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Car tips & advice | 13.06.2014 - 17:23

First Time Driving a Moving Truck? Six Tips for Safe Loading and Handling

If you're not used to driving large, heavy vehicles, then maneuvering a moving truck might make you feel uneasy. Here are a few tips which should make the drive (and your move) a lot easier:

Moving is a daunting task, but when you're the one who has to haul everything, it can get a lot more complicated. If you're not used to driving large, heavy vehicles, then maneuvering a moving truck might make you feel uneasy. However, it's not as difficult as it seems, as long as you're using good sense while loading and driving.


Load Heavy Items First


The greatest hurdle of moving is getting all of that stuff to fit in the back of the truck. It's a lot easier if you think of it like shipping a package. It's best to put the largest and heaviest items on the bottom toward the front of the truck so they don't crush the lighter, smaller ones. In this case, that means your couch, desk, refrigerator, drawers and other bulky furniture. On top of that, you may want to put your next heaviest objects like the TV or microwave.


Light and Lofty


The lightest and most easily breakable items should be secured on top of the heavier items. Don't be afraid to utilize available space underneath desks, on couches or in drawers, as these places can offer excellent protection.


Ensure All Items Are Secured


Now that you're all loaded up, you need to make sure everything is secured, especially if you didn't fill up the truck completely. While driving, things tend to shift around, and it would be a shame if something broke in transit. For this, it's often recommended to use bungee cables. Furniture blankets will help protect against scuffs, tears and scratches.


Packing Fragile Items


Delicate electronics, such as plasma TVs, should be placed in their original box and kept in an upright position and preferably tied down. When packing glassware and other breakables, be sure to wrap them generously in bubble wrap or newspaper and place them in sturdy cardboard boxes.


Adjust Your Mirrors


You won't be able to see out of the back of a moving truck, so it's important that you remember to adjust your mirrors before setting out. Make sure you’re able to check your mirrors and see both sides of the vehicle at all times.


Stopping and Going


Moving trucks tend to be heavy, so driving one won't be like driving a regular vehicle. Due to their weight, they have a lot more momentum behind them, and this drastically slows your stopping speed and increases the distance you’ll need to make a safe stop. When you need to stop, start braking slowly, long before you get to the sign or light. If you brake too quickly, you run the risk of hurdling your possessions across the back of the truck, possibly destroying them in the process. In wet weather, it's even more important to allow ample stopping time. When you accelerate again, this should also be done slowly for the same reason.


Moving isn't easy, but doing it without the right knowledge makes it even harder. Always make sure the truck is loaded properly, that your items are well-protected and that you don't get in a hurry. If you don't feel comfortable driving the truck yourself, it's best to hire an experienced person to do it for you.


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