U-Haul Safe Trailering: Imparting Driving Skills for Life

U-Haul® strives to give back to the communities we serve. Above all, this includes employing initiatives that promote safety on our roadways. 

One of those initiatives is participation in the Ford® Driving Skills for Life Program. Established in 2003 by the Ford Motor Company Fund, the Governors Highway Safety Association and a panel of safety experts, the program teaches teens the skills for safe driving beyond what they learn in standard driver education programs.

Millions of U-Haul trucks and trailers are on North American roadways every year. So it’s easy to see why U-Haul Safe Trailering® is important topic to cover.

“It’s been a great being involved with the Ford Driving Skills for Life Program. They share our desire to educate drivers to be more aware and safer,” stated Lindsay, Pobieglo, U-Haul Community Education manager. “Similarly, the Marco Garcia Trailer Demonstrator (MGTD) is an invaluable tool in helping to achieve that overall objective.”

Shared Goals 

At Ford Driving Skills for Life events, Ford representatives assist the young attendees in behind-the-wheel exercises. They range from learning how to recover from skids to distracted driver education. U-Haul participation in the program’s 2019 global tour focuses on the MGTD.

This participation is also part in the Ford’s Driving Skills for Life newsletter. U-Haul Assistant Director of Engineering Services and MGTD designer Marco Garcia discussed the shared safety goals.

“By teaching (teens) at a young age, we are hoping they will keep these important safety guidelines in mind as they begin their journey,” Garcia noted to the newsletter. “We also hope that those who are familiar with U-Haul Safe Trailering will be careful out on the road. Leave extra space between your vehicle and the trailer of those who are not practicing safe trailering.”

Teaching with the MGTD 

Sara Green, executive assistant with U-Haul Company of Ohio, and fellow Team Members represented U-Haul at an event in Columbus. She saw that parents took as much interest in the MGTD as the teens did.

Chris Arndt, GM of U-Haul Moving and Storage of Northland in Columbus, Ohio, gives a safe trailering demonstration.

“The parents liked the MGTD because many of them had to load a trailer in the past,” Green explained. “Similarly, students who will soon be heading off to college also took an interest. Many of them will have to load a trailer for the first time in their lives before they leave. They quickly learned that you just can’t hook it up and go.”

“The young drivers found the MGTD very engaging,” added field relief manager Paul Chalmers, who represented U-Haul Company of Hamilton at a Ford event in Niagara Falls, Ont., the first such event held in Canada. “Even the instructors were shocked by what happens when you don’t load a trailer properly.”

Safety Comes First

U-Haul Team Members also touched on other road safety topics.

Cars set up at a recent Ford Driving Skills for Life event in Niagara Falls, Ontario — the first one ever held in Canada. 

“We had an area field manager rig to give those in attendance a demonstration on how to property hook up a trailer,” stated senior clerk Madison McClure, who similarly represented U-Haul Company of Memphis at a recent event in Frayser, Tenn. “It was amazing how many of the parents did not know how to properly hook up a trailer. So it was great to not only educate young drivers, but their parents, too.”

“Bringing safety awareness to new drivers is very important to me. It’s a moral obligation,” stated Clarence Vicent III, marketing company president for U-Haul Company of Detroit, who helped at an event in Bruce Township, Mich. “The more information we can get out into the community, the safer our roads will be.”

Chalmers also mentioned a secondary reason for U-Haul to attend these events.

“It’s a great opportunity to get out in the community and get your name out there,” Chalmers said. “This helps us let the community know that they can come in and get a hitch, share U-Haul equipment or get whatever else they might need.”

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