Need to Know: Using a Van for Owner Driver Jobs

There's more to taking on owner driver jobs than buying a van and hitting the road. Here are some things to know about using an LGV for business.

ID: 1500700
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(businesspress24) - For anyone planning to enter the world of delivery work, the rewards are many – especially if you''re considering self-employment as an owner driver. Jobs in the industry can take you all over the countryside, you''ll enjoy autonomy, variety and, the ultimate lure for many, the freedom of the open road instead of being chained to desk from 9-5.

For self-employed couriers, taking on owner driver jobs means that, in effect, your vehicle is your mobile office and indeed your livelihood. But gone are the days of the Del Boy and Rodney Trotters, with their rickety old rust buckets. Today''s LGVs (light goods vehicle) are often hi-tech commercial investments, around which an entire business is built.

If you''re starting out with your first van there are a few things you should know about using an LGV for a business enterprise.

LGVs Rule the Roads

There are an estimated 3.5 million LGVs on our British roads, which is an indication of their importance to the delivery industry and the economy as a whole. The first thing you need to know is that you must ensure your vehicle is compliant with the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency), in the event that you''re stopped for a routine roadside mechanical check – of which more than 13,000 are carried out every year.

Compliance is King

An LGV is classified as a van with gross vehicle weight under 3.5 tonnes – under the UK MOT scheme they are categorised Class 4 or Class 7. While this means you don''t need a special licence to drive one, you must ensure you don’t exceed the allowable gross axle weight limits. A classic rookie mistake is to forget that this includes fuel, loads, passengers and driver weight. Comply or pay the penalty of a fine and/or a ban.

Take Care of Your Van and She''ll Take Care of You

It should go without saying that maintenance is key to keeping your investment purring like the proverbial kitten, and you should adhere to a regular service schedule with special attention to brakes, exhaust and suspension. But even more so than a car, a van that is used every day needs special attention. To this end, a daily (yes, daily) ''walkaround'' is recommended, which should include looking for potential defects, damage, tyre pressure and checking load-securing devices.

Your Van as a Mobile Workplace

If you''re making a living doing owner driver jobs, you need to treat your van as though it were a regular workplace. In terms of your personal health and safety this means:

•Keeping it clean, tidy and presented in a professional manner
•Consider fitting it with speed limiters and reversing sensors
•Ensuring all your documentation is on board, accessible and up-to-date

Driver Compliance

It''s important to remember that it''s not just your vehicle that needs to be compliant with the law. Make sure you know and understand all the current regulations governing LGV drivers and adhere to them. This includes:

•Knowing speed limits
•Mobile phone etiquette/law
•Vehicle weights
•EU time directives (regarding driving, breaks etc.)

Potential Plus

Taking on owner driver jobs in an LGV opens a world of virtually limitless entrepreneurial possibilities. If you''re prepared to work hard, work smart and promote your business in all the right ways (joining an online transport exchange is one of the best ways of gaining work for a new operator) the world is your oyster. But it''s vital to pay mind to the tips above and never take your vehicle for granted; remember, it is the single biggest investment you''ll ever make as a self-employed delivery driver.

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Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world''s largest neutral trading hub for same day owner driver jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe ''wholesale'' environment.

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Date: 04/26/2017 - 14:15
Language: English
News-ID 1500700
Character count: 3982
Firma: Courier Exchange
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