Four tips when driving a fully loaded van

Four tips when driving a fully loaded van

Driving a fully loaded van requires extra care. A heavy vehicle’s weight can make safe handling and manoeuvrability challenging, so paying close attention to weight distribution and adjusting your driving style is critical for a safe, stable trip. Whether you’re delivering goods or relocating, stay calm and confident in your driving ability with our tips on driving a loaded van.

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Strategic packing

Packing your cargo area efficiently lays the foundation for a safe van journey. Distribute weight carefully by placing your heaviest items near the front of the van and securing them with packing straps to prevent them from shifting during transit, as this could compromise the van’s stability. If you’re looking for van rental Bristol, specialists such as offer vehicles to suit your requirements.

Drive defensively

Handling a heavy van, especially in poor conditions, can be hazardous and demands a defensive approach. Take extra care when climbing or descending, where a fully loaded van can either struggle or pick up speed quickly. Employing the IPSGA system (Information, Position, Speed, Gear, Accelerate) or other advanced driving techniques can help you stay in control.

Stopping distances

According to a test performed by Volkswagen, a loaded van at a speed of 30mph may take up to five more metres to stop than an empty one, an increase of 33%. So, adjust your driving technique by leaving an extended distance between your van and the vehicle in front, and don’t forget to allow extra space for braking, particularly in bad weather.

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Weight distribution

Carry heavy cargo carefully – distributing weight effectively can improve steering and control, keeping you stable on the road. Aim for a 60/40 weight distribution between the van’s rear and front wheels for smoother cornering and traction. Since braking can cause heavy items to shift, potentially causing instability, consider load placement and security from the get-go.

With practice and experience, you’ll soon master the art of handling a loaded van. Considering defensive driving, balancing your cargo and packing your van carefully will all contribute to your confidence and keep you safe on the road.