Is driving a van easy?

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h4mza
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I'm thinking of working as a parcel delivery driver for Yodel or My Hermes as they are easy jobs to get into and only require a clean driving license which I have. The thing is I've been driving a small hatchback for 3 years and never drove a van. As vans are big and wide, I feel it may get bit of used to get to drive it properly but I just wondered if anyone here drives a van and is there much difference to driving a car?
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Nuffles
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Depends if you're a good driver or not really. You must use your mirrors. If you don't, you'll hit something. Simple as that. You'll either change into someone else's lane and sideswipe them, or you'll turn too early and scrape the side of the van down something on your inside.

I did 20k miles a year in a 3.5t van for two years and I bumped into a couple of things, and twice it was because I wasn't vigilant enough with my mirrors. The other time I was just being an idiot.

Also be aware that if you hit anything and it goes through the company insurance, you'll have to notify your car insurance when renewal comes around. It's a massive ballache but insurance cos are all money-grabbing bar stewards these days so it's not really surprising.
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username2387497
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Driving vans are pretty easy
The main difference I found was the lack of the central mirror.
Therefore you have to use the side ones a lot. That's your only way of seeing behind.
Aside from that, its the same
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DJKL
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Vans are okay driving forwards, as an earlier poster said allowing enough clearance when making sharp turns in tight spaces is main issue, reversing is a different picture, it takes getting used to working just with mirrors, no looking over shoulder when parking.

I do not drive vans that often but do have to every say 5-6 weeks for one reason or another. (Often just garaging one at the end of the day as our van driver could not say get into blocked garage earlier when he finished at 4.00 p.m. (I finish later)

Do remember that delivery drivers are pushed very hard to make targets , deliver quotas, so you will need to be very confident to not get very slowed down reversing in yards etc. Where I work there are about 40-50 parked cars, about 30 different business premises and with at least 30-40 deliveries a day, all of which will need to reverse once into the yard, take it as read that not all deliveries will be pulling into the roadside and then pulling away, a fair number will be working in tight spaces often in reverse.
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InArduisFouette
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for someone who has 2 years experience and has only driven small hatchbacks multi drop / parcel work is going to be hard work - especially as the 'standard' spec is LWB or XLWB for most of the main courier firms (or their subcontractors )

driving a van is the same as driving a car EXCEPT

it;s bigger, longer and neavier and it;s got poorer visibility ...

i'll happily jump into any thign i'm licenced and drive it and would drive airbraked / heavy stuff on private land if required ... but i've got nearly 20 years of drivign experience, gettign on for half a million miles driven including regularly driving C1 , D1 and Ambulances ...
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Laomedeia
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(Original post by zippyRN)
for someone who has 2 years experience and has only driven small hatchbacks multi drop / parcel work is going to be hard work - especially as the 'standard' spec is LWB or XLWB for most of the main courier firms (or their subcontractors )

driving a van is the same as driving a car EXCEPT

it;s bigger, longer and neavier and it;s got poorer visibility ...

i'll happily jump into any thign i'm licenced and drive it and would drive airbraked / heavy stuff on private land if required ... but i've got nearly 20 years of drivign experience, gettign on for half a million miles driven including regularly driving C1 , D1 and Ambulances ...
Really?! That sounds incredible!
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username2028267
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Its like driving a heavier car, just a bit body roll, you have to be gentle with throttle while taking turns as these are real wheel drive automobiles.
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InArduisFouette
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(Original post by Mr. Petrol Head)
Its like driving a heavier car, just a bit body roll, you have to be gentle with throttle while taking turns as these are real wheel drive automobiles.
interestingly the split in 3.5 tonners is roughly 50 /50 between front and wrong wheel drive ...

FIat/ cit / pug - FWD only , Renault/ nissan /Vx vans are usually FWD @3.5 tonne , Ford both front, rear and 4wd available from factory , VW and Merc RWD ...

you seem to forget the most important thing tere with taking turns - cut in ...
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Teenaging
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Hi, H4mza.

Driving vans are no different than cars if you take into consideration your usual road positioning and how big the van will be. Give yourself plenty of time when turning and going onto roundabouts, and remember to use your mirrors and driver's blind spot as much as possible as you won't have an interior central mirror. I felt that I'm more 'standing up' when driving a van than a car, you're higher up in the vehicle and the sitting position isn't as comfortable.

Hope this helps.
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Nuffles
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(Original post by Teenaging)
Hi, H4mza.

Driving vans are no different than cars if you take into consideration your usual road positioning and how big the van will be. Give yourself plenty of time when turning and going onto roundabouts, and remember to use your mirrors and driver's blind spot as much as possible as you won't have an interior central mirror. I felt that I'm more 'standing up' when driving a van than a car, you're higher up in the vehicle and the sitting position isn't as comfortable.

Hope this helps.
Speak for yourself! I find vans far more comfortable than cars precisely because of the more upright seating position.
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Teenaging
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(Original post by Nuffles)
Speak for yourself! I find vans far more comfortable than cars precisely because of the more upright seating position.
I did speak for myself, I said 'I felt' I'm more standing up.
Tbh, it depends what van as well. Vans like VW Caddy's (in my opinion) are like driving a VW Touran / Golf.
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Tanqueray91
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Whilst I felt that vans were a bit more difficult (due to size) than cars, it wasn't too bad - I think the main difficulties come into it if you're considering driving a lorry TBH..

A little bit of practice getting used to the size and you'll be fine imo!!
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