It’s that time of the year again where moving van rentals peak. Take a look at the beautiful specimen above. Looks pretty sporty with that swoopy orange swipe, right? I can assure you it is as sporty as a brick on Jello. After driving one of these beasts I feel for truck drivers an others that have to rent a moving van.
First of all, not having a rear-view mirror dead-center in the windshield and the view of metal when turning your head around is a bit discomforting. You MUST rely on the mirrors to see behind you. Thankfully, this van has four mirrors: the two standard rear-view mirrors and two blind-spot mirrors right below the regular mirrors. When adjusted correctly, you have a very good panoramic view of what’s going on behind you. From what I’ve realized, people just love to hang in that blind spot. I would not see them in the regular mirrors, but the blind-spot mirror would reveal them. I’m pretty sure others that rent these vans never adjust the mirrors correctly to see people hiding in the blind spot. Now imagine the people renting the bigger vans. Normally, one would need a commercial driver’s license to drive such a large van, but the companies rent them out to anybody with a regular driver’s license. That means someone who’s accustomed to driving a Honda Civic is able to drive a truck the size of a house. The amount of training of driving the truck can be measured in minutes. That is a good reason to avoid driving near a moving van!
While the van I had is the smallest van that most places will rent, it is still the biggest vehicle I’ve ever driven. The brake pedal can be described as stepping on a wet sponge. I swear, there was absolutely no braking at all until the pedal was half-way down. The acceleration was actually pretty good, even when loaded. It’s no race car, but it lumbered up to speed decently like every other V8 I’ve driven. It was fine and dandy until driving it on the freeway. It struggles to do 65 MPH and combined with the SneezeGuard™ steering and shaky vibration, it was not a very pleasant ride. I also had to have an exit strategy at all times. That means always keeping track of what cars are around me by checking the mirrors constantly and trying not to tailgate as if I panic-stopped I would probably end up stopping ten feet in front of the car I’m following. It was kind of nice to sit up higher than most trucks and SUVs though. That gave me some sort of advantage to look farther down the road.
If you ever have to drive a moving van, I’ll feel for you. Take precautions and stay safe! And avoid being around other moving vans like the plague!