Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Get to the Site Safely – Tips for Safe Van Driving


by Nicola Crozier
safe van training Get to the Site Safely   Tips for Safe Van Driving
As anyone in the building and construction industry is aware, hauling all of your essential tools and materials around requires some form of van. Filling the family car with muddy work boots, brick dust and screws won’t go down well with the rest of the family, so you need your own dedicated van, but as any man with a van can testify, driving a van filled with heavy objects presents a number of issues.
Unlike driving a normal family car, the driver needs to consider various factors before setting off to make the drive to the location as simple as possible. Here are just four factors that need taking into account:
The Contents
First and foremost, you need to consider that some of the contents may be fragile. You don’t want to be throwing your van around a bend – like you would your normal car – only to hear the dreaded sound of everything in the back falling over and getting damaged, leaving you unable to do your work and earn your money, a nightmare for any self-employed builder. By giving yourself plenty of time to reach your location on time, you shouldn’t have to rush anywhere.
The Essentials
Ensuring that you have everything you need for all eventualities in your van will make sure that you’re covered for anything that may happen. You should have a high-visibility jacket for working on a site anyway, so ensuring you have one in the van is a must as it means you’re likely to be visible to road users if your van breaks down – a multi-purpose essential in that respect. By taking only the things you need for that particular job, you aren’t carrying around any additional weight which makes maneouvering the van more difficult, and also uses more fuel, so it actually saves money too.
Balance
Spread the load of the items in the back to make driving simpler. If everything is piled on one side, you’ll find that the handling of the vehicle is compromised. Similarly if all of the heavy items are at one end, you’ll find it more difficult to pull away or stop. Placing a significant amount of the load around the wheel arches could cause them to drag on the tires, potentially damaging them and even causing a puncture so make sure that you avoid overloading these areas, but placing the goods in different corners is a good idea as it really does spread the weight across the chassis.
Momentum
With more weight on board courtesy of all of the necessary tools, it does take more engine power to build up speed, but most importantly it takes a lot more braking effort to stop it. Give yourself a much greater distance between yourself and the vehicle in front to ensure that you have as much time as possible to stop.

About the Contributor

This article was written by Nicola Crozier, a freelance writer currently working with uShip. Nicola has written about a variety of topics, ranging from vehicle safety tips to home removals.

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