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Tips to Help You Navigate Your Winter Move

Planning a move can be a stressful time in any season, but winter offers its own set of unique challenges for Penske Truck Rental’s household movers.


Bitter, biting winds coupled with frigid temperatures and blowing snow can make navigating roadways a challenge.

With your safety in mind, Penske Truck Rental has assembled a few winter driving safety tips to keep you and your loved ones safe in the event of winter weather.

One of the first major hurdles is adjusting to the difference in driving a rental truck compared to another type of vehicle such as cars. Trucks take longer to stop and are not as low to the ground as personal vehicles.

“We want our customers to have the safest move possible, so it is important to keep in mind the size of the rental truck,” said Jeff Werner, director of rental contact centers for Penske Truck Rental. “The rental trucks are larger and heavier than our customers' everyday vehicle.”

Central Reservation’s Moving Advisors are trained to offer winter driving safety tips for renters whose moves takes them into areas experiencing winter weather.

When you slide into the driver’s seat, make sure to take a few minutes to let the truck warm up before starting your journey.

Before you leave:

  • Check weather sources before your move to help you plan out your trip. When traveling, listen to local radio stations for the forecast.
  • Make sure you have a snowbrush and ice scraper in your truck during your move to remove snow and ice from all windows, lights, hood and roof.
  • Stock your vehicle with basic supplies like warm clothing, blankets, flashlights, extra food, bottled water, road flares and a first-aid kid. Sunglasses help cut glare from snow.

Movers traveling through mountain passes or northern states may be required to have tire chains available in the event of a snow or ice storm, so it is a good idea to have them on hand.

“We do not reimburse customers for the tire chains, but we will make them aware if they are traveling through some of the mountain passes that require them,” said Tara Reinhart, assistant manager of training in Penske’s Central Reservations department.

While driving:

  • Leave extra room between the truck and the vehicle in front of you. Trucks require even more time and room to stop in bad weather.
  • Don't force too much power on the drive wheels; this can cause you to lose traction when driving in the snow and result in a side skid.
  • Use extra caution when traveling across bridges and overpasses. They freeze before the road.

There are also special considerations you should take when driving a diesel-powered truck in cold weather.

You should always park your truck out of the wind and remember to turn off all lights to allow batteries to maintain a full charge. Cold weather decreases the battery output.

In the unlikely event of an equipment malfunction, Penske 24/7 Roadside Assistance is available to help.

It’s not too late to plan your winter move. Penske Truck Rental offers free unlimited miles on all one-way truck rentals, discounts for AAA members, college students and members of the military as well as packing supplies and 24/7 roadside assistance. Are you ready to make a reservation? Visit the Penske Truck Rental website for more information.

By Bernie Mixon