MILLIONS of Americans move to a new home every year. The next time you’re among them, you may be able to save time, trouble and money if you heed a few hints on driving a moving truck. These come from the experts at Penske Truck Rental:
1. Give yourself plenty of time. Chances are, the trip will take longer than the GPS predicts. Be aware of when rush hour is likely to be in communities you’ll drive through.
2. Sit awhile before you drive. Don’t take off until you’ve familiarized yourself with all the truck’s switches and gauges. Make sure the mirrors are properly adjusted.
3. Watch out for blind spots. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration points out that trucks have oversized blind spots known as the “No-Zone.” Bear these in mind, especially when changing lanes or coming to a stop.
4. The things you carry. Truck rental agreements generally include language from the U.S. Department of Transportation prohibiting the “carrying or hauling of explosives and other dangerous articles.” That means don’t pack such flammable items as paint, chemicals, cleaning materials, solvents, propane, gasoline and so on. Your rental agent can help you tell whether something you want to bring along is allowed.
5. Be smart about size. “Trucks are taller, wider and may weigh up to 10 times more than the average car,” explained Don Mikes, senior vice president–rental, Penske Truck Leasing. They also take longer to stop. Ease off of the accelerator early when approaching a stop. This also helps keep your cargo from shifting.
6. Protect your property. “Most insurance and credit card companies won’t cover truck rentals under existing policies,” Mikes added. If your insurance company is among them, consider signing up for additional coverage options to protect yourself and your belongings. You may feel more confident knowing that his company offers free 24/7 emergency roadside assistance.
7. Look for a sign. Pay attention to road signs pertaining to trucks such as weigh station stops, truck or lane restriction signs and overhead clearance postings.
8. Park smart. Set the emergency brake every time.
9. Learn more. You can find further useful moving facts and tips at www.PenskeTruckRental.com.
North American Precis Syndicate