When hiring, or even running, a removals company, it is important that the vehicles used are properly maintained and correctly equipped in order to transport possibly fragile goods over long distances. While some vehicles used for removals are obviously more suitable than others, whatever removal van is chosen, it is of vital importance to keep up to date with regular checks and necessary maintenance in order to complete a journey with goods intact.
The removal vans themselves must be in a state of good repair – engine, brakes, suspension and lights must be all in good working condition, and regularly checked and monitored to prevent failure. Brakes and suspension in particular can positively or adversely affect the condition of the removals load carried, and therefore are worth paying particular attention to.
With regards to suspension, it is important to choose the correct type for your removal van. Leaf springs are much better suited for removal vans because of their ability to spread heavier loads – which is why leaf springs are used in many commercial vehicles, including all good removal vans. Not only are they less expensive and more mechanically simple than other types of spring, leaf springs have also enjoyed modern engineering updates, with the added bonus of saving weight while providing a similar ride quality to vehicles fitted with coiled springs.
Brakes must be regularly tested and, when necessary, replaced to make sure the removal van is able to stop in good time and respond well to braking. Lights need to be in good repair and replaced when blown, so signalling is understood and the road is illuminated, allowing the driver to foresee any bumps, dips or potholes in the road ahead which may adversely affect a fragile removals load.
The removal van must be large enough to accommodate the load, while concurrently being a manageable size to fit through low or narrow stretches of roads or bridges. Internally, the storage area must be one which is easy to maintain and sweep out to prevent dust, splinters or other detritus contaminating the load, as well as one which is conducive to visibility, so as not to hide or camouflage items which may then be lost. Sufficient rails or d-rings must exist in the storage area which ropes or cables can be attached to, in order to tie down a load so it does not shift about during transit, or topple causing damage to fragile items.
The vehicle must also have the capability to lift and admit heavy, bulky and awkward loads. Two important features common in most removal vehicles are a hydraulic ramp, which can be raised and lowered while carrying heavy and bulky items, and a sliding door, which retracts completely allowing full access to the wide storage compartment. These two features make depositing, accessing and removing the load easier, and in a safer and more controlled manner. It is important that anyone operating the hydraulic ramp has training on the safety aspects and implications.
In conclusion, when considering operating or hiring a removal vehicle, it is extremely important that it has several important features covered in the above text, as well as ensuring they are in good repair and working order. This will ensure, along with a competent driver and assistants, that your load is packed, transported and unpacked at your destination with the minimum of effort, while maximising both passenger and load safety, and enabling your load to arrive safely and free from damage.
UK Aftermarket Springs have been an established name in the automotive industry since 1962 and with almost 50 years of experience to draw from, we have the knowledge and expertise to help and guide you