Small businesses should focus on safety when equipping vans

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Venson Automotive Solutions is urging SMEs to ensure their vehicles are safe and legally road compliant by being ‘fit for purpose’.

Businesses need to take into consideration how their vehicles are used, including the working environment and the payload of the goods and equipment they are carrying. Crucially, these need to be considered prior to any conversion. 

Organisations also need to make sure staff are equipped with the knowledge they need to operate the vehicle and the on-board equipment, so a thorough vehicle handover and understanding of health & safety implications related to vehicle loading, are key.

“When it comes to equipping vehicles, it’s essential to keep in mind the payload quoted by the manufacturer,” explained operations director, Gil Kelly at Venson Automotive Solutions.

“Fitting crash tested storage equipment, such as racking, and including a bulk head in the vehicle helps improve driver safety. And whilst equipment can be recycled, where appropriate, it’s important any products being reused should meet current legislation. Fitting telematics can also help with some aspects of driver safety and security, as well as providing businesses with the data they need to improve operational and business efficiency.

“Too many businesses cut corners when it comes to equipping their vehicles, or don’t recognise the impact an inferior product could have on vehicle or driver safety. The worst offenders include overloaded vehicles, poorly secured equipment and a lack of pedestrian warning systems.”

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, added: “Vans have never played a more important role in the British economy, with a record 4 million vans now on our roads.  Manufacturers are investing significant amounts in new safety technology, but this can only do part of the job. We continue to urge operators and owners to comply with the law to keep themselves and others safe, avoid the risk of fines and keep the threat of further legislation at bay.”

Kelly added: “Getting the vehicle specification correct at the outset can save businesses time and money but more importantly improve staff safety. We work closely with clients and using years of experience are able to fit out all sorts of vehicles for all kinds of industries.

"Our purpose built workshop in Yorkshire is a destination centre for all the main vehicle manufacturers, which means cars and vans can de delivered direct to us for conversion/fitting out, ready then for onward delivery to the client and into active service. This not only limits vehicle movements but ultimately helps the client meet their operational and financial objectives.”

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