Many people choose to rent a moving truck rather than hiring professional movers in order to save money when they move. Make sure to review all safety information with the rental business before driving the truck.
Here are some guidelines for safe truck driving.
Practice these basic driving habits so others know your intentions and to help prevent accidents.
- Check the mirrors for other vehicles frequently.
- Never tailgate. Trucks require more time and room to stop.
- Never use the passing lane on the interstate.
- Allow more room and more time for lane changes.
- Watch sharp turns. Trucks are longer and wider than cars, so they need more turning area.
- Always use your turn signal to let other drivers know your intentions.
- And, of course, always wear a seatbelt!
- Make sure to familiarize yourself with the truck before hitting the road.
- Never drive if you are over-tired.
- Avoid medication and never drive under the influence of alcohol.
- Bring a friend or family member to help with the driving.
- Stop every two hours or so to prevent fatigue.
- Stop regularly for coffee or soda and a snack, or just to stretch your legs.
- Avoid backing up if you can. If you must back up, have someone direct you from the side at the rear.
- If you’re towing anything, it’s best to NEVER back up.
Save money on fuel
- Obey the speed limits.
- Gradually build to the desired speed.
- On the highway, keep a consistent speed and don’t attempt to pass.
- Set the emergency brake every time you park.
- Turn the wheels away from the curb with the truck faced uphill; toward the curb when facing downhill.
- Look for “drive-through” parking spaces to avoid backing.
- If you’re stopping at a hotel, always park in well-lit areas. Lock all doors and padlock the safety chains if you’re towing anything.
- At road stops and restaurants, park where you can see the vehicle.
- Allow at least five vehicle lengths between you and the vehicle ahead of you.
- Brake earlier than you think you need to.
- Ease off the accelerator when stopping to avoid shifting cargo.
Avoid height-related accidents
- Know the height of the vehicle you’re driving.
- Be aware of low canopies, overpasses, bridges, tree branches, parking garages and signs prohibiting truck traffic.
- Don’t use the drive-through at a restaurant. Park the truck and walk in.