Whether you're moving locally or across the country, you may be considering renting a moving truck. How hard can it be? Actually, driving a moving truck locally in Southern California or to another state 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 might not be 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. Unfortunately, this just isn't true. 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. Your possessions can also be significantly damaged if the truck is not loaded the right way. 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 Might Have to Drive Through Weigh Station Stops
If you were to drive a moving truck into another state, 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 weighs10,000 pounds or more.
The states that require rental trucks to stop at weigh stations are:
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
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.
In Southern California, Curbside Service Is Limited
If you're moving to the Los Angeles area or to most major cities in Southern California, you might run into some problems when you try to park and unload. While you have your truck and your assistants, you may be surprised to realize that your new home doesn’t have any parking spots nearby where a giant moving truck can fit. In fact, to find a temporary spot for you to unload your valuables, you might have to park a couple of blocks away. On top of the distance, you may have to pay to obtain that distant parking spot. Taking your furniture for a walk down the street might seem like a good idea now, but on the fifth trip around the block, you will wish you had picked a different course of action.
Traffic Is Often Terrible
There is a reason why a variety of movies and TV programs talk about Southern California traffic—because it’s ridiculous. You don’t know what patience is until you are drowning in a sea of bumper-to-bumper vehicles, which resembles Southern California traffic on the daily. Moving your belongings into, out of, around, or through Burbank, Santa Clarita, or another major SoCal city is a test of determination, skill, and luck. If you want to increase your mental fortitude, take a rental truck through the freeways of Los Angeles.
Southern California Drivers Are Intense
Our company has worked on the streets of Southern California long enough to know that the drivers here are not your typical mid-western motorists. If you want to witness drivers who cut people off, drive 15 MPH over the speed limit, and believe that their car is impervious to any and all accidents, then SoCal will give you a front-row seat to the action. The unfortunate truth of your predicament—should you choose to rent a truck—is that motorists are not going to give you any breaks. They will cut you off, they will yell at you for traveling the posted speed limit, and they will not care that you are in a rental. However, you care that you are driving a rental, and you will want to protect all of your belongings that are in your truck. If you really want to drive a rental truck with these people, you should probably tack on that extra insurance.
Contact Our Santa Clarita 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 homes. 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!