The Official Blog of Penske Transportation Solutions

Tips for a Cross-Country Move

Slipping into the driver’s seat of your Penske rental truck, packed with a lifetime of possessions and keepsakes, you pause one last time before starting your cross-county move and think: Am I ready?


Moving can be hard; cross-country moving can be even harder. Navigating the roadway is just one of many considerations when planning a long move.

There is an endless amount of unpredictability when heading out on a long trip. Factors such as traffic, hotels, supplies and breakdowns can add stress to an already stressful time.

Penske is here to make your move as painless as possible by providing some tips to help you experience a safe cross-country move.

Download Travel Apps

  • Hotel
    • After a long day of driving, you will want to rest and fuel up for the next day. With apps like Hotel Tonight, you can find lodging options when you need them. Hotels upload their unsold rooms to these hotel apps, so you can find great deals, even at the last minute.
  • Traffic
    • Avoiding traffic is key when traveling. By downloading a traffic app like Waze, you can circumvent some major delays. Waze uses community-based navigation that allows other drivers to share real-time traffic info, helping you avoid problem areas.
  • Directions
    • There is never a worse feeling than being lost on a back road with no way to use a GPS because you are lacking cell service. To avoid this problem, download an app that uses offline maps, like PocketEarth, before you head out on the road.

Get to Know Your Truck and its Features

  • Before you leave, do a survey of your truck, including the body, tires, fuel level and dashboard for any service lights. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the controls. If you want to take it one step further, take a lap around your neighborhood to get a feel for the wheel before you take off. You can also call your local Penske Truck Rental location with any last-minute questions.

Have a Back-Up Plan

  • Regardless of how much preparation you do, there is still no way to guarantee an incident-free drive. With Penske’s 24/7 Roadside Assistance, your back-up plan is set. Just call 1-800-526-0798 at any time of day, and we will work with our service network to address a vehicle issue.

Know your truck safety

  • When driving a 12- or 24-ft. box truck for the first time, you may feel a little overwhelmed. As you navigate, make sure you keep a safe driving distance, allow larger spaces for wide turns, slowdown 10 mph when the weather gets rough and avoid aggressive or hard breaking.

By taking advantage of these tips and staying alert, you will arrive at your new home with time and energy to spare.

Share your tips for a successful cross-country move in the comments section below.

By Julie Miranto, a member of the 2017 Penske Summer Internship Program