For those of you who have never driven a vehicle larger than a regular car before, driving a van for the first time can be a rather daunting experience, so here are Caversham’s top 5 tips for driving a van and larger vehicles to keep you safe on the road!
1. Allow yourself to adjust
Sit in the driver’s seat and adjust it however necessary until you feel comfortable and supported. Once your seat is in the right position, you should next turn your attention to the mirrors and make sure you have a clear view of them all.
The most noticeable thing about driving a van is the lack of vision through the rear view mirror, however the wing mirrors are larger than average to make up for the lack of rear vision, so make sure you use them to view as much of the road behind you as possible. Also, remember that with a van you have the advantage of having the best front view on the road as you are much higher up than other road users without being as unwieldy as a lorry.
2. Familiarise yourself with the vehicle
Think of everything you will need to know about when driving the van and make it your mission to locate it and find out how it works. For instance, the indicators, hazard warning lights, windscreen wash and wipers, headlights, horn and petrol cap to name just a few.
Once you have established these, run through all the gears so you can get familiar with the motion and feel of them. Then turn your attention to the brakes. The brakes are designed for when the vehicle is carrying a full load. Therefore, if you are driving when the van is empty, be aware that the braking will be more sensitive and sharper.
3. Loading the van
If you’re loading the van as well as driving it, make sure you place the heaviest items in first. Anything tall or heavy and awkwardly-shaped will need to be tied up for extra stability. You should also try and distribute the weight evenly around the van and remember to lock the doors before you begin your journey!
4. The actual driving
Once you have set off, you should drive with more caution, especially when approaching corners and bridges. Take extra care when changing lanes as there may be different blind spots to what you are used to in your car, so early indication and a steady speed is crucial.
Allow yourself time to get used to the size of the vehicle. It is highly recommended to take it for a practice run around the block first before heading to any busier roads.
5. General advice
Some general advice to help you stay safe in your van:
- Plan your route before you set off
- Full tank of petrol/diesel
- Allow yourself extra time to get to your destination when driving a foreign vehicle for the first time
Caversham Vehicle Hire
If you’re looking for great deals on van hire rental then please contact the team at Caversham Vehicle Hire today. We offer a range of vans, including transit short wheel base vans and luton vans to name a few – just call us for more information today.