The hassles of renting moving trucks

August 4, 2008 6:03:48 PM PDT
When you move into a new house, do you ever try to do it yourself? Here is a warning if you rent your own truck.

It's a lot to handle when you move. There is packing, lifting and hauling. But what's about driving that truck? That can be a little tricky too.

Most people are used to driving regular sized cars, so what happens if you suddenly find yourself behind the wheel of a moving truck? You are suddenly at the controls of a big heavy bulky truck.

"It's tough. The steering is not that smooth and they don't have a back view mirror so you have to be constantly looking in the side view mirrors," said Mike Zhuang from San Jose. "The truck is very tall so it's not that stable."

Zhuang rented a U-Haul to move into his townhouse in San Jose. But when he pulled into the car port, he felt something happen.

"We realized the top of the U-Haul truck hit the car port a little bit," said Zhuang.

There's not quite enough clearance here for a 10-foot high truck.

"So I came down and looked at the carport hmmm seems nothing's damaged, it's okay. But when I looked at the truck, I think a metal piece on the top just broke," said Zhuang.

But Mike figured no problem.

"Wow actually I bought insurance," said Zhuang. "It's a damage waiver it covers everything."

So he was very surprised when he returned the truck and U-Haul told him the insurance would not pay for damage to the roof.

"They insist it's the customer's responsibility to pay for it," said Zhuang.

7 On Your Side contacted U-Haul and the company showed us a policy that says: "It won't cover damage caused by hitting overhead objects, like trees, overpasses, garages and car ports."

A spokesperson said too many people are not used to driving tall trucks and were not paying enough attention to overhead objects. So the insurance stopped covering roof damage about two years ago.

However, U-Haul says it usually won't make customers pay for damage unless they hit something with a "marked clearance" like this structure, which gives you fair warning about height.

Mike's car port is not marked, and U-Haul agreed to let him off the hook.

"I don't have to pay the $200 damage waiver. That's the good thing about it," said Zhuang.

7 On Your Side checked with other truck rental companies and their policies vary, so if you rent, make sure to look at what the damage waivers will cover. And be sure to look out overhead.


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