Loading vans is easy – loading them safely is not such a simple matter. And sadly many of the light commercial vehicles on the UK’s roads are driving with unsafe loads. At VanUser, we’ve put together our 10 top tips for drivers and 10 top tips for fleet managers.
Loading tips for drivers
1 Adhere to all company policies concerning the driving of vehicles, working practices and the loading of vehicles.
2 Do not overload storage systems or vehicles and follow company/supplier guidance on this point.
3 Do not place unsecured objects directly behind where occupants are likely to sit.
4 Place heavy objects as low as possible in the vehicle stowage area.
5 Do not place unsecured objects directly in the occupant compartment of the vehicle.
6 Stow tools and equipment in racking systems wherever possible.
7 Use appropriate tie-downs, lashing and netting to secure larger loads and equipment in the rear of the vehicle.
8 Check that tie-down points and lashing systems are not damaged or worn and have them fixed or replaced if they are.
9 Check load restraints and lashings shortly after beginning a journey or after any heavy braking to ensure the motion of the vehicle and the settling of the load have not loosened it.
10 If you have any concerns about modifications that have been made to a vehicle, these should be raised with the fleet manager.
Loading tips for fleet managers
1 Produce company guidelines and procedures on how to load and store equipment and tools for safe transit.
2 Carry out regular checks to ensure that drivers are aware of and following company policy and procedures on loading and storage.
3 Ensure that vehicles are adequately specified to carry the intended load, equipment or tools.
4 Provide appropriate training for drivers so that they are aware of the hazards and know how to load and store equipment.
5 Provide appropriate systems for loading restraining loads, equipment and tools.
6 Fit vehicles with storage and racking systems that have been assessed for crash-worthiness.
7 Carry out risk assessments of the vehicle’s equipment and cargo, vans and fleet operations in terms of their crash safety. Document the risks and counter-actions to mitigate the risks. Review and assess them on a regular basis.
8 Allow time for checks to be carried out on tie-down points, lashing and netting systems to ensure they are not damaged and worn.
9 Be receptive to the concerns and advice of drivers on vehicles, loading and load security.
10 Seek professional advice if you have any concerns or uncertainties over load safety.