Why Driving a Moving Truck Across the Country Is a Bad Idea

If you’re moving across the country, you may be considering driving a moving truck to drive cross-country. How hard can it be? Actually, driving a moving truck across the country is more complicated than you think. Hidden challenges will present themselves along the way, which is why the team at Affordable Quality Moving and Storage has put together a list of reasons why driving a moving truck across the country isn’t such a good idea.

You're Financially Responsible for the State of the Truck

Driving a moving truck across the country is a big responsibility. When renting a moving truck, you need to make sure that the vehicle is in good condition for a long-distance drive. You should check its tires, signals, lights, and side-view mirrors. You should also take the time to familiarize yourself with the basic controls of the truck.

However, if you're not familiar with making cross-country trips, the inspection might be less useful to you than you might think. Problems with the truck may not be obvious to someone unfamiliar with the rigors of out-of-state moves. Your truck might be 200 miles away from a breakdown, and if you need to travel 201 miles to your new home, that's a costly issue.

Consider also that moving truck rental companies can make you financially responsible for any damage done to the truck over your trip. If you're making a local move, that's a manageable risk. When you're traveling hundreds of miles over multiple days, the risk of getting hit or scratched or bumped is far higher.

You May Not Load the Rental Truck Safely

People often load moving trucks like a game of Tetris: as long as it fits, you win. When driving a few miles or so, that's not a big deal. But traveling across the country, or even across the state? Failing to properly and safely load your truck is a major risk. Not only can sudden braking and sharp turns damage your belongings, but improperly loaded trucks are more likely to lose control and get into an accident. If you aren’t sure how to properly load a moving truck, we recommend leaving the job to a professional mover.

You'll Need to Learn How to Drive a Large Truck

Driving a large truck is not the same as driving a car. There is a learning curve and best practices you need to follow to drive a truck safely. For instance, due to the large size and weight of a rental truck, it takes time to get up to speed. You can’t accelerate too quickly because it will drastically increase the truck’s fuel consumption, and it can cause the cargo to shift. You also have to take extra caution when changing lanes, making turns, and applying the brakes. You'll even have to keep an eye out for overhead clearance signs, which passenger car owners don't have to think about.

You Have to Drive Through Weigh Station Stops

If you were to drive a moving truck, you would also have to keep your eyes open for any weigh stations. Weigh stations are highway checkpoints where large vehicles have to stop for weight and safety inspections. The trickiest part is that every state has specific regulations at weight stations, so you have to research whether or not you have to stop at weigh stations when crossing state lines.

There are currently 11 states that require rental trucks to stop at weigh stations, and 14 states that may require you to stop, depending on the weight of the truck. In most of these states, you'll be required to stop if the truck is 10,000 pounds or more.

The states that require rental trucks to stop at weigh stations are:

  • California
  • Florida
  • Michigan
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Wyoming

Gas Will Be Expensive

One of the largest expenses of driving a moving truck across the country is gas. Most rental trucks get between 10 to 11 miles per gallon, so fuel for a 1,000-mile trip might equal 100 gallons of gas. With the national average gas price at $2.90, you could be facing nearly $300 in fuel costs alone. That's not including the cost of renting the truck or the cost of food and lodging during the trip, so renting a truck may not be the money-saver you hope it could be.

Contact Our Long-Distance Movers: (661) 622-2636

Whether you’re moving across the state, out of state, or even out of the country, the Santa Clarita movers at Affordable Quality Moving and Storage can help you. Don’t take on the difficult task of driving a moving truck on your own. That’s a task that should be left to our experienced and licensed professionals who have helped many movers. AQMS doesn’t just help customers with their moving needs; we also educate them on the best way to get their valuables to their new home. We provide packing, unpacking, and transportation services, so your moving process is as easy as possible. Unlike renting your own moving truck, we offer insurance plans to protect the value of your belongings.

Leave the moving tasks to our Santa Clarita moving professionals and call us today for a free estimate at (661) 622-2636!