Driving a Moving Truck: Tips and Advice

8 July 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Many people dread driving moving trucks. They're big and bulky and they move very differently from standard-sized vehicles. The larger the truck, the more extreme the difference in the vehicle's handling, turn radius, and cornering abilities. If you're driving a moving truck any distance, whether it's a few miles or several hundred miles, these tips will help. 

Make Extra-Wide Turns

Moving trucks simply don't corner well. They're too large and their turn radius is too wide for them to successfully maneuver in the same way that cars and smaller trucks can. 

  • Check the side mirror inside the turn to watch for cars coming up behind you on either side. 
  • Pull out into the intersection before beginning the turn. While smaller vehicles can turn their wheels more or less as soon as the hood of the car has passed the corner, a larger truck must pull part of the truck itself into the intersection before beginning the turn. The larger the truck, the farther you will need to pull out. 

Follow these Tips When Backing Up

At some point, you may need to back your truck into a driveway or parking space in order to make loading or unloading the truck as easy as possible. Novice truck drivers are often nervous about this prospect. These tips will help you navigate your large load without incident. 

  • Don't attempt to back up the truck until you're comfortable driving it in a forward direction.
  • Examine the area before attempting to back into the space. Look for any objects, plants, curbs, or low walls in the path of the truck. 
  • Get help from a friend who can stand behind the truck and use hand movements to give you direction. 
  • Use side-view mirrors to help you angle the truck properly. In the side-view mirrors you'll see the sides of the truck as well as nearby objects. As you back up the truck, adjust the truck it to keep the maximum amount of space between the sides of the truck and the objects around it. 

Maintain Safe Following Distance

Maintain a following distance of 1 second for every 10 feet of truck. For example, if your truck is 50 feet long, your following distance will be the distance you would cover in 5 seconds of travel. For speeds over 40 miles per hour, add an additional second. In the scenario just described, if your truck was traveling at 50 miles per hour, you would maintain a following distance of 6 seconds. 

Know Your Limits

If you're not comfortable driving your own moving truck, speak with your moving and storage company about providing a driver as well as a truck rental. Don't attempt to drive a truck if you're not comfortable doing so on your own.