Important Guidelines for Ute Drivers

Avoid Trouble and Enjoy Your Ute Hire from S&S

For many of our customers who are auto owners you may have never driven a ute.  While in many cases they handle the same way you should take special care and begin slowly.  Please review these guidelines to make your S&S Ute Hire as pleasant as possible.

overloadtruckssParking, Backing and Loading

  • Make sure to use the parking break whenever your Ute is not being driven.
    For standard transmission, shift transmission into first or reverse gear and firmly set the parking brake. When facing downhill, turn the wheels toward the curb. When facing uphill, turn the wheels away from curb.  Move the shift selector firmly into park and then firmly set the parking brake.
  • Ask someone to watch out when you are backing up. There are blind spots behind any vehicle. Do not rely on mirrors alone. If no help can be found, walk around the rear of the ute and MAKE SURE there are no children, pedestrians or obstructions behind you.

Never Overload your Ute

  • Do not load more weight than the gross vehicle weight rating and the gross axle weight ratings , which are posted on a label inside the driver’s door opening.
  • Never load cargo on the outside of the ute.
  • Load the heaviest items first, in front. Load lightest items last, on the top and to the rear.
  • Pack all items closely and firmly. Secure partial loads with rope, as close to the front of the cargo area as possible.
  • Never load cargo on the outside of the ute.
  • Be sure the cargo door is closed and latched securely.
  • Do not overload

Dealing with Loss of Control and Emergency Situations

  • “Loss of Control” can be improper handling, oversteering or other deviation of the ute from its intended path, due to one or more causes (improper loading, steering inputs, excessive speed, crosswinds, passing vehicles, rough roads, tire blowout, trailer sway or whipping, etc.).
  • If loss of control happens, do not steer or brake. Let off the gas pedal to slow down. Steering or braking during a disturbance can cause a loss of control or crash.
  • If a wheel goes off the paved roadway, do not steer sharply and do not brake. Let off the gas pedal and slow down below 25 mph. Then steer gradually back onto the roadway. Proceed with caution when entering traffic.
    Slow Down
  • AVOID crashes by slowing down. Reduce your speed from what you would normally drive your car under similar road conditions. Drive defensively – anticipate stops, brake early and never follow closely.
  • Before going downhill, slow down and shift the transmission into a lower gear, let off the gas pedal and allow the engine to help you control your speed. Do not ride the brakes on downgrades.
  • Slow down for curves, adverse weather, hazardous road conditions, road construction and expressway exits.

Driver Tips

  • Always wear your seat belt. Be sure children are properly restrained.
  • Rear-facing infant seats should never be placed in the front seat of a ute equipped with a passenger side air bag. A child may be seriously injured if an activated airbag strikes the child restraint.
  • Do not drive when you are fatigued, sleepy or distracted. Avoid driving at night.
  • Never use a cell phone when driving. If you need to use a cell phone, find a safe place to exit the roadway.
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol or any substance that might impair your vision, judgment or ability to control the ute.
  • Never allow passengers to ride in the cargo area or on the ute exterior. Passengers risk injury due to shifting cargo, asphyxiation and lack of collision protection.
  • Exhaust fumes are lethal. Do not operate the engine in a confined area where exhaust fumes could enter through doors or windows. Do not sleep in the ute with the engine running.

 Overhead Clearance

  • Be careful when you transport tall objects that you understand the clearance you need under bridges and overhangs
  • Watch out for drive-through restaurants and motel overhangs, service-station canopies, bridges, balconies, roof eaves, porch awnings, electrical wires and tree limbs.
  • Many overhead obstructions are not posted for clearance.


  • Empty and air out the tanks on lawn mowers, camping stoves and lanterns before loading.

  • Propane tanks must be secured standing upright, with the fuel hose disconnected, valve closed and checked for leaks before transporting.

  • Never fill a portable fuel container IN or ON the ute. Set tanks on the ground to fill to avoid static electricity and prevent sparks.

  • Securely close and properly package household cleaning products.

  • DO NOT transport hazardous materials, corrosives, explosives or flammables.

  • Never leave children or keys unattended in the ute.