Many people drive a U-Haul truck like it’s their own personal racecar and then wonder why they have bills for damages! Keep in mind that driving a U-Haul moving truck is different from driving a pickup truck, not least of which the former will likely be carrying a heavier load than the former.
When you’re driving a U-Haul moving truck, you should be careful not to commit these dangerous mistakes lest you put yourself and others in harm’s way.
No, a moving truck isn’t the king of the road despite its size! Instead, you should be more careful about driving it in urban and rural roads because of its heavy load. You have to take into account its limitations, too, because it isn’t a supercar.
The worst mistake then you can commit while at the wheel of a moving truck is to over-speed, even on smooth asphalt roads when the temptation to do so is strong. Due to its heavy load, a speeding moving truck takes more time to slow down and come to a complete stop. You then run the high risk of a collision with other cars, as well as poles, ditches, and fences, not to mention running over people.
We suggest reducing your speed, breaking early, and anticipating the stops when driving the rental truck, as well as avoiding following closely the car ahead. You should place a distance of about three seconds, which should allow for more braking allowance.
#2 Allowing Passengers in Cargo
Never ever allow passengers including humans and animals in the cargo area of a moving truck. While it may seem fun for teenagers and practical for adults – it can mean saving on the cost of hiring another rental car for the passengers – it’s both illegal and unsafe.
The cargo area is an enclosed space and, thus, humans and animals riding in it can suffer from lack of oxygen resulting in asphyxiation. There’s also the risk of the shifting cargo causing injuries and the absence of collision protection (i.e., seat belts).
#3 Going Through Arches
And we’re not just talking about the drive-thru of the Golden Arches (McDonald’s) and other fast-food joints either. Remember that U-Haul moving trucks are taller than most passenger cars including pickup trucks so there’s always the risk of getting caught in low arches, tunnels, and bridges.
Don’t rely on visual inspection, too, as your eyes can be easily deceived by the height of the overhead clearance in relation to the height of the moving truck. You are well-advised to ask about the truck’s clearance and compare it with the stated clearance on the arches. You must also check that the route doesn’t have obstructions like balconies, electrical wires, and canopies since these can easily put a large dent on the truck.
Just as you carefully plan your moving schedule, you should also do so for keeping your moving truck’s handling. It will save you plenty of headaches!