What to Do if Your Rental Truck Breaks Down

shutterstock_164665877-300x200 What to Do if Your Rental Truck Breaks Down


One of the great benefits to hiring professional movers is that you never have to worry about your rental truck breaking down. Obviously, the truck the movers are using can break down, but you will not have to deal with it. You won’t be the one pulled over on the side of the road in the hot summer or frigid winter temperatures. They will likely have the truck towed and transfer everything to a different truck. If you are planning a self-move, have you considered what you will do if your truck breaks down? Will the moving company bring you another truck? If yes, who will help you transfer everything inside? Do you have the truck towed? If so, what happens to your belongings?

Choose a Company Wisely

There is a lot of moving truck rentals to choose from, so you can typically be a little picky when selecting one. It is important to find out when the truck you are renting was last serviced. If they cannot pull this simple information up in the computer find someone who can. Do not assume that a big name company will automatically have well-cared for trucks. Many facilities are actually franchises and therefore responsible for their own maintenance. If you go to drive the truck out of the parking lot and it is sputtering and you just have a feeling something is not quite right, request another. Make sure you have answers to all your important questions before leaving.

Review the Contract

You may need a microscope, but somewhere in fine print on the contract you should find instructions regarding how to handle a truck that breaks down. If you cannot find it, ask the salesperson to point it out for you. Are you fully comfortable with the terms listed? If you signed a contract and are preparing to leave you should be extremely comfortable with what you have read. Some companies require customers to pay for repairs and some may expect you to pay, but reimburse you later. This is another reason why hiring professionals is recommended.

Be Safe

Always pull off the road. It should be common sense to not leave the truck in the middle of the road in traffic, but you may be surprised at what some people do. Not sure if something is really wrong? Pull over anyway. If you notice the temperature gauge is high, do not wait until it is in the red and you have a “Check Engine” light blinking at you to get off the road.

If you have to leave the vehicle for whatever reason, make sure it is locked. It should be left in a well-lit area to deter theft, if it is dark out.

Call the Rental Company

If you read your contract earlier then you should already know what to do next. If the contract says you are responsible then you will need to call a tow truck and find the closest mechanic to work on it. If the rental company handles everything then you will need to call your service rep so he can arrange for a tow and /or send a replacement truck for you. At this point, you may need to start calling and bribing people to come out to your location to help you move everything to the other truck.

  • Read the small print and ask lots of questions, there are lots of rental truck companies, find the one that answers all of your questions and you fell good about. It is a known fact that rental trucks will break down, the question is not if, it is when. Don’t be the one left on the side of the road not knowing what to do. Moving companies can take care of everything or as much as you would like them to, keep the stress away and make your moving experience a pleasant one.

  • Great article, big does not always mean the best. Do your homework and read all the small print.

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  • Good post. Here in Auckland you are often covered by the truck hire company, depending on the company, for breakdowns etc. I find that smaller companies are often better for this sort of thing. Like others have said, do your research!