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Driving van? Look at the important checks for van loading and securing

If you are a van fleet driver or drive a van for your own business, you should consider some of the safety and legal checks of weight loading and securing on your vehicle.

Let’s see vehicle loading and securing checks here -

Weight limits

  • First of all, check for the legal weight limits of your van which you can find in your manual book or with the vehicle identification number (VIN) plate in your van.
  • Do not forget that the gross weight is total combined weight of vehicle, driver, passengers, fuel and the load you are carrying.
Gross weight = Combined weight of (vehicle driver passengers fuel the load you are carrying)

Overweight? How would I check the vehicle’s weight?

overweight van loadingThe Government are offering free vehicle weight check at a local weighbridge centre which you can find here - https://www.gov.uk/find-weighbridge

Some of the new commercial vehicles notifies you on dashboard if you have overloaded the vehicle.

Here is a helpful video showing you how to stay within the weight limits and not overload it when you are driving.

Please note – Vehicle overloading can seriously affects on the vehicle performance and safety, too.

Weight securing

  • Once you load the vehicle, it is important to secure the load with appropriate securing systems. The load securing systems you use should be appropriate for the loads and the vehicles being used and carried.
  • The most common securing items are webbing straps or chains but they are not necessarily right for every load.
  • Whether you, any other person or company are responsible for loading vehicles its important should make sure the loaded vehicles remain in safe condition during- loading, transit and unloading.
  • Some companies provide training of loading and securing before appointing new drivers.

Look at the video below which shows the roles and responsibilities of load securing -

Proper and safe load securing is one of the important things to carry out because poor load securing can cause death or serious injury and prosecution.

This is one example of how the DVSA deals with load securing under the Road Traffic Act 188 and road vehicles regulations 1986.

Over loading your weight could be a disadvantage for your business, especially if your vehicle involved in a collision or accident.

  • 93% proportion of vans found to be overloaded
  • 63% proportion of vans found with serious mechanical faults
  • 50% failure rate for class 7 MOT’s
  • 50% average roadworthiness prohibition rate

Vehicle and operation driving agencies carry out roadside checks regularly and stop approximately 10,800 cars each year and assess the roadworthiness of vehicle owners and operators at a cost of up to £4,000 per day per vehicle.

Driver Rules for using a goods vehicle

  • First of all you must follow the rules on how many hours you can drive and the breaks that you need to take.

“Do you know? You can get a fixed penalty of up to £300 for exceeding your daily driving limits.”

For more information about vehicle loading and securing, please take a look at the driving vans guide on the Government website here – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/driving-a-van-the-basics

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