Old and overweight
By: Dave Robbins
06 July 2015
That’s the none too flattering picture of the UK’s van population. Apparently, one in three vans on UK roads is over ten years old, creating concerns that owners are pushing their vehicles beyond their reliable lifespans.
According to vehicle finance provider LDF, the UK’s rusting van fleet is a hangover from the recession which has left many businesses unwilling to invest in new assets.
And not only are vans getting a bit long in the tooth, they’re also overweight. Last year DVSA roadside checks on 10,800 vans found that 89% were overloaded. However, rather than a deliberate flouting of the law, it would seem that some education is required.
Research conducted by VW Commercial Vehicles amongst fleet managers and drivers showed a widespread lack of knowledge when questioned about their vans’ maximum load carrying capacity. Of those who took part in the survey 73% were unsure of the effect it has on vehicle performance and a quarter were unaware of the legal penalties if stopped.
Commenting on the findings, Gordon MacDonald, vehicle product manager at the DVSA, said: “The research highlights that a large proportion of van drivers could be breaking the law and posing serious safety risks to themselves and other road users. Overloading is a real issue on our roads and it is the responsibility of both the driver and the business to load vehicles correctly and keep their van within its legal weight limit.”
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