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Penske truck in snow

Navigate Your Winter Do-It-Yourself Move

Snowflakes falling on trees often create picture-postcard winterscapes, but snow and ice-covered roadways can also make driving hazardous for Penske Truck Rental's do-it-yourself movers.

In a winter season that has gripped most of the country, packing a healthy dose of preparation before you start your move is even more crucial.

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

Central Reservation's Moving Advisors are trained to offer winter driving safety tips for renters whose moves take them into areas experiencing winter weather. We have assembled some of their suggestions.

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.

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 kit. 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.

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 "Move Ahead" Staff