Do you want to move house in a few weeks or months? Or are you planning for your biggest spring cleans? Have you always dreamt of running a street food business? Actually for the latter you will require a refrigerated van to keep your perishable food cool and safe – similar to one of these from Fridgexpress. Either way you will be driving a large vehicle. Many people hate the idea of driving a large vehicle. The truth is anyone can drive a large vehicle like a van. Do you want to hit the road in confidence? Then, continue reading to find out our top tips for driving a van.
Before Driving Off
The lack of rear view is one of the most frightening aspects of driving a van, especially if you are driving it for the first time. But there is nothing to fear because the large wing mirrors and your higher vantage pointer compensate for the lack of rear view. It is easy to plan ahead and spot possible dangers because of the height of the vehicle, which provides a greater overview of the road. Your wing mirrors will become your new best friends because you will heavily rely on them. To get a clear view on both sides, adjust your wing mirrors.
The following are the basic safety factors to keep in mind before driving your hire van:
Ensure you familiarize yourself with your dashboard and adjust the seat and head restraint to a comfortable height, and pay close attention to the location of the headlights, indicators, and wiper switches.
Most cars utilize the standard five gear system but most vans have six gears, so do not set off before examining the gearbox of your van. Do not fear the extra gear. Use it on the road to safe fuel, especially if you are traveling at higher speeds.
Do you want to transport heavy items with your van? If yes, load the heavy items properly. This helps stop the loose objects from causing distractions on the road because they can slam around.
Relax and Go Slowly
Large vehicles take time to stop and turn, so here are the best tips to keep in mind if you want your journey to be as smooth as possible:
It is easy to misjudge the height of the vehicle, so be very careful when entering parks and when approaching low hanging bridges.
Tall vehicles can tip over easily, especially the ones transporting an uneven load in the back, so decrease the speed of your vehicle when you want to turn sharp corners and bends. Before changing lanes, always double check your wing mirrors.
Do you know who breaks the four second rule? Only fools break it! It takes more time for a big van to come to a full stop. Sticking to the four second rule allows you to leave a big space between your van and other vehicles. To apply this rule, select an object that is level with the vehicle in front of you, like a traffic sign, and then start counting 1,001 – 1,002 – 1,003 – 1,004. You will know if you are following the vehicle in front of you too closely if the front of your car passes the chosen object before you reach 1,004. This helps you reduce your speed accordingly.
The Art of Parking
Truthfully, we have all made of a mistake of parallel parking once or twice. It can be an embarrassing experience if it happens in front of so many people. That is why the thought of parking a van fills so many people with even more fear. As a novice, you should relax because it is not that bad.
You will have to rely on the old fashioned ‘head out the window’ maneuver and your wing mirrors if there were no rear mirrors or windows. Apart from this, know that slow and steady wins the race, which by the way is the basic rules of parking apply. Take your time and get out of your van to double check your angles. Or you can ask someone to help you guide your van in.
If possible, try reversing in when parking in a designated parking bay. This gives you a better overview of the surroundings when you are pulling away.