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10 Tips for First Time Van Drivers

[ 0 ] 25/10/2012 |

Long before the days of slick power steering and roaring turbo diesel vans got the reputation for being arduous and impractical to drive. The ease of driving a van is now comparable to that of the family car, but the reputation has stuck, and often puts people off renting or buying a van for tasks which require them. That’s where this guide comes in. National van hire provide 10 tips here the will make sure that when you embark on your van hire experience, it will be an enjoyable and stress free one.

Van driving on the road

1) Size is the main thing on most drivers’ minds when they consider hiring a van; the vehicle may be a bit bigger than you’re used to, and so parking and turning will require extra room and careful attention, and the height of the van should also be considered when approaching multi-storey car parks etc.

2) When picking up your van it is important to listen to any instructions they are giving you about the vehicle. Better to pay attention and ask questions now than to be caught in the dark with no clue how to turn the lights on, or worse!

3) The features of a van can be very different than those of your car; the lack of a rear view mirror for example. If this is the case, it is especially important to correctly adjust and make use of your side mirrors. Make sure to be cautious of sudden stops or reductions in speed, and always be conscious of what may be behind you!

4) It may sound simple, but remember to lock the back door before driving off, and make sure you know how to do it properly. All too often the contents of a van will spill out onto the road due to an improperly locked door: don’t let it be you!

5) The last thing you want is your cargo rolling around in the back when taking corners, so make sure it is secured safely. Bungee chords and cable ties can work wonders.

6) Centre the weight in the back of the van; put heavy items down first, and the lighter ones on top. Make sure any especially heavy items are placed on the floor in the centre of your van and are secure from moving around. This will ensure a low centre of gravity to keep your van stable.

7) Wearing a seatbelt is an essential. They’re there for a reason, and might just save your life.

8) Be over cautious. If you aren’t sure if you can change lanes or pull out safely on a busy road, then don’t. A van is less responsive than a car, so you can’t get away with as much!

9) Check tire pressures. Remember that your van needs a higher tire pressure than a car due to the weight of the load, so check the manufacturer’s instruction, or ask your dealer for the recommended pressures, and always check pressures before beginning a journey.

10) Use common sense! This is the most important tip – if it doesn’t seem sensible, it probably isn’t!

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Category: Van Hire

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