I needed to rent a U-Haul box truck earlier this month and took the opportunity to shoot a video that demonstrates how reduce expenses. Needless to say, U-Haul trucks can be gas guzzling beasts (despite what their advertisements say). The video covers a a combination of fuel economy improvement techniques and other tactics. The truck shown in the video is a 10 foot GMC box truck.
I would have preferred to rent a high roof Ford Transit, but U-Haul only had standard roof versions on their lot. The Transit should be more fuel efficient than an old school box truck. Enterprise rents Transits, but none were available locally, so I was stuck with the little U-Haul Box truck.
If you need moving blankets, they will cost you $5 a bundle or more. U-Haul will charge you a hefty fee if the blankets are not folded and the cargo box isn’t swept out when you return it. Be sure to sweep up and fold those blankets! Supplying your own blankets can save a whopping five bucks, but how many folks have a stack of old blankets hanging around?
U-Haul requires that the gas tank is filled before return, but I have a hunch that the person that used the truck before me did not bother to fill the tank – or under-filled it. I spent $8.64 on regular gasoline at Raceway, but couldn’t get an accurate read on the exact gas mileage. It was somewhere around ten miles per gallon (MPG).
I always use Fuelly.com to track the gas mileage on Slambo (my project car) and Gas Buddy to find the cheapest gas on route. A twenty gallon fill would have cost six dollars more at the station across the street. If you go out of your way to find cheap gas when driving a U-Haul with a per-mile charge, you’ll likely lose money.
Gasoline prices may be cheap now, but they won’t stay that way forever. These tactics can help you save a significant amount of cash.
– by Daniel Gray