A Van For All Reasons

In recent years we have seen an increasing number drivers turning to vans for their chosen mode of transport – for the weekend as well as the working week. Having driven one for a week I can see why.

Financially, a van can prove to be a cost saver as in a two car family most of the van cost can be set against tax if the owner is self employed. These days van cabs provide an excellent environment in which to spend even extended periods. Every time I looked around it I seemed to find yet another storage space. Documents, delivery notes, snacks and bottles up to 1.5 litres have allocated spaces and an air conditioned glove box keep items fresh and secure. Aside from using it as an everyday motor it also makes for an ideal transfer vehicle for those working in road haulage.

The olden days are long gone. Air-con maintains the temperature to a comfortable level and sound systems keeps boredom at bay. Driving positions can be adjusted to fit any driver along with steering wheels that can be adjusted to a comfortable position. Heavy steering is avoided by nicely weighted power steering which still provides feedback as to what is happening on the road surface. The six-speed gearbox on our tester always had the correct ratio available. Controls are easily accessed. The large rear view mirrors fitted make manoeuvring in tight spaces easily accomplished. With the lower one set to give a view of the kerb, parking tidily is simple.

Vans are often usefully fitted with sliding doors on both sides. This is a major safety point as it allows kerbside loading and unloading no matter which side of the road you have parked. In an urban situation this can be essential. Some even have off-road capability.

It’s something to think about isn’t it? Driving heavy vehicles as a job can be very demanding. On top of that there are the usual demands of family. Maybe a van is the solution for work and play.

This article is supported by Chris Bennett Heavy Haulage and written by Stan Potter.