Large trucks can be quite intimidating, but they’re unavoidable when it comes to moving. The size of a vehicle might scare you, but no matter how big or small, it’s just driving. Even if it seems easier said than done, driving a 26-foot moving truck isn’t as hard as it appears. It just requires a bit more attention and cares when you’re at the wheel.
It is not hard to drive a 26-foot moving truck. It’s definitely different than driving a smaller vehicle and more technical to maneuver through traffic. However, if the driver stays cautious and aware of making turns, height clearances, and checking mirrors, it won’t be too difficult.
Keep reading to learn what you need to know when driving a 26-foot moving truck.
How Difficult is Driving a 26-Foot Moving Truck?
As long as you have experience driving, driving a 26-foot moving truck shouldn’t be too hard. Some people say that if you know how to drive a truck, it’s easy. But it’s safe to say that those with enough experience driving cars will most likely be fine. If you don’t have very much experience driving, especially driving large vehicles, it’s best if you have someone else drive this large vehicle.
The main concern when driving a 26-foot moving truck is that it requires constant attention. You must keep your focus on the road and be aware of your surroundings to avoid hitting anything, including other cars.
What are the Dimensions of a 26-foot Moving Truck?
Let’s start with the dimensions of these trucks. A 26-foot moving truck is 26′ x 8’1″ x 8’1″ (LxWxH) and weighs 26,000 GVW, which gives it a Class 6 gross vehicle weight rating. It consists of about 1,700 cubic feet of cargo space and can carry up to 10,000 lbs. at once.
How to Make Turns in a 26-Foot Moving Truck
Making turns in a 26-foot moving truck is very different than making turns in a smaller car, so it’s crucial you get it right. Once you start turning, be sure you have enough space to turn without hitting the curb or cars that are passing you. When initiating the turn, use your mirrors to be positive you’re all clear.
This same guideline goes if you have a trailer attached to the truck, which will add about 12 more feet depending on the length of the extra trailer. Make sure you always are leaving enough room for the truck when turning and merging lanes.
It’s possible for you to hit the curb at first, but don’t be discouraged. You’re just getting closer to the perfect turn.
Space is the ultimate rule of thumb with this. It’s a good idea to drive more than a car’s length between you and other vehicles so you can have enough time to turn and stop. Another important tip is to avoid tailgating or trying to pass cars on curves, hills, or narrow roads.
Watch for Height Clearances
The clearance height of a moving truck is about 13 feet and 6 inches. It’s important to know this before you start driving and keep it in mind throughout your drive just in case you encounter bridges, overpasses, tunnels, and more.
When on the road, fast food is one of the simplest yet most convenient options for eating. Something that people often forget is the height clearance for drive-thru’s. It’s best just to park the truck outside and then go inside the restaurant to get your food when driving such a large truck.
Rules for truck rental height:
- The DOT requires a minimum height clearance between 14′-16′ on major roads and interstates. You won’t have to worry unless you’re going to a rural or historical area.
- If a bridge or tunnel has too low of clearance, there is usually a sign that warns you and tells you where to exit and a different way to go.
- If you aren’t certain that you have enough clearance, don’t risk it. You should stop your truck and decide if it will fit or find an alternative route.
Heights that aren’t regulated and you could come across:
- Fast food drive thru’s
- Bank and ATM drive thru’s
- Building awnings
- Parking Garages
- Gas station canopies
- Motel overhangs
- Tree limbs
Related Article: What Is The Height Of A Box Truck
Checking Your Mirrors
26-foot moving trucks have rear-view mirrors that are not centered above the dashboard like they are in normal cars. There are also blind spots behind the truck, so you have to rely on the side-view mirrors, even while turning. You don’t always need to check your rear-view mirror, but you should always check the side ones.
Make sure you familiarize yourself with the mirror placement on the truck before you start driving. This is critical because these trucks need more space than normal cars while turning, especially right turns. Before driving, adjust your mirrors and give yourself the best point of view.
Other Helpful Tips for Driving a 26-Foot Moving Truck
To ensure that you are aware and cautious of everything necessary for your safety, here are some more helpful tips and information to keep in mind while driving a 26-foot moving truck.
Control Your Speed
You must remember that you’re driving a truck full of your belongings, including fragile, durable, and large items. This truck weighs a lot more than what you’re used to driving, so it needs more time to stop and accelerate. Be sure to drive at a careful speed at all times to keep you and your belongings safe. Follow the traffic lights, signs, and speed limits, be cautious at intersections, and check both ways multiple times before crossing streets.
Avoid Tight Parking Spaces
A difficult aspect of driving a large vehicle like this is parking it. Try to find a leveled parking spot that has a clear course to an exit, and be apprehensive of any trees or things that involve clearance. You should find a spot that has plenty of room between you and other cars, avoid tight spots, and avoid parking in a spot that requires you to back up.
Be patient while on the road. Drive slower than all the other cars, and if people are mad, don’t try to speed up. They will go around you when they have a chance.
Set the Parking Brake
After you’ve parked your truck, you should always set the parking brake. Since you’re carrying a heavy load, this will keep the truck from going anywhere. All you have to do is pull the parking brake handle until it locks into a vertical position and then adjust the shift selector into the park.