Safety Tips For Driving A Moving Truck Across The Country

Posted on: 24 May 2016

If you need to move all of your belongings across the state or the country, then it may be wise to simply rent and drive a moving truck packed with all of your belongings. If you have never driven a moving truck before, then the experience may seem frightening. After all, accidents involving large trucks like tractor trailers and moving trucks are more likely to cause a death when a passenger vehicle is also involved. This means that safety should be on your mind. Keep reading to learn about a few things you should do to remain safe on the road.

Take It Slow 

If you intend on driving on highways during your trip, then it is wise to keep your truck cruising at a moderate speed. Vehicles that drive on the highway will take a long time to slow down and stop. A normal passenger vehicle driving 80 miles per hour on the highway will travel almost 500 feet before stopping completely. Reaction time, speed, and the weight of the vehicle all contribute to this distance. Since the weight of your moving truck will far exceed that of a passenger vehicle, it will take you more time to stop the vehicle. 

You should know that stopping distance triples as you double your speed. In other words, it will take you three times longer to stop the vehicle if you are traveling 40 miles an hour instead of 20 miles an hour. This means that keeping your speed as low as possible on the highway will help to reduce stopping distance. However, driving too slow can cause you to impede the flow of traffic. Cars may speed up behind you quickly, and they will need to brake or change lanes to get around your slow moving truck.

This means that you should try to drive the speed limit, especially on the highway where traffic is likely to be more congested. If you do need to slow down significantly, then make sure to use your hazard lights so others know to drive around you.

Be Aware Of Bridges

You may need to drive through some small towns, depending on the route you have mapped out for yourself. This may be necessary as well if you need to stop to eat or sleep. Stopping after about 11 hours is wise, or you may end up driving while you are extremely tired. This guideline for driving time must be followed by professional truck drivers. As an inexperienced driver, you should follow the same guidelines or even consider driving less than 11 hours a day. 

When you do decide to pull off the highway and make your way through local towns, you will need to pay close attention to any bridges or overpasses that you need to drive under. The moving truck will be considered a tall commercial vehicle and you will need to understand the height of the truck before you approach a bridge with a listed clearance height. Otherwise, your truck may be too tall and hit the bridge or overpass.

Moving truck clearance heights are typically listed on the back cargo area of the truck. Find the clearance height and write it down. Place the paper in the cabin area so you can easily access it. When you reach a bridge, make sure that the clearance height is at least a few feet higher than that of the moving truck. Also, you should make sure that you do not exceed the clearance height when you go through a drive-through or enter a parking garage. 

If you decide to drive a rented moving truck a long distance with all of your belongings, then make sure that you are safe while you navigate the roads. This will help to ensure that you and your personal items get to your new home in one piece. You can find more info here on box truck rental.