If you have just set-up your own business, or have not had a big storage van before, you might find van racking a bit of a struggle. Here are our tips for making it as easy and as safe as possible.
Firstly, having a well-stocked van is a crucial part of your business; you want an organised space with every day, useful things to hand. It also needs to be cost-effective, high quality and secure.
As with anything, safety must be your number one priority. Always make sure you follow your manufacturer’s instructions and check everything has been tested under R17 Crash Pulse Conditions. You must also ensure that your storage and shelving does not interfere with the adjustment of your seats or cause restraint to your head movement or any vital components, such as airbags or seatbelts.
When thinking about storage, you need to bear in mind two key things; one, is this extra weight a hinderance? and two, should I avoid taking all this extra cargo?
The best way to handle this is to only take the necessary items for your journey. It’s also important to use good, modern, lightweight racking where possible to increase the van’s efficiency.
The correct placement of items is crucial for safety and efficiency. While you need easy access to multiple things, you shouldn’t have shelves or cupboards across the full length of the van. This could prove fatal in the event of a rear impact accident.
Positioning is also important because you must have a separate cabin for cargo and driving. This is again for the risk of accidents, falls, and hazardous situations.
All items should be loaded to minimise the likelihood of any problems. Racking or shelving is best used for smaller, lightly boxed items that are safer and easier to lift.
Heavy cargo should always be low down, preferably on the floor of the cabin and if possible, strapped down. It should also be evenly spaced around the cabin. Always take precaution when lifting heavy items in and out the van.
Your van should always have regular inspections; wear and tear is a dangerous part of van storage. Employers have a legal and moral duty to make your workplace a safe living and working environment. This includes a duty to provide reasonable and practical conditions, safety assessed equipment, maintenance and training on all aspects, including cargo restraints.
Everything in your vehicle must meet the manufacturers guidelines. To make your working life run smoothly, you need to have labelled equipment, a manual and any alterations must be authorised.
Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to a more efficient, safe and enjoyable day at work.