Have you taken on the challenge of renting a moving truck or trailer? It’s more complex than it may seem. Our Elmhurst U-Stor-It staff has laid out the guidelines to consider before taking the driver’s seat.
Make Sure You’re Plugged in and Chains Aren’t Dragging
One of the most common mistakes when towing a trailer is forgetting or incorrectly attaching the trailer connections. Without the electrical outlet plugged in you risk getting rear-ended since the drivers behind you will have no knowledge of when you are breaking or signaling for a turn.
Chains often are not tight enough and will drag on the ground creating major sparks. It’s important to make sure the chains hang at least 4 inches off the ground to avoid these sparks and to form the safest connection if the trailer happened to pop off the hitch.
Be Prepared to Back up the Truck or Trailer
You may find yourself in a situation where it is necessary to back up and maneuver your way out. If this occurs you want to be prepared! If you have a trailer be sure to read up on how to back it up. With both a truck and trailer it is extremely helpful to have a passenger that can get out and help you with the navigation. Remember to go slow and be aware of all corners of the vehicle and/or trailer.
The number one piece of advice is to make sure you stay safe by driving slowly. It’s easier than you’d think to get to a high speed while towing or driving a large truck; not only does this put you in danger, but it threatens your belongings as well.
Stay at a max of 55 mph or the marked truck/trailer speed limit on all streets and highways. Hopefully you’ll never have to break hard, but if you do you’ll realize how much better of a situation you’re in if you’re going an appropriate speed.
When approaching stop signs or lights ease off of the accelerator early. The easy speed change will help your loaded items avoid shifting around. Gas efficiency will improve, and your breaks will have a much easier time stopping the load.