Our quick guide on how to load your van efficiently
You’re probably already familiar with the basics of loading your van efficiently. It’s all about knowing your cargo, making sure it’s packed appropriately, and planning each step, so you can make loading and unloading your van a far more safe and efficient process - helping to protect both you and your transported items.
Whether you need to temporarily strengthen your fleet, or you’re a private tradesman in need of a temporary work van - here at Intack Self Drive, we’ve been providing quality van hire services for nearly half a century, and know that there’s a variety of reasons as to why you might need to hire a van. Regardless of the type of van you opt for though, you’ll need to load it properly in order to make the most of it, so here are our top tips on how you can load your van as efficiently as possible.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
To start off, prepare the ground around where you’ll be working by checking for any potential obstructions. These include things like kerbs, potholes, and so on, basically anything that presents a potential trip hazard. We’d also advise identifying a midway stopping point to rest, if you’re carrying something particularly heavy. Two things to definitely steer clear of while loading your van include:
- Traffic - passing vehicles could cause you to lose your balance, which could in turn lead you to fall and drop your load.
- Electrical cables - they’re not just a tripping hazard - they also pose the additional risk of electrocution.
As a final point of preparation, check the floor of your van for any additional obstructions like loose tools, debris, and slippy spots.
You’re now ready to begin loading your van - just keep a few of these basic lifting techniques in mind while you’re doing this though:
Make sure the load stays close to your waist, with the heaviest side against your body as this creates a solid centre of gravity, making it easier to carry your load Keep your back straight and try not to twist, particularly while lifting, as this can cause injury Keep your movements smooth - sudden jerky movements can also lead to injury Don’t lift anything that’s too heavy - use your midway point to stop and rest if you need to Don’t hesitate to get help if you need it!
A few basic loading tips
Try to plan the order you’ll load items in beforehand, as this will save you time during the loading process. Keep all your fragile items wrapped up or packaged so they have sufficient amounts of protection - you can do this by wrapping them gently in things like blankets and bubble wrap, and is especially advised for items like glass, ceramic, and wooden surfaces. You want to avoid smashing any of your items while in transit, as this can create a safety hazard, as well as be a pain to clean up.
When transporting furniture - ensure that non of your drawers or doors are liable to open whilst they’re being transported. You can do this by securing them upright around the sides of the van, with the drawers facing the inner panels of your van.
As a last tip, pack your heaviest and sturdiest items underneath the rest of your items so that they’re not at risk of causing damage to the rest of your things from moving around the cabin (this sounds like common sense, but it’s still a useful thing to know!)
Securing your cargo
Items that aren’t secured in place can shift around the trailer and damage the other cargo, which isn’t a nice thing to discover when you arrive a your destination. Plus, loads that move around in transit can also endanger the people driving the van, as shifts in momentum of can offset the balance of the vehicle, and in extreme cases, flip the van. You can ensure that your loads stay in place by utilising equipment like webbing straps or chains, which can be found in most good DIY stores. Also, we’d advise you avoid overloading your van by exceeding its design gross weight - you can find your vehicle’s limit on the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) plate inside your van.
So, that’s the basics covered! If you’ve got any more questions regarding our van hire service, you can find more answers over on our FAQs page. Or if you’re ready to get started, you can browse the best van hire deals right here on our site at Intack Self Drive, or give us a call on 01254 57811!