Driving in New Zealand can be pleasant, especially if you’re familiar with the rules of its roads. There’s much less traffic in comparison to other countries in the world, which also makes it a less stressful endeavour. When renting a truck, there are a few considerations you should consider for your safety, and so as not to breach your rental agreement. Here are six tips for driving a truck hire in New Zealand.
Driving a Truck
Driving a truck can be stressful, especially for inexperienced drivers, and if you’ve never driven a truck before. Because heavy truck rentals are so vastly different from the typical vehicle that most locals drive, you might be unfamiliar with the controls, and how to manoeuvre such a large car. It’s important to note that a standard driver’s license won’t allow most drivers to hire an eighteen-wheeler truck; however, there are moving trucks that you can hire if you hold a class 1 license. Even so, these smaller moving trucks require a set of skills that the average driver won’t be familiar with. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you hire a moving truck.
Before you start driving, make sure that you are acquainted with each control, what they do, and how to use them. Make sure that you remember where they are so that you don’t have to look away from the road for too long while you’re driving.
- Take Note of Your Immediate Surroundings
When driving the truck towards the home you’re moving out of, make sure that the path ahead of you is clear. You are already unfamiliar with the size and length of the vehicle, which means that you should take extra care not to get too close to a wall, pillar, or even a bush. The last thing you want to do is damage a hired truck.
You also might have to take more than one trip back and forth to the new premises, when loading and unloading your belongings. When you arrive at each location, make sure that the movement around each property is as simple as possible, to avoid an accident.
- Allow For Extra Time
As you get used to driving a larger vehicle, you should account for the extra time it will take you to park, change lanes, drive through gates and turn corners. You might find yourself making the last trip in full dark if you’re not careful. Make sure that you allow for extra time so that you aren’t rushed or stressed during the move.
- Allow For More Braking Time
If you drive a city car, you’re more accustomed to how to handle that car. You know how to sharply turn a corner, and how soon to brake. Driving a truck, however, is very different. Trucks are much heavier than the typical city car, so you’ll need to remember to brake much earlier than you’re used to. You should also note that when the truck is loaded with furniture, appliances and packed boxes, there’s more weight behind your momentum. Therefore, remember to allow for more braking time when coming to a stop with a full load. Even though the insurance is covered in the rental fee, you still don’t want to rear-end another driver.
- Take Care While Reversing
As mentioned, when driving a new car for the first time, you have to learn its dimensions so that you can manoeuvre it carefully around corners, while parking, and reversing. A truck is no different. Make sure that you reverse carefully and perhaps with another person behind you, with a second pair of eyes to give directions.
- Check Your Mirrors Frequently
A truck is much larger than other cars on the road, so you should be aware of your presence in relation to other drivers. Make sure that you check your mirrors often so that you have enough time to correct your position when you’re on the road. You should also consider narrow gaps, driving underneath signs, low-hanging trees, bridges and power lines. A moving truck might not be big enough to hit something above; however, you should be extra cautious.
Even though you haven’t done this before, you shouldn’t be alarmed. It’s entirely possible to drive a hired truck, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll get used to driving a much larger and heavier vehicle. All you need to do is keep these six tips in mind so that you arrive safely at your destination, every time.