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As a van driver, you need to stay within the weight limits when you're driving and not overload it.


Driving a van: weight limits and loading

Good practice to follow when securing loads


Load securing: good practice

Roles and responsibilities in the transport chain for securing loads.


Load securing: roles and responsibilities

This guide provides operators from different sectors of industry with useful information on how DVSA and other regulators expect loads to be secured when in transit.


Load securing: vehicle operator guidance

Poor load securing can lead to death or serious injury.


Load security: consequences of poor load security

How the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency enforces the rules on securing loads.


Load security: how DVSA enforces the rules

Webbing ratchet straps can be used to secure most types of loads, but it’s 5518 important to make sure that you use and store them properly.

Highways England

Ratchet straps: What you need to know

When in comes to safe loading of vehicles and load security it might be easy to dismiss it as something that is simply a box that needs to be ticked as part of your other driving for work compliance duties. The real story is very different. There are a number of incidents that have happened over the years, many in recent memory, where innocent passers by have been killed or seriously injured because a load was not secure or a commercial vehicle was overloaded...

Safe Loading – are you clear on your responsibilities?

Unsafe loads on vehicles injure more than 1,200 people a year and cost UK businesses millions of pounds in damaged goods. Share this safety card with your drivers.

Highways England

Securing Loads on Flatbed Vehicles

Did you know?

  • 90% of road collisions are caused by, or involve, human error.
  • Drivers face fines up to £5,000 and up to 9 penalty points for careless and inconsiderate driving if their vehicle causes an obstruction when it has run out of fuel.
  • There are around 3 to 6 major bridge strikes every day due to drivers not knowing their vehicle height.
Driving is the most dangerous work activity that the majority of people do. Before operating any vehicle, drivers should receive appropriate vehicle familiarisation training and drivers should not be authorised to operate any vehicle they have not received training on. Training must be provided to ensure drivers are competent to carry out their tasks and duties. Drivers should be trained to report all work-related safety concerns, road incidents and near misses to their manager. Best Practice Tips Well-trained drivers make the roads safer for all users. Drivers have a responsibility to attend training when offered and familiarise themselves with company policies and procedures to ensure the safety of themselves as well as other road users. Driver training helps eliminate bad driving behaviours. Well-trained drivers strive hard to avoid incidents and collisions on the roads. Regular driver training can make vehicular incidents less likely to happen. Drivers who receive training and are familiar with the vehicle they drive, have less stress and are more comfortable during their working day. The main result is happier drivers and increased overall job satisfaction. 50% of drivers do not fully understand all the features on their vehicle. Before embarking on any journey in a vehicle, drivers should understand all the operating features in their vehicles. The basics that drivers should be aware of:
  • how to carry out routine safety checks, such as those on lights, tyres and wheel fixings and report any faults.
  • how to correctly adjust safety equipment, e.g. seat belts, head restraints and load security methods in use.
  • how to use any anti-lock braking systems (ABS) properly.
  • how to operate any driver aids and other safety devices, e.g. reversing alarms, camera systems, proximity sensors, satnav.
  • knowledge of the fuel type and requirements.
  • location and provision of emergency equipment, including spare wheel, jack and wheel brace.

Driving for Better Business, Highways England

Van Driver Toolkit – Driver Training & Vehicle Awareness

Did you know?

  • Each year, DVSA issue over 2,000 prohibitions to drivers of vehicles which present a road safety risk because of poor load security.
  • Where a vehicle’s load is deemed to be in a dangerous condition, the driver can receive 3 penalty points and a licence endorsement.
  • Drivers and their employers can be fined up to £5,000 per overloading offence.
The driver is responsible for the vehicle and any load while driving on the road, regardless of who loaded it. The driver is required to ensure the load is secured to the vehicle so it cannot cause a danger to anyone. Overloading changes the way a van handles – especially if the load is unsecure and will increase fuel consumption. Consequences of poor load securing can result in death or serious injury, damaged reputation and prosecution. Best Practice Tips
  • The load should be placed against the bulkhead to prevent the load sliding forward.
  • Heavy items should be stacked at the bottom and lighter items at the top.
  • All load restraints in use should be in good condition and appropriate for the load.
  • If any part of the load moves while driving, the driver should pull in a safe place to re-secure it.
  • The load should be loaded so its weight is distributed evenly across the vehicle.
  • The load should be stable and secured to prevent it sliding forwards and backwards or toppling over.
The loading, securing of goods on vehicles, and their unloading, falls under two areas of law in the UK:
  • The Road Traffic Act 1988 and workplace safety legislation;
  • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Incidents happen when drivers and employers underestimate how much restraint is needed to keep a load on a vehicle. Load securing systems in use should be appropriate for both the loads being carried and the vehicles being used. Drivers should be mindful of their driving habits to ensure safety. The main reasons for a load moving include roundabouts, slip roads, long (fast) corners, under braking and swerving to avoid obstacles.

Driving for Better Business, Highways England

Van Driver Toolkit – Safe Loading

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