Driving a van as a profession needs patience and concentration. Working hours can be long and drivers must operate under strict regulations. As a result, just because you can drive may not necessarily qualify to be a van driver.
Who can I work for?
There is a wide range of companies employing van drivers. This may involve working on supermarket shopping orders, furniture, domestic appliances or company wages. The increase in online shopping has increased the number of opportunities available to van drivers.
Where and when can I work?
Don't expect a guaranteed 9am-5pm job. Early morning starts, working through the night and on weekends are all anti-social hours you may be expected to work, with shift patterns varying. Full-timers would work between 40-48 hours a week but there are legal limits on drivers' hours due to healthy and safety reasons. A tachograph may be installed if your vehicle is more than 3.5 tonnes.
What can I earn?
Full-time drivers can earn between £pound;pound;pound;pound;12,000 and £pound;pound;pound;pound;20,000 a year, sometimes with bonuses for attendance or reaching work targets.
What are the benefits?
Flexible hours; escaping from being tied to an office desk and getting the chance to explore this country and others.
Are there chances of promotion?
With experience, you could move into supervisory or management roles.
What will I be responsible for?
You would have to return undelivered items to base and update delivery records, usually using a hand-held computer. You would record mileage and fuel purchases, as well as collect signatures and give invoices on delivery. Also, you would be responsible for planning the route to ensure deliveries are made on time and unload the goods at the correct address. You would pick up goods from a depot, warehouse or pick-up point and load the vehicle to match the delivery route.
What qualifications do I need?
If you gained your car driving licence before 1 January 1997, you can drive vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes without passing a separate test. If you gained your car licence after 1st January 1997, you can drive vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes. To drive vehicles between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes, you would need a category C1 licence. To gain this you must be at least 18, and pass medical, theory and practical tests. You will also need a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). Employers would also expect basic English and maths skills, a good driving record, a full driving licence, good eyesight and colour vision.
Do I need any experience?
You may be able to get into van driving by completing an apprenticeship with a delivery firm.
What attributes are needed?
You will need assured driving skills and road safety awareness. An enjoyment of driving is a huge plus as is the concentration of a Test match opening batsman. You will need to complete the relevant paperwork and maintain a reasonable level of fitness and have good spoken and written communication skills.