicles around you. When driving on the interstate or highway, stay in the lane furthest to the right unless passing.
8. Park in large areas
Pulling into a larger parking space allows you to pull forward and out of the way other vehicles. Always set the parking brake before exiting.
9. Make sure you’re covered
It’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution and cover your truck rental to protect it against damage or theft. Keep in mind that you are responsible for any damage that occurs to your rental truck and most insurance companies won’t cover the costs. U-Haul offers damage coverage for all U-Haul trucks and is the best way to ease your worries in case accidental damage does arise.
10. Back up safely and slowly
Have a passenger help you by getting out of the vehicle and guiding you with hand signals to safely back up your truck. Keep your window down so you can hear outside. Beep your horn once or twice before slowly moving as a final precaution before moving.
11. Keep pets up front
Use a harness or crate if your pets don't take kindly to driving long distances. Remember to never leave your pet in the truck unattended. Be sure to keep water and food easily available for the duration of the trip.
Follow these additional steps before you begin your trip so you're even better prepared for your move:
Start by mapping out your driving route. Whether you’re moving across town or across multiple state lines, it’s important to know what route you will take. For longer trips, plan where you want to stop along the way. If needed, find hotels to stay overnight on your trip. It’s important to be well rested when driving long distances.
- Check your trucks clearance – find this information on the decal inside the cab
- Reposition the side-view mirrors to your liking – moving trucks DO NOT have rear-view mirrors
- Adjust the seat to your liking
- Familiarize yourself with all the controls
- Check the weather – account for additional drive time for bad weather
- Buckle up