Yep. Yeah. Uh huh. Sure. Oui. Si. There are many different ways to say “yes,” and now U-Haul has introduced yet another way to say “yes” to more and more customers. Recently, U-Haul started offering hand controls on its trucks, and customer Ken Gamble recently became the first person to drive a U-Haul truck using hand controls.
For past moves, Gamble would call U-Haul and ask if the Company offered hand controls, with no luck. But when he was moving from North Carolina to Alabama early in 2017, that answer changed.
“When I asked if U-Haul had hand controls on any trucks, they told me U-Haul was just starting to use them and that I’d be the first one to rent a truck with hand controls,” Gamble related. “I consider it a privilege to be the first one.”
“In the past, we had to tell people with physical limitations that we didn’t have hand controls on our trucks,” noted Customer Service Program Manager Steve Berman. “We’d offer alternatives, such as U-Box containers and Moving Help services, but there are many people who like to maintain their independence and truly have a do-it-yourself move, and we respect that.”
“I definitely feel more independent being able to drive the truck myself,” declared Gamble, who has been in a wheelchair for nearly eight years. “I prefer to do it myself and know that my things are with me at all times.”
How it works
When a customer requests a truck with hand controls, the hand control kit is shipped to a U-Haul repair shop nearest to where the customer will be picking up the equipment. The shop personnel install the hand controls on the requested truck, which is then sent to a U-Haul Store for the customer to pick up. After the rental is completed, the shop uninstalls the hand controls.
“Everything was ready to go when I showed up to get the truck,” Gamble emphasized. “They hooked up the auto transport (AT), I climbed into the driver’s seat and off I went.”
Gamble said using hand controls to drive the 15-foot U-Haul truck, even with an AT behind it, was not much different than driving his personal vehicle. He’s not planning to move again anytime soon, but he’s happy to know that if he does need to move in the future, he can turn to U-Haul.
“I wish U-Haul had this option years ago,” Gamble admitted. “But now that they have hand controls available, it will open them up to even more customers than before.”