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Pulling a van over on a motorway to do any kind of work can be a dangerous proposition. Even though drivers are able to utilise safety zones and lane closures, it can still be dangerous having to step out of a van using side doors that open onto traffic. However, thanks to a new van design from two cooperating companies, such safety issues may be soon a thing of the past – without the need for any additional van driving training.

Fleet News UK reports that Clarks Vehicle Conversions and Carnell Support Services have teamed up to design a new welfare van that eliminates the need for operators to access interior spaces from the outside. The design allows operators to move from the mid-cab area of the van to the rear doors without having to exit using side doors. When they are ready to climb out, they exit through the rear doors.

The thing that is different about this design, as opposed to other open cab designs, is that operators do not lose any workspace just to be able to move through the vehicle freely. The design had to meet Carnell’s specifications for including an in-vehicle ‘office’ and a rear area for tools and equipment – all without sacrificing any of the space offered by the company’s non-converted vehicles.

In addition to space and workflow capabilities, Clarks were able to include extra storage areas and electrical outlets enabling operators to use computers and survey equipment on board. The new vehicles are a big breakthrough for both companies as they seek to improve driver safety without sacrificing quality of work. Let us hope other welfare van users are able to adapt similar models for their use.

Safety Is More than Driving

The HGV Training Centre, as with other commercial training companies, focuses on safe driving practices in our van driving training classes. However, safety is about more than just how one chooses to drive. There are also safety concerns once a driver exits a vehicle and begins his/her work. Nowhere is this more easily seen than the welfare van. Operators routinely put their lives in jeopardy when working along busy roads.

Having said that, HGV and LGV drivers have their own safety concerns as well. For example, applying a tarp to a flatbed load is one of the most hazardous aspects of being an HGV driver. Drivers have to be concerned about dangerous winds, improperly secured loads, and slipping and falling, among other things.

From our perspective, the best way to maintain driver safety is to teach our students how to adopt a safety first mindset. When a driver thinks safely, he/she is more apt to act safely. The safety first mindset is part of all of our training programmes, including our van driving training. If you would like more information about the classes we offer, do not hesitate to get in touch with us as soon as possible. We want to be your first choice for driver training.

Sources:

Fleet News UK – https://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/2015/1/15/welfare-van-designed-to-improve-employees-safety/54554/

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