Taking care of your rented truck
We understand the last thing you’re thinking of when you pick a rental vehicle is checking it back in. Even so, it’s worth taking time to read through the agreement to understand your obligations. Here are our top tips for taking care of your hire vehicle, preserving your bond and avoid costly penalties.
Getting to know your truck
Because many of our smaller trucks can be driven on a regular driver’s licence it’s important that you spend a few minutes getting to know the vehicle, its capabilities, quirks and safety features. Accidents happen, taking time to familiarise yourself with the vehicle and how it handles can help you to avoid mishaps.
Even a small truck is much larger, heavier, and less manoeuvrable than a car, van or ute. The weight of the vehicle means stopping time and distances are longer especially when loaded. It is important to adjust your speed to compensate. Be alert especially when approaching a junction, traffic lights or changing lanes. Trucks rarely have rear-view mirrors, ensure side mirrors are adjusted to suit the driver and check them often, especially when stopping, turning or changing lanes.
Know the rules
Road rules vary between different states and territories. Make sure you familiarise yourself and comply with the road rules and driving restrictions for your specific location.
Common mistakes not covered by insurance
Wrong Fuel - when you pick up your rental vehicle, check which fuel type is required, this may vary from vehicle to vehicle. You are liable for any damage caused by refuelling with the wrong fuel type
Underbody damage – This type of damage is usually caused by impact with the underbody of the vehicle. This occurs when the vehicle has been driven too fast over traffic calming devices, driven up a steep incline or off road.
Overhead damage – Know the height of the vehicle. Take special care when entering underground car parks, or low clearance areas, watch out for low hanging branches or anything obstructing your path. Never stand or sit on the roof of the vehicle. Overhead damage includes any roof damage and any frontal side or rear damage to the body of the vehicle at or above the level of the top of the windscreen.
Reversing - inexperienced drivers commonly encounter problems when the hire truck is being driven in reverse. Drive slowly, check mirrors often and if possible, ask someone to guide you with hand signals.
Theft – Never leave the vehicle unlocked or with the keys or remote-control device in the vehicle. It is your responsibility to keep the keys or remote-control device secure and under your personal control at all times.
Unsecured load – Failing to properly secure any load or equipment can result in damage to the vehicle and equipment. An insecure load also poses a threat to other road users
Before every journey, conduct a visual check of the vehicle for damage. Make sure lights and indicators are working, that tyres are in good condition and inflated correctly. Check dashboard alerts or indicators for potential issues. Notify Rentco at once if you identify a problem. Before you return the hire vehicle, ensure the fuel tank is full and everything is in good order.