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Look After Your Van: Driving Habits to Avoid

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Joined: Sep 02, 2016
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If you’re in the business of delivery work, or indeed are an owner driver with your own courier vehicle, chances are you’ll want to look after your van, either for the company’s sake or to avoid repair costs coming out of your own pocket.

Though vehicle maintenance can often seem like common sense, there are a few driving habits that motorists often adopt that can seriously damage a van over time. If you’re looking to change the way you handle your precious delivery vehicle, read on for some helpful advice. Avoid these common habits and you’ll find it a lot easier to keep your van in good shape.

Overusing Brakes

It goes without saying that using the brakes is a key aspect of driving, but that doesn’t mean you should slam on the pedal at every opportunity. Using them, particularly when going downhill, can have a huge impact on the system and will eventually wear it down entirely. If you’re an owner driver with a habit of keeping a foot on the brake pedal, don’t be. Anticipate hills and traffic and allow yourself more time to slow your vehicle; this will not only stop your van from breaking down, but will also encourage you to be more aware of the road and therefore a safer driver.

Overusing the Clutch

Similarly, the clutch is something you should be wary not to overuse. Although it is an easy habit to fall into it can cause dangerous problems, especially for couriers who spend most days behind the wheel.

Make sure you slowly release the clutch as soon as you have changed gear rather than holding it down for a prolonged amount of time. This is especially important when doing hill-starts as that’s when many drivers tend to overuse the clutch. Trust me, you’ll save yourself hassle and repair costs in the long run.

Overloading Goods

Any owner driver is likely to fall victim to this habit. Whether you mean to or not, overloading your vehicle with deliveries is easily done and is yet another reason why so many delivery vans have to go in for early repairs. Excessive weights can not only damage the clutch and brakes, but the tyres and suspension, too. Problems like this can lead to hefty repair costs, and if you’re an owner driver, it’ll be down to you to pay them.

Make sure to check the maximum load on your van before you set off and hopefully your tendency to overload will not become a habit.

It can be easy to fall into bad driving patterns, but it takes little effort to try and change the way you work with your vehicle. Simply follow these useful tips and you’re sure to find yourself with a longer-lasting delivery van and a safer approach to driving.
About author: Desiree Michels

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 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.

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