Moving trucks are only as safe as are their drivers. Professional moving-truck drivers insist on adding safety equipment to their trucks to improve their chances of avoiding accidents. Examples include stiffer shocks and oversized mirrors.
Adding lights make your truck more visible. To get noticed, be sure to install a quality train air horn, as it produces an extremely loud output. Train horns come in a variety of sizes with all the necessary equipment to ensure proper installation: compressor, valve, tank, airline, and switches. Don’t settle for a weak electronic horn that will barely overpower your OEM horn when you can install a complete air horn kit that will get the notice you need to warn other vehicles. Stiffer shocks will give you better control of your truck, especially in bad weather. Stock mirrors are useless — get oversized units that eliminate your blind spot.
Here as some important safety tips for moving truck renters who have little or no experience handling this type of vehicle:
- Sit in the truck in Park and learn all of the switches and gauges. Today’s rental trucks are more like passenger vehicles, but there are still differences in function and feel, so take the time to get comfortable with the truck.
- Mirrors need to be adjusted, especially since you lack a direct rearview mirror. You should be able to see the entire lane to your left, eliminating any blind spot that could lead to an accident, as described above.
- Know your vehicle dimensions. You do not want to be surprised by an overhead obstruction that shears off the top of the truck. Moving trucks are tall and wide, so it’s easy to sideswipe a tree (or a bicyclist!) if you are not aware of your extra girth. And keep an eye out for those pesky canopies at fast food joints, hotels and banks.
- Obey truck road signs. You are required to stop at weigh stations and must heed lane restrictions that pertain to trucks. Always look for overhead clearance postings.
- Change lanes carefully. Always use your directional signals, giving plenty of notice for a pending lane change. Make your lane change smoothly – avoid abrupt moves and sudden stops.
- Turn safely: Your truck is bigger than your normal vehicle, so make your turns carefully, using your mirrors and directional signals. Don’t forget that you have a much bigger turning radius, so leave yourself plenty of room. Check all directions at an intersection before proceeding.
- Never tailgate or pass a vehicle above 40 mph. Never pass on curves or hills, and avoid the passing lane on the Interstate.
- Always set you emergency brake when parked, and turn the wheels away from the curb when facing uphill, opposite when facing downhill.
- Try not to engage Reverse – backing-up is difficult, so if you need to do it, get some help from a pedestrian.
By following these simple rules, you decrease the chances of surprising your fellow drivers and causing an accident.