What to do When your Rental Truck Breaks Down

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What to Do When Your Rental Truck Breaks Down

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The worst thing has happened at the worst possible time. Your rented moving truck has broken down and you're stranded with all of your belongings in tow. Don't panic, just follow these steps to make the best out of a bad situation.

Get yourself off of the road

Moving and financial concerns notwithstanding, if you are on the road in a stalled vehicle, then you are in some degree of danger. You will want to get off the road as soon as possible, as many stalled vehicles are hit by speeding cars on highways. Even though you are in a large moving truck, it is still not something you would want to experience.

Not only are you in danger, but so are all of your belongings that are packed in the back of the truck. If the rental agency finds damage they deem to have been avoidable, you may be held responsible for paying for any accident damage. If the truck still drives at all, pull off of the road as far as possible. If there isn't much of a shoulder on the road, then you may want to make a call to AAA or any other towing company before you do anything else.

Call the rental company

After you taking care of your safety, the first thing you should do when any piece of rented equipment malfunctions is to contact the owner. You should probably have the rental company's phone number with you. The number may be displayed in the truck itself.

Even if the problem seems temporary and the truck may start again, it is good to report problems to the company to let them know that something went wrong with their product. Letting the rental company know about the problem in a timely matter increases your chances of getting reimbursed on some level.


Usually the rental agency will give you a quick rundown of the truck's functions before you set off with their vehicle.  If you called the agency they will likely try to talk you through any fixable problem before giving up on the truck's viability altogether. Perhaps you can get the truck up and running again with a little work and know-how. Being stranded and needing a new truck is the last resort for everyone, so make sure you really can't drive the truck before requesting a new one or cancelling appointments.

Remember the rental agency's policy

Most moving truck rental agencies have a policy in place to accommodate a breakdown. These vary from company to company so be sure to read what you sign when you rent the truck. You could get a refund and a new truck, or you could have driven off at your own risk without any recourse. Either way, it is good to know how much time and money you will lose if the truck breaks down. If you are covered by the agreement that knowledge should alleviate some of the stress in an otherwise stressful situation.

Call the movers/homeowners whom the delay will affect

It is easy to forget that other people will be affected by your truck breakdown during the panic of the actual the event.
Everything is on a tight schedule when you are moving or selling a home, and the delay caused by a rental truck breakdown can cause significant problems for all parties involved. Let everyone involved in your move know that the day's deadlines will likely not be met as soon as possible to allow for rescheduling of appointments. Parties to inform:
  • Truck rental agency

  • Former homeowners or landlord

  • Family members or loved ones helping with the move

  • Any moving labor help you have hired to unpack

Wait for help

At a certain point, there is nothing else you can do. After calling all the necessary parties, you simply have to wait for a tow truck or another moving vehicle to meet you at the scene of the breakdown.

Be sure to tip the drivers of any vehicle that comes to your rescue in this situation. Be grateful for any help you receive and then start thinking about rescheduling your move for a later time or date.

Moving can be a stressful time and a rented moving truck breaking down can feel like the last thing you need in a vulnerable situation. Remember that it is always good to be flexible and ready to tackle unexpected hurdles when moving. A good attitude and an open mind go a long way towards making moving and crises such as breakdowns more manageable – hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

If you’re concerned with renting a moving truck, you can opt for the full-service option. You can start your search right here at Topmoving.ca by filling out our simple quote form that will get you connected with qualified movers in your area!

Author :

on June 18, 2014

TopMoving.ca - Moving Expert
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