Choosing a Truck

"Gimme 40 acres and I'll turn this rig around!" Those lyrics from a popular Country song of yesteryear express the feeling of many folks who consider renting a truck for their move. In other words, "It's so big! How will I ever drive it?"

Later we'll get to the art of driving the truck. For now, know that driving most rental moving trucks isn't inordinately difficult—just different. In fact, in most states, you can drive a pretty big truck without any special license. Scary, huh? If those 90-year-old folks in 90-foot motorhomes can drive their rigs cross-country, so can you!

Renting a truck can make sense for many moves:

  • If you don't have other moving vehicles available

  • If you are moving more stuff than will fit in a trailer

  • If the land distance is too great to make more than one trip

After you decide to use a rental truck for your move, the obvious questions come to mind:

  • Whose truck?

  • How big a truck?

Let's take on those two fascinating topics right now. How will you choose a truck rental company? Should you rent one of the yellow ones, the orange-and-white ones, or some other color? Maybe the decision is easier than you think. If you live in a small town, you may either have to use whichever company has trucks available locally or travel a ways to pick up and drop off your unit. If you live in a city, you'll have more choices. Call several companies and ask lots of questions:

  • How many trucks/trailers do they have?

  • How old are the vehicles?

  • Do the vehicles have automatic or manual transmission?

  • Do the trucks have gas or diesel engines?

  • Is the cab air conditioned?

  • How many adults can ride comfortably?

  • How many miles to the gallon will the truck get when it's full of stuff?

  • How's road service if the truck breaks down? And who pays for the charges?

  • Does the truck have a ramp or hydraulic lift?

  • Does the truck have a spare tire and emergency flares?

  • What packing and loading materials does the company provide or sell?

  • Are there mileage charges or drop fees on the vehicle?


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