10 tips for driving a moving truck

advice for driving moving truck

Guest post by Buffalo Moving Companies

It’s not uncommon for a budget conscious person moving from one home or apartment to another to attempt to move their belongings on their own. That often means renting a moving truck from U-Haul, Penske or another moving supplier.

Truck rental options range from a pickup to a 26-foot long truck designed for hauling homes with four bedrooms or more. That’s a big truck, and no commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required. All you need is a valid driver’s license to rent and operate one.

That can be a scary proposition for the person driving the truck, passengers, and anyone on the roadway.

While driving a huge moving truck is different than maneuvering a typical vehicle, a careful and cautious driver who is prepared should have little trouble operating even a 26-foot truck.

Before hitting the road for your move, follow these 10 tips for a safe driving experience:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the truck and its controls. Position the seat so you can reach the dashboard and view the roadway and side rearview mirrors clearly. Know where the controls for the lights and wipers are located.
  2. Pay attention to road signs, most notably weigh station stops, overhead clarence and lane restrictions for trucks. A 26-foot truck is nearly eight feet wide and more than eight feet tall. It is 20,000 pounds when full, 12,500 when empty.
  3. Use care when packing the vehicle. Make sure items are secure so they are not damaged while being transported. Place larger items at the front of the truck.
  4. Be careful when passing. Never pass on hills or curves or a vehicle moving more than 40 miles per hour.
  5. Be cautious. Do not tailgate and make extra space between the vehicle in front of you. Use caution at all intersections, and abstain from making sudden stops or abrupt lane changes. Be extra cautious in bad weather.
  6. Take it slow. Brake early and often when slowing down. When turning, make sure you have enough room to clear the corner and other vehicles around you.
  7. Use your side mirrors more than usual to compensate for not having a center rearview mirror. Always double check mirrors to make sure you have enough room to turn and for lane changes.
  8. Avoid backing up. Pull through parking spaces and park away from other vehicles if possible. If you must back up, ask someone to direct you.
  9. Always apply the parking brake when parked. Turn the wheels toward the curb on a downhill surface and away from the curb uphill.
  10. Be confident. Don’t let your nerves get the best of you. As long as you’re prepared and cautious, you will have a successful experience driving your rented moving truck.