How to stay within the law when loading vans

If you drive a van, there’s a good chance you load and unload it every day.

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Businesses rely on van drivers being able to deliver and collect their goods quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, many of these businesses don’t think about the logistics of the job, the safety of the drivers and their vehicles, and whether the drivers are working within the law.

For van drivers and the companies they work for, getting penalised can be costly. If they’re hurt while on a job and found to be working illegally, the consequences can be even worse as drivers could also face losing their licence and, by extension, their job.

Don’t Overload

Depending on the van and engine size, there are limits on the weight a driver can carry, regardless of whether the van is full. Always check the allowance and the weight of the goods that are being transported.

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Secure Items

Make sure all items are loaded correctly. Any items that are small enough to move around in the event of a sudden stop should be secured. Chapter 8 Chevrons on the outside of the vehicle will also alert other drivers.

Cabin Items

Many van drivers eat and drink on the go. It is illegal to do this while driving. Even if a driver is planning on pulling into a car park, if drinks bottles, flasks and mobile phones are loose in the cabin of the van, they could cause damage during an emergency stop.

Tying Down

Always have spare ratchet ties and use them! If the van doors were to fly open and a heavy item were to fly out, this could cause serious damage and injury. Many Chapter 8 Chevrons offer additional safety features for vans, making them stand out and identifiable as working vehicles. Be sure you have enough ratchet ties and Chapter 8 chevrons for safety.

Guidelines

All insurance details should be up-to-date and a member of staff should be responsible for administering any changes. Failure to inform your insurance company can result in hefty fines and policies not being valid.

Responsible companies should provide all their drivers with manuals and ensure they have had safety training. They should also make sure all vehicle checks are up-to-date and use a trustworthy servicing and repair garage.