When moving, you may want to do it all yourself. But that often means renting a moving truck to transport your larger belongings.
Before you rent a U-Haul, you should consider how much the company tracks your activity.
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Does a U-Haul Have a Tracking Device?
Some U-Haul trucks have a tracking device, while others don’t. The answer varies between U-Haul centers as some independent dealers will include a tracking device. However, the vast majority of U-Haul trucks don’t have any GPS or other tracker.
When you rent a U-Haul, the company trusts you with the equipment. That means you need to be extra careful to maintain the truck and return it on time.
Why Do Only Some U-Hauls Have Tracking Devices?
Whether or not a U-Haul has a tracking device depends on the dealer. Independent U-Haul dealers may choose to install tracking devices in their trucks. That way, they can figure out where vehicles are if customers don’t return them on time.
However, most U-Hauls that you’ll come across won’t have a tracker. If you’re interested in one, you can call the U-Haul center to ask if they have vehicles with GPS trackers.
That can provide you some peace of mind to know that the company will track the vehicle. But it can also be disconcerting to know that the dealer is tracking your movement.
Can You Use a GPS to Track Your U-Haul?
You can put a GPS device in your truck, which is nice if you’ll have a friend drive it for you. A GPS is also useful if you have a long-distance move and will park the truck overnight. If something happens, you’ll be able to catch the thief.
Since it’s a rental, you can’t install anything in the truck. However, you can find a safe place in the cab or the truck bed where you can place a GPS or phone.
That way, a thief won’t be able to tell if there’s a GPS tracker or not. If the tracker is easy to find, they may throw it out. Then, it will become even harder to find the U-Haul.
How to Keep Thieves From Taking Your U-Haul
Fortunately, you can take a few steps to keep thieves from stealing your U-Haul. When renting, you need to be extra careful. Unless you have extra insurance, you may be responsible for replacing the truck.
Now, you may not be able to fully prevent theft. But you can make stealing the truck harder or less desirable.
Here are some things to consider to reduce the risk that someone will take your truck.
Add Your Own GPS
As mentioned, you can add your own GPS to the moving truck if U-Haul hasn’t installed anything. You can use something specific like a GPS device.
However, you might want to use an extra cell phone that has a good data connection. As long as you don’t need to have the device, stick it somewhere safe in the truck.
That way, you won’t lose it if someone steals the truck. But you can add the device to your Find Friends account or another location tracking app to figure out where the device is. Of course, don’t forget to remove the device when you return the U-Haul.
Park in Lit Areas
When you need to park the U-Haul, especially at night, find a spot with plenty of lighting. If possible, you may also want to park near security cameras. That way, you can deter thieves who don’t want to get caught on video in good lighting.
Parking in a well-lit place can also help witnesses see a potential thief. The potential thief may not want to steal a vehicle if they think someone will identify them.
You can also park in a way that will be hard to get out, such as by not backing into a spot to make it harder for the thief to leave. Of course, people still may attempt to steal the U-Haul. However, parking strategically may deter some people.
Hide Your Valuables
When you need to stop somewhere, hide your valuables or remove them from the truck. If someone sees an expensive item on the front seat, they may be more likely to break into the U-Haul.
Maybe they don’t want to steal the truck, but they can still try to get what’s inside. If you leave the cab empty, you can reduce the chance that someone will try to break into it.
Of course, you should also avoid leaving the keys inside. Even if you think you’ll only be gone for a second, a lot can happen in that time. Plus, you may have to wait longer, which gives thieves more of a chance to take your U-Haul.
Lock the Truck
Locking the truck is an obvious tip, but it’s worth stating. Don’t underestimate what locking the U-Haul can do for you. Sometimes, a person may try to open the door, and they can get inside if you don’t lock it.
When you lock the U-Haul, be sure to keep the key with you. If you’re locking the U-Haul while you stay at a hotel, keep the key somewhere safe while you sleep. Avoid putting the key in view in case someone breaks into your hotel room.
Buy a Lock
You may also want to buy a lock to secure the truck bed. U-Haul sells padlocks that come with keys so that you can keep your belongings safe.
While you can easily lock the cab with the U-Haul key, your items can still be vulnerable to thieves. If you need to stop somewhere for a while, a lock is crucial. That way, you can ensure all of your items will remain inside.
A lock is particularly useful for long-distance moves that involve an overnight stay somewhere. You may not want to unload everything into a hotel only to load the truck in the morning.
When renting a U-Haul, you have the option of purchasing damage protection. This can help protect you if the truck gets into an accident.
However, damage protection also covers you if someone steals the truck. As long as the theft didn’t happen because you were negligent, you may not need to pay for the damage or replacement.
Now, that does mean you’ll need to be careful to lock the truck and park it in a safe place. If you don’t, U-Haul may still charge you to replace the truck.
Another thing to consider is to figure out when you really need to stop during your move. The more often you stop, even if it’s just at a gas station, the more chances someone will have to steal your U-Haul.
Try not to stay overnight for more than a night or two. When driving, use the restroom before you hit the road, and have plenty of water and some easy snacks to eat while you drive. That way, you won’t have to stop every hour for food or a bathroom break.
Does U-Haul Track Trucks?
U-Haul doesn’t usually have tracking devices in its trucks, though there are exceptions. Either way, you can do things to protect and track the truck yourself. Consider hiding a GPS somewhere, lock the truck, and invest in damage protection. That way, you can minimize the risk of theft and having to cover the cost of a theft.