Rented Your Own Truck for the Move? Here’s how to park a moving truck safely!
So you’ve decided to do your big move all on your own. Or maybe you’re moving from Boston to Manhattan and you’ve decided to drive the truck yourself, but will hire labor to load and unload the truck at either end of the move. Great! But no matter how much driving experience you might have, you don’t necessarily know how to park a moving truck — that’s a different animal entirely.
First of all, there’s the height, the lack of a rear-view mirror, and, for the extra fancy, there is no back-up camera — in case that’s an accommodation to which you’re accustomed. So here are few tips to consider when trying to figure out how to park a moving truck:
Step 1: Permits & Legalese
If you’re moving in Cambridge, Boston, Brookline, or Somerville, your best bet is to acquire moving permits for your truck. That way, you’ll have a spot for your truck that’s not only safe and legal, but you can be sure that you have enough enough space for the entire vehicle.
If you don’t have permits, you still want to be sure to park in a legal and safe spot. That means not parking in handicapped spaces or blocking off fire hydrants, and making sure that you’re not blocking traffic.
Generally, if a moving truck’s presence on a street or an alley is enough to bottleneck it, it’s almost certainly a private road. If that’s the case, make sure the owner or any residents you might be affecting are aware of your move so that you don’t run into any trouble on moving day.
Step 2: Know where the Finish Line is
Is the majority of the stuff you’re moving coming out of the front door? Then you’ll want the back of the truck as close to the front door as possible. If it’s a two-way street, be sure to park on the same side of the street as the unit. This may seem obvious, but the stress of moving day can cloud some people’s thinking. Crossing a heavily trafficked street with your precious belongings is not something you want you or your movers to do.
Additionally, you’ll want to be sure that the back of the truck and the exit/entry point of the move are as close together as possible. A few feet may not seem like much, but if you multiply the extra distance by the number of trips you’ll be making, you can begin to see the bigger picture.
So, when you’re driving without a proper rear-view mirror, how will you know when you’re in the right spot? Well, that brings us to . . .
Step 3: Eyes, Ears, Hands, and Feet
Unless you’re moving all by yourself (which we do not recommend), you should have at least one person with you. You and that person should work out an easy hand signal system. Your lookout person can give you these signs by standing on the street, at the rear driver’s side of the truck. You should only need six signs — forward, back, stop, left, right, straight. (For “Stop!” we usually just bang on the side of the truck as hard as we can with our hands.)
With these six signs you should be able to maneuver into any space. And if things get really dicey, the lookout person can tell you to stop and walk up to the driver’s side window and you can go over the plan again. (A third person can be helpful by stopping traffic while this process is going on. If there are only two of you, the lookout person should be doing both jobs.)
Once you’ve worked out a system, you’re ready to park. But remember — the lookout person is simply a guide. You should know exactly where you want to go. Use your mirrors and drive slowly.
Step 4: How to Park a Moving Truck
Let’s say there’s an opening next to the sidewalk on the right-hand side of a two-way street. Cars are parked in front and in back of the opening, but it’s wide enough for the truck — you can easily measure this by pulling up directly parallel to the opening and eyeballing whether or not you have enough room.
Pull up straight, all the way in front of the of opening. Your passenger’s back tire should be parallel to the first car in front of the opening. Once you’ve reached that point, slowly back up, staying perfectly straight, until your passenger’s side back tire has just barely passed the first car in front of your parking space. (The entire truck turns on the back tire.)
Once your back passenger’s tire is past that car, cut the steering wheel all the way to the right. You should be fully clear of the cars in front of the space at this point. As your back passenger’s side tire approaches the curb, slowly straighten out the steering wheel, watching your helper to make sure you don’t hit anything behind you.
It’s your job to watch the car in front of you, so be sure you’re nowhere close to it — which, you shouldn’t be if you’ve turned into the spot properly.
As long as you’re not hitting any cars, pedestrians, or real estate, you should be okay to back up all the way until you rear passenger’s wheel touches the curb (remember, it’s a rental so this is okay). Once that happens, if you have enough room, straighten out and back up (or, if necessary, you can cut the wheel in the opposite direction). Watch your helper in your driver’s side mirror.
Step 5: Safety First!
Once you’re in between the other cars, you’re golden. Just pull up or back up straight until your helper tells you that you’re in the best possible spot for the move. And Voila. That’s how to park a moving truck.
Now that you’ve safely parked the parked your moving truck, check your surroundings for any potential issues. Can traffic safely pass the truck as it’s parked? If not, be sure you or someone whose driving you trust is always near the truck with easy access to the key. This way, if it needs to be moved for any reason, you can do so.
Additionally, if you are poking out into the street at all, it’s best to keep your hazard lights on so that passing drivers know that active loading is going on. Same with any blocked driveways.
As long as you have room enough to get out when you need to, and a safe walk from the truck to the door of the place your moving out of, you’ll be good to go!
Ready for a quote for your move? Get in touch and we’ll send out a quote today!
Featured photo via Safe Responsible Movers
Safe Responsible Movers – How to Park a Moving Truck – Boston Movers