Keeping your van on the road is an essential part of running a small business
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ARE your vans operated in a safe, compliant and efficient manner ?

You can make sure by attending one of FTA’s nationwide Van Excellence Operational Briefings this Spring, headlined by ex-international rugby player John Dalziel.

The three briefings, taking place in Edinburgh, Derby, and London from 26 March to 2 April, will tackle the physical, mental and safety challenges facing van drivers, as well as providing the latest information on compliance and operating standards.

With poor mental and physical health common among van drivers – which can impact their driving ability – the briefings will cover topics including: mental resilience, fatigue prevention, proper diet and hydration, and de-stigmatising mental health issues.

Speakers will include representatives from the British Dietetic Association, Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), Transport Research Laboratory and the Police.

The briefings are just as relevant for those sectors which use vans as part of their working days – tradesmen and women from carpenters to florists – as they are for those operating delivery services.

Mark Cartwright, Head of Vans and Light Commercial Vehicles at FTA, said: “With more than four million vans on Britain’s roads, and the numbers increasing every year, safe, efficient and compliant operation of these vehicles should be of paramount importance to those operating them, whether in charge of one vehicle or a fleet of several thousand.

“While technical skill and legislative compliance is, of course, integral to road safety, many businesses overlook the importance of driver health and well being on performance. Drivers who get behind the wheel when they are unwell, exhausted or distracted by personal issues are less effective and more likely to have an accident.”

Cartwright added: “The combination of unpredictable journey times, tight deadlines, a high workload and lack of social interaction can lead to stress, exhaustion, poor nutrition and dehydration among van drivers.

“The 2019 Van Excellence Operational Briefings will equip operators with the tools and techniques they need to help strengthen their drivers’ physical and mental health. Caring for drivers is one of the best ways for employers to improve their safety record; we deplore operators of all fleet sizes to attend a briefing.”

The Operational Briefings are supported by Van Excellence Platinum Partner, Mercedes-Benz Vans, and Gold Partners Bott, Brigade Electronics, Hertz, Quartix and Lex Autolease.

Places at FTA’s Van Excellence Operational Briefing can be booked for £75 +VAT per person, by visiting or calling 03717 11 22 22.

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Chris Wright
Chris Wright has been covering the automotive industry nationally and internationally for 30 years. Following spells with consumer titles he became News Editor of Automotive Management (AM), Editor of Automotive International, International Editor for Detroit-based Automotive News, and Editor of Dealer Update. He has also co-authored several FT Management Reports and contributes regularly to


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