7 Quick Tips for Driving a Moving Truck | My Move

7 Quick Tips for Driving a Moving Truck

Author: Nancy LaFever

Whether you see yourself as a careful driver or a road warrior, chances are you're not familiar with driving moving trucks. A moving truck is taller, wider, longer and about 10 times heavier than a car, so there are special handling considerations when driving one. You'll need to take time to become familiar with both the size and operation of the truck before you step on the gas.

1. Mirror, Mirror, Moving Truck

The moving truck has different blind spots than you're used to in a car. Be sure and adjust your mirrors so that you can see out of them. You won't have a standard rearview mirror, so it's especially important to get comfortable with the side mirrors.

Be cautious when backing up because even with your mirrors you'll have blind spots. It's a good idea to have someone outside the truck guiding you.

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2. Turning a Moving Truck

The length and width of your truck can make turning challenging, requiring a larger turning area. Because of that extra length, flip on those turn signals earlier than you normally would and don't make last-minute lane changes.

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Remember, too, that the height of bigger moving trucks can cause you to tip over if you take tight curves at high speeds. Watch for road signs indicating narrow curves.

3. Moving Trucks Comin' Through

The height of the moving truck will take some getting used to. Bridges, parking garages and other structures will have height limits posted. Watch for those and remember your truck's height.

4. Take a Brake

A heavier vehicle takes much longer to come to a stop when you brake. Become accustomed to braking sooner. A longer truck also needs more distance to stop. Fast, hard braking will cause your belongings to move and possibly sustain damage. Don't even think about jamming on the brakes on a tight curve. You don't have the experience to manage heavy, out-of-control moving trucks.

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Be sure to set your emergency brake every time you park. When parked facing uphill, turn the wheels away from the curb. Facing downhill, the wheels should be turned toward the curb.

5. Watch Your Speed, Ma'am

Moving trucks often have lower speed limits posted; you need to watch for those signs. But even if there are no posted lower limits, higher speeds in a truck are more dangerous than in a car.

Be very cautious of your speed when driving moving trucks through residential areas where there may not be sidewalks for pedestrians. You may also have to negotiate narrower lanes.

6. Take a Load Off

Your moving truck will handle very differently when it's empty. Get used to driving it after unloading before venturing onto the highway.

7. Ensure You're Insured

When you rent your truck, don't assume that you automatically get moving truck insurance. Ask the agent very specific questions about the coverage they offer and read over the paperwork carefully. Ask about deductibles, coverage limits, coverage for property damage to your belongings, etc.

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Check with your credit card carrier, too. Some card companies will have built-in coverage to protect you. Ask the credit card agent the same questions you ask the truck rental agent.

Practice may not make you a perfect moving truck driver, but taking the time to get used to driving your moving truck will pay off with fewer damages and heightened safety. When you feel comfortable in the truck, that's one more thing you can check off your moving checklist!

Illustration by Kena Ravel

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