Summer is just weeks away and the kids are out of school, work might be winding down for the season, and you’re planning that big move to your dream home. The boxes are packed, the kids are excited about new adventures, and you? You’re just stressed out! Because let’s face it: moving is a hassle. Picking up the family and moving to a brand new house whether it’s one mile or a thousand miles away is a pain. The last thing you need is a problem with the moving truck. Unfortunately accidents happen, but you can be as prepared as possible should anything go awry. This article will provide our readers planning a move with exactly what they need to know when it comes to renting, driving, and returning their moving truck.
Moving 101: it may be obvious, but it’s worth restating
The first thing every driver should remember about driving their rented moving truck is that it’s not a car. The visibility, lane restrictions, and your ability to merge are all different than they are in your day-to-day sedan or SUV. While one should always be cautious and aware of everything going on around them on the road, it’s even more imperative to be cautious when you’re behind the wheel of something as large as a moving truck. Whether you’re familiar with trucks or you don’t drive them very often (it may even be the first time!) you should always pay close attention to road signs that directly pertain to trucks.
It’s also fundamentally important to use caution at every intersection. Never make sudden stops or lane changes. Before crossing, remember the golden rule: look left, look right, then look left again. This may seem like “driver’s ed 101” but let’s be honest: we’re all guilty of bouts of carelessness on the road when we shouldn’t be. Whether in a sedan, an SUV, or driving a moving truck, we all need to be diligent, observant, and focused on the road at all times. It’s not only for our own safety, but the safety of our passengers and every other driver on the road. Put the phone down, that text can wait.
Another obvious but important tip that’s worth repeating no matter how familiar we may be with it: obey all traffic laws wherever you happen to be driving. This means traffic lights, stop signs, and yield signs as well as school zones and any construction detours. And don’t forget your turn signals! In a truck, you need to allow yourself and other drivers on the road more time and space to get out of your way than you do in a smaller vehicle. Be aware of your blind spot, and utilize the mirrors at all times as well.
It’s important to inquire with your moving truck rental carrier about their specific guidelines regarding your auto insurance, what it covers (and what it doesn’t), as well as their accident policies in the event of a collision. You should also inquire about the carrier’s “wear and tear” conditions. What’s considered “reasonable” and what damages will you have to pay for upon returning the truck?
Quick tip: share the drive! If at all possible, on a long drive, ask someone to take turns with you so no one suffers any fatigue on a long drive.
Moving safety: think ‘well lit’, ‘well fueled’, and ‘well rested’
When it comes to driving your rented moving truck safely, there are a few things that are of utmost importance to ensure you and your loved ones make it to your new destination without coming to any harm.
One of the most important things you should know before you go, is where you’re going! Use a GPS, your iPhone, Android, iPad or any other device that offers a Maps app and input your destination before you go, so that you’re familiar with the route and any toll plazas, construction, railroads, or detours that may arise along the way. You can also make sure to watch the news prior to setting out on your destination for any newly updated traffic conditions.
Knowing where you’re headed goes hand-in-hand with parking in well lit areas should you need to stop at night. This may seem obvious but again, it bears repeating. Parking in a well lit area if you feel the need to rest is not just important, but a necessary precaution, especially if you’re traveling with children. Refueling at a well lit gas station should also be a priority. Crime rates tend to rise at night, and especially in the dark where criminals can commit their crimes and quickly get away unseen. This is doubly important when traveling with a moving truck full of valuables, and possibly everything you own. Take the necessary steps not to become a victim of violent crime!
If possible, stop for gas and to rest before it’s dark, so you have the ability to drive through the night on long trips without having to make any stops that could result in dangerous situations for you and your family. Crime happens every day, we just have to take the precautions needed to be observant and aware of everything around us at all times.
Follow these quick tips to make your move safer and more efficient:
- Fill up your tank in well lit areas, make sure you have enough fuel not to get stuck in an unsavory area
- Pre-program your GPS or Maps app so you know the route, any detours, the traffic, railroads and other road conditions
- Share the drive to avoid driver fatigue
- Rest in well lit areas to avoid becoming the victim of crime while you’re unaware!
- Inquire with your moving truck carrier about how your own auto insurance applies to your moving truck rental