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Van Driving - First Time

Discussion in 'Motors' started by wndsr, 11 Mar 2014.

  1. d_brennen


    Joined: 30 Jan 2009

    Posts: 16,725

    Location: Aquilonem Londinensi

    Wait, the Yorkie bar isn't the rape kit?
  2. Millwall.FC

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 8 Dec 2006

    Posts: 1,284

    Location: Bromley

    If driving through London in rush hour be very careful of boris bikes and scooters trying to over take you (Edit) on the inside (Edit) while you are turning left you cant always see them in your mirrors.
    Last edited: 11 Mar 2014
  3. AS_Platinum

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 5 Jun 2004

    Posts: 1,330

    Location: Hythe, Hants

    As a daily van driver. Be wary that everyone, and I mean everyone will do their up most to pull out in front of you!
  4. godinman


    Joined: 26 Feb 2007

    Posts: 8,053

    This is a good one, first time I did this I went to look out of the rear passenger window to see down the road and just got a face full of ply bulkhead, oops!
  5. Conscript


    Joined: 18 Oct 2004

    Posts: 10,026

    Location: Kent

    Remember to troll other drivers relentlessly - tailgate everyone in front of you, and if there's no one in front of you, make sure you crawl around at a a maximum of 20MPH to **** off those behind you.

    Also, file all of your paperwork by stuffing it between the windscreen and dashboard.
  6. Orionaut


    Joined: 2 Aug 2012

    Posts: 7,813

    Definitely +2

    Suddenly realising that you cannot see to pull out is actually quite scary, especially if there is a queue of traffic behind you :eek:

    The other thing is to get used to reversing with the wing mirrors! Most people are used to looking through the rear window and find using the mirrors difficult. It is easy enough to get the hang of, but you dont want to be practising for the first time in a busy town centre.

    (Hint, Adjust the NS mirror so that you can see the rear wheel and bumper)

    Oh, And watch the height! Mind those multi-story car parks etc that you would otherwise take for granted! :D

    Funnily enough I have generally found the opposite (Mind, My van is old and rather tatty! :D )

    But you do have to watch out for suicidal cyclists who somehow manage to convince themselves that Van drivers wear their Y fronts outside their trousers and can thus see them through the solid steel sides of the vehicle whilst they creep past on the nearside while you are trying to make a left turn! :mad:

    (You also have to watch out for peds/cyclists who are somehow surprised at the idea that when they stand right behind you they cannot be seen!)
  7. AshD93

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 21 Oct 2009

    Posts: 1,616

    Make sure all your takeaway wrappers are jammed between the windscreen and dash.

    Make sure you drive as close as possible to the guy in front.

    Make sure you push into every queue possible.

    And then make sure when you park, it's at a angle to block other road users :)
  8. bazzabear


    Joined: 2 Nov 2013

    Posts: 3,204

    Be aware of its size, and you'll be fine.

    Width, length, and especially wheelbase.

    If you're turning a tight left at low speed, be aware of where your rear left wheel is. In a car, it's pretty close behind the front one, so there's not much to worry about. But in a van with a long wheelbase, you can find the rear wheel describing a much tighter circle, and can easily end up mounting a kerb.
  9. Kenai


    Joined: 5 Apr 2009

    Posts: 22,056

    And be aware that as a result, unless you elect to speed everywhere, you will be tailgated almost constantly and be the victim of numerous dodgy overtakes from people who think you're just being a dick as you drive along a single carriageway NSL road at 50.
  10. mattyfez


    Joined: 12 Apr 2007

    Posts: 10,009

    Pretty easy and quite fun when you get used to the size, you need to pay a lot more attention to your mirrors, you cant just glance over your shoulder like a car, as you'll just be looking at the inside of the van! you have significant blind spots to consider compared to your average car, so you will become more aware of your surroundings using only the wing mirrors, especially on a motorway you'll find you become much more aware of the behaviour and speed traffic behind you in order to overtake safely.

    Just take your time and plan ahead and you'll be fine, it's a good learning experience that will force you to sharpen up any lazy car habits you may have picked up.
    Last edited: 11 Mar 2014
  11. Orionaut


    Joined: 2 Aug 2012

    Posts: 7,813

    Yep|! That Too!

    In particular watch out for Police cars!

    I have driven for over 30 years and the only serious persistent tailgater's (As a Van driver) I have experienced are actual Police vehicles when I have been sticking to 50 on roads where I am not permitted to travel faster! :confused:

    (Bloody stupid rule mind! If a bog standard transit can do the Nurburg in 10 mins (Done! Fifth gear/top-gear/whatever! cant remember what episode) then a modern van is capable of what any normal car is capable of! :mad: )
  12. K.C. Leblanc


    Joined: 13 Sep 2003

    Posts: 8,176

    Location: Glocestershire

    Another tip, make sure you're got rope, or straps or even elastic bungees to stop your load moving about and getting damaged. Old blankets are also hand to protect things.

    And remember to empty the van when you return it to the hire company, I was chatting to a guy at Enterprise about this. He'll had a van returned with a sheep in the back!
  13. OhEsEcks


    Joined: 24 Mar 2012

    Posts: 7,051

    Location: Ulster


    Last edited: 12 Mar 2014
  14. Hagar


    Joined: 1 Mar 2010

    Posts: 11,163

    Location: 5 degrees starboard

    My first car was a Bedford 17cwt van.
  15. TwoSaints


    Joined: 19 Dec 2007

    Posts: 2,663

    Location: Newton Aycliffe

    Make sure you buy a copy of the mirror or similar folded up on the dashboard and a couple of empty coffee cups, nothing fancy though, Greggs or similar should do. Also preferably make sure the back doors are dirty enough to write 'also available in white' in the dirt.
  16. 4T5

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 30 Aug 2004

    Posts: 27,739

    Location: Middle of England

    Also buy a McDonalds & put the bag on the dash so the Police think you are having lunch rather than in the back of the van chopping up your latest victim.