Tips and Tricks for Your First U-Haul Experience

Whether you’re trying to free up some space in your home or making a cross country move, you could be using a U-Haul truck for the first time. Many of our storage locations, in an effort to help make your moving and storing experience more convenient, offer U-Haul truck rental on site.

U-Haul is unique in the industry because they work with manufacturers to design a truck specifically for household or small business moving. U-Haul offers more safety features than any other truck in the industry along with gentle ride suspension and high visibility mirrors to assist the driver.enefit of Driving a U-Haul Truck

  • 50% easier to load –  A wide, stable EZ Load Ramp makes loading your large, heavy items a breeze.
  • Safely move your furniture –  Gentle ride suspension and aerodynamic styling keep your furniture safe and secure.
  • Quiet, with independent seating for three Driver and passengers enjoy a peaceful, comfortable driving experience.
  • Save money –  This is important with current gasoline prices. While many trucks use acrid, expensive diesel fuel, these trucks use cleaner, cheaper, and more convenient unleaded fuel.

It’s great to have a truck at your disposal, but If you have no previous truck-driving experience, you’re going to need a little help. We want to share the following tips to get you started on your journey and keep you safe.

First Time Driving a U-Haul

As with any new experience, driving a truck for the first time can be tricky. Be sure that you choose the right size vehicle, and discuss any concerns you may have with office personnel. They have plenty of experience and will be happy to answer your questions.

We always have a selection of the newest trucks to fit your moving and storage needs.

  • U-Haul trucks are heavy vehicles, especially when fully loaded. It takes longer to stop than a car, so allow at least 4 seconds between you and the vehicle in front of you (allow 5 seconds in adverse weather).
  • Because a truck is longer than your average vehicle, you’ll need more time and distance to pass. Don’t pass on hills or curves.
  • Shift into lower gears when driving uphill to prevent jerking due to engine lugging.
  • Before going downhill, slow down and shift into lower gear to allow the engine to control your speed. Do not ride the breaks on a downgrade.
  • If your truck moves off the paved roadway, don’t panic, don’t make a sharp turn, and don’t apply the brakes. Slow down to below 25 mph, and make your way gradually back to the road.
  • When turning at a sharp corner, drive slightly past the corner or make a wider turn than you would in a car. 
  • Avoid parking on steep inclines. The parking brake may not hold, and the bumper may drag or get stuck. 

Using a Truck Ramp for the First Time

Using a truck ramp for the first time isn’t difficult, but like any first-time experience it can be confusing. The following tips will help you through the process.

  • First, open the rear door of the truck.
  • Push down on the latch that keeps the ramp securely under the truck and pull the ramp out slightly.
  • Use the straps on the end of the ramp to slowly and carefully pull the ramp out until it is fully extended.
  • Set the ramp on the ground gently.
  • Grab both sides of the ramp near the rear of the truck and lift up. You’ll see two hooks. Place these hooks over the slots on the truck deck to secure the ramp in the loading position.

If you’re thinking about towing your car or a trailer. U-Haul has an easily understandable series of videos to help with that.

Whatever your needs, our friendly, knowledgeable staff is always here to help. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and express your concerns. Have a safe trip!

How Self Storage Can Help When the Kids Are Home for the Summer

If this is your first time as a parent with a college kid who has been living in a dorm, you’re in for a love-hate experience. You love that your child is going to be home for the summer because you’ve really missed the patter of their little feet sneaking out when they’re already grounded for sneaking out last week. On the other hand, you hate that your child is bringing home all that junk that they just took with them. 

You’re wondering how time flew by so quickly. This isn’t high school, Momma. College semesters are shorter than you realize. In spite of that brief stopover at school, your child has managed to accumulate a few strange, and maybe scary, items. Many of them will be unfamiliar, and you’re better off not even knowing they exist. 

Unless you want this stuff stored all over your house, these items need to find a temporary home before next semester. You have a problem, and we have a solution – a safe, secure, affordable self storage unit.

Self Storage Saves Your Sanity

You need an actual solution to this problem, not a Band-Aid. Your solution should keep your space just the way it is – full of your own possessions and not tripping over cartons of text books and bags of dirty laundry. It has to be affordable because you’re already paying big bucks for tuition. State-of-the-art security, including electronic gates, perimeter fencing, and 24-hour video monitoring are not optional. Having any of this junk stolen does not fit the plan.

Month-to-month leasing is another necessity. Flexibility is important, and you don’t want to be committed to a long term lease. Location is another factor to consider. The storage facility that you choose should be close to the school and in a safe location.

The following tips will help you find the storage that you need.

The Right Self Storage Facility Should Keep the Possessions Safe and the Student Safe 

As shocking as this might sound, college students don’t always have the best judgment, and cautious behavior is not always a priority. It’s probably a good idea if you help them to choose the right storage facility. 

You want security not only to keep the things safe, but to keep the student safe. Look for a clean, well-lit property that is fully fenced and gated with digital video monitoring and electronic keypad access. Have the manager take you on a tour of the property, and check to see if a tenant protection plan is available.

Look for Layers of Security

  1. A facility in a safe, convenient location
  2. A clean and well-maintained facility
  3. Well lit property
  4. Perimeter fencing
  5. Gates equipped with electronic access 
  6. Twenty-four hour video surveillance
  7. An indoor unit with keypad access
  8. On site and/or resident managers
  9. A disc or cylinder lock that is resistant to tampering
  10. Do Not share gate access code with friends

Be thoughtful when choosing a storage facility, but don’t worry. There are plenty of safe, secure self storage facilities. For more detailed information read, Choose the Right Self Storage Facility.

Ease and Accessibility

You want to be close to the school and in a safe area. Look for 365-day access, with packing supplies, and moving carts and dollies available. Drive-up access and wide aisles can relieve loading and unloading problems. 

Added Amenities

Depending on the items you’re storing and the local environment, you may be interested in climate-controlled storage. Many facilities offer a free truck with move-in, accept deliveries and offer free copy/print/scan services. Check with your manager for details.

Student Discount

Don’t forget to check on available specials, particularly student discount programs. You may even be able to share with another student.

Conclusion

Whatever you decide, your life will be less chaotic with a storage solution. And remember to have a serious conversation with your kids. You don’t want them storing their younger siblings or that roommate that doesn’t believe in personal hygiene. Take a deep breath. Only three??? more years of this. Then…grad school!