Courier workcan be fast-paced and demanding, so it pays to make sure that you are fully prepared before you set off. Make sure that you have all of the items that you are likely to need for your day’s work before you leave home or the depot. Here’s my handy checklist of the top things that you’re likely to need in your vehicle while carrying out courier work.
Whatever courier work you’re carrying out, it’s always important to remember that safety comes first. Safety equipment will vary depending on the kind of sites you’re delivering to, but it’s always worth having basic personal safety gear on hand so that you’re prepared for any eventuality. Essential items to have on board include:
· A professional First Aid Kit
· A High-Visibility Jacket
· Heavy-Duty Gloves for Lifting
If you are visiting a construction site as part of your route, you’ll need the following (some sites will require these items before you are allowed into the area):
· A Hard Hat
· Steel Toe-Capped Boots
· Protective Goggles
Route Planning Equipment
Whether you use a Sat Nav, a smart phone or an old-fashioned paper map, always ensure that you have your navigation aids handy before you set off. Best practise is always to carry digital technology and a map for back-up – you don’t want to lose signal at a crucial point in your deliver and risk being late for your client.
This may sound obvious, but some drivers still set out for a day on the road without taking their insurance certificates with them. No one wants to think about having an accident, but if you do, chances are that it can be resolved quickly and easily if you have all of your insurance details ready. Some depots insist on checking your insurance levels before they will allow you to take a load, so make sure that you always have these documents with you.
If you don’t have any proof that you delivered your load, you will become liable for it, so make sure that you have detailed and signed copies of all your delivery notes. As a rule of thumb, the more detail you can include about your load, the better.
A Hands-Free Phone and Entertainment System
The law is getting stricter and stricter when it comes to the use of phones or other technology while driving, and even if it weren’t, the safety hazards of trying to work a device while driving are frightening. Make sure that you have a decent hands-free system in your van so that you can work and/or listen to music without putting yourself and others in danger.
Like the Scouts, a courier driver always needs to be prepared, so remember to take these basic items with you before you set off each day – you’ll find that they’ll make your courier work safer and more efficient. And who doesn’t want that?
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier work in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.