Van drivers are mainly involved with deliveries. It is the driver’s responsibility to collect goods and load the vehicle according to written instructions. Route planning is important to ensure that deliveries are made on time. Once the goods have been transported, the driver unloads at the drop off point and records the delivery.
Vehicles vary in size, depending on the load and the type of licence the driver holds. A van could be a small car or a light commercial vehicle up to 3.5 tonnes. In vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, a tachograph in the cab records the number of hours spent driving, resting and loading or unloading. It also measures the speed of the van and the distance travelled.
If delivering valuables or cash, a specially adapted van with a time-lock safe or other security features, may be used.
Some van drivers may sell items from their van, for more information about this see the Roundsperson profile.
Hours vary, but an average week could be between 40 and 48 hours. Some companies offer overtime in the evenings and at weekends. However, there are legal limits on drivers' hours, depending on the vehicle, that employers must adhere to.
Drivers work in all weathers, and sometimes have to deal with hazardous driving conditions.
In some jobs, they might have to wear a uniform and, if carrying valuables or cash, they may wear body armour and a helmet.
To be a van driver you should:
As a van driver, there are opportunities to work for a huge range of manufacturing, service and retail companies, throughout the country. In recent years there has been an increase in opportunities delivering goods ordered over the internet.
Opportunity for promotion would be in related areas of transport and retail. It may be possible to move into supervisory or management posts.
By taking the C+E category test, you could drive large goods vehicles for a haulage or distribution company (see Driver: Large Goods Vehicle profile).
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