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Book by Ronald J. Watkins: Birthright: Murder, Greed and Power in the U-Haul Family DynastyBirthright: Murder, Greed, and Power in the U-Haul Family Dynasty by Ronald J. Watkins

During this move, the engine in their U-Haul truck caught on fire and their entire cargo burned to a crisp.

Where was U-Haul during all this?
See this at YouTube.
U=Haul's safety pamphletHave you seen this pamplet?

News reports say that out of 14 different rental locations they visited, only one attendant offered it as part of U-Haul's safety precautions.

Who's accountable?
Contact U-Haul CEO Joe Shoen at (602) 390-6525 and see if you can find out.

Consumer Tips

"I can only draw one conclusion, they [U-Haul] have systematically chosen to allow a shoddy safety record to be part of their business plan." —Brian Patterson, CEO Ontario Safety League


Before You Rent

  • All do-it-yourself rental companies are not equal when it comes to safety. Check out available safety comparison statistics under Problems at-a-glance.


When Renting

  • Ask for written safety guidelines for the vehicle you’re renting, then read them.
  • Know your abilities. Most people are not trained to drive a large truck, for instance. Ask the rental dealer to do an on-road safety check with you. Consider hiring movers if you’re not completely comfortable with handling a large vehicle or towing a trailer.
  • If you’re planning on renting a trailer, first consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual to find its recommended towing capacity and stay within it.
  • Before you take the vehicle off the lot, inspect it.
  • Refuse a vehicle with more than 100,000 miles or older than three years.
  • Check that all exterior and brake lights are working. If not, check to make sure the electrical cable is properly connected.
  • Be sure the coupler or ball socket from the trailer fits properly over the ball mount of the towing vehicle.
  • Always connect the trailer's safety chains securely to the trailer hitch or tow vehicle by crossing them underneath the coupler.
  • Check the tires. Put a penny in between the treads. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, the tread is too worn to ride on.
  • Look underneath the vehicle for dangling or loose parts.
  • Drive the vehicle a few blocks and test the brakes.



  • When loading a trailer, put most of the weight—at least 60% of it—toward the front
  • Use tie-downs to keep contents from shifting.


Towing or Driving

  • When you pull a trailer, you have to drive differently. For example, if the trailer starts swaying, do not slam on the brakes. Instead, lift the foot off the gas and maintain steady control until you can come to a complete stop and investigate the cause of the sway.
  • SLOW DOWN while towing a trailer. Avoid making any sudden stops.
  • Allow for extra time when switching lanes, stopping, or passing other vehicles.
  • Crosswinds and winds from passing trucks can affect towing. If this happens, take your foot off the gas and maintain steady control until swaying stops.

For good, detailed information about towing a trailer, download this safety pamphlet from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

LA Times Tips for Towing

Do you have other tips? Submit them through the Tell Us Your Story form.


Contact U-Haul

U-Haul Customer Complaint Form: https://www.uhaul.com/customer/feedback/action_form.aspx