Knowing what to take with you on the road if you’re new to courier driving can be a pain. Wouldn’t it be great if you could find out all the most useful things you need before you start out from an expert driver? Today, Pete the Courier Driver tells you what you need and why.
This is the third in a series of videos from Pete the Courier Driver with hints and tips for drivers. If you’re new to delivery driving, make sure to also check out How to Save Time by Optimizing Your Routes.
Note: If you’re a courier and want to make delivery easier and get home faster, try Circuit Route Planner for free.
Hello, everybody! I’m Pete the Courier Driver and today’s video is the 27 most valuable things you need as a courier driver.
Firstly, the things that you’re required to have by law.
What do you legally need as a courier driver in the UK?
If you’re just driving a van, all you actually need is a valid driving license and you need insurance. Which is either a higher and reward or goods in transit insurance. And you’ll need a high reward, light haulage, and you’ll need goods in transit insurance.
Some people also go for public liability. It’s not necessarily a must, it’s a handy thing to have. On top of which if you’re driving a bigger vehicle, like a seven half tonner or over, you may need a different license, depending on when you got your driving license and you’ll need a CPC card and you’ll need a driver’s card. CPC card is one of these things you have to do every five years.
There are other things also that it’s handy to have: Two forms of ID, your driver’s license (that you should have anyway), then a passport or, if you’ve got one, company ID. That’s sometimes required. This often is for airports and things like that they need two to let you in.
That’s basically what you need by law.
- Higher and reward insurance
- Goods in transit insurance
- Public liability (optional)
- CPC card
- Two forms of ID
What clothes should you wear?
Then, of course, there are the things you’re going to need to run in; your clothes. You’re going to want to be comfortable. It’s very sunny at the moment, so I am currently standing here in shorts.
But also boots.
Because a lot of the places you’d go to, probably 50% of the places you go to, might require PPE. So you’re going to need some other PPE too.
So from the PPE point of view; you’ve got a hard hat, you’ve got a high-visibility vest. I’ve also got a padded one. You can have high visibility, a jacket, gloves are not necessary, but you’re gonna use them all the time, and glasses.
So everyone’s different. I’ve been to sites before where I’ve turned up, it says required long sleeve high visibility. And the guy says, “Yeah, you need a long sleeve, high visibility”. I’m standing there in a bright orange, long sleeve t-shirt that I have, it’s a proper one. And I went, “I’m wearing one, it’s kind of a bit difficult to miss mate.” He said, “Yeah, but it’s not green.”
I said my peace, I thought. He said, “Our site insurance requires green.” He said, “Here, have this one.” He gave me one, it’s too small for me, standard.
- Hard hat
- High-visibility vest
- Padded vest
- High visibility jacket
What to take in your strap box
That’s the other thing. You’re also going to need straps and stuff to strap your load down.
Here you go, here’s my strap box. We have five-tonne straps. I have two-tonne straps. That’s the fancy one. That’s like a recliner, that’s a retractable one. If you’ve just the normal ones, you’ll do absolutely fine. WD 40 in there. Corners for tramping down a load (also very handy), also in the back that’s a gadget (I’ll show you that one day). Also in the back; shrink-wrap, you know, padded, anything like that, anything that could take that you can put next to the load, that’s going to stop it moving, stop it being tricky, that kind of stuff, getting it in the right place.
- Five-tonne straps
- Two-tonne straps
- Corner protectors
What to take in your driver’s bag
And then also the other thing (now this is category number three), it’s what I call my drivers bag, there’s a flask for the tea, flask, for the juice we’ve got in there. We’ve got a pad and paper. You started to see a first aid kit (always very handy). That kind of thing. This I need; my driver’s card. Not everybody’s going to need one of those, tea and coffee (In case I get stuck out on the road).
The truth of the matter is you’re going to get your basics. And so we’ll probably, we’ll go into this a bit more depth later on, like, you know? But you’ll learn very quickly what it is you need.
Your PPE is important because it can stop you from getting onto the site. Straps are important because it will stop you from breaking stuff when you come over. If you go out on the road and you haven’t got a cup of tea, you can always stop at one of those drive-through things to get yourself a cup of tea. So you don’t necessarily have to have a flask. Some people like a nice coffee. I just won’t pay the money.
Other things. The most important thing, ironically enough, is this thing I’m carrying in my hand, the phone. The phone is going to be your sat nav, is going to be the way your jobs come through sometimes, it might be your DAB radio, it’s the way you keep in contact with people.
So that’s just a basic overview. But before we go on, I’d just like to say three things that I think people sometimes miss that I think are a blinder and that will carry you on with a job.
Firstly, you want to get yourself a torch. I know you got one on your phone, but if you’re going to do your walk round check in the morning on the truck to make sure that everything’s all right, and the wheels haven’t fallen out, and no one’s had a go at your diesel, it’s very handy. If you’re trying to find Rose Cottage in your small van at 10 o’clock at night in a dark village, you got the light on the phone, a decent torch will stand you in good stead, that’s a bit of a boon.
Also, you want to grab yourself a knife. A knife is a very handy thing to have. You’re probably better with a Stanley or a box cutter. I’ve got this one because I got it a long time ago in the Lake District when I was on holiday with the in-laws. But it’s handy for me because it’s got that tiny little bit there – and that bit there is very good for breaking the straps that go around pallets.
And last, but by no means least, this guy: It’s a pen. But it’s not just any pen, it’s a fat marker pen. I mean, you can get the Pento ones or the Pilot ones. When we used to do the DFS, what you’d do is you’d get sofas and it might be three-seater, three bits, like a big sofa, and a couple of armchairs and one would be an armchair and a footstool, and sometimes they’re all very similar colours. But what you’d do is you’d put one load on, and you think, “That’s my last drop.” So you’d mark every big plastic bag on the outside with a four, then you get the next drop on, you’d mark every big plastic bag with a three.
If you’ve got a hundred parcels to load, they will let you mark the parcels, if it’s drop number one, stick a great big one on it. So much easier to find a great big one than it is to find a tiny little barcode.
- Pad and paper
- Drivers card
- Tea and coffee
- First aid kit
Anyway, as I say, that’s a general overview, we’ll probably come back to this in time.
Take care, take money.
If you’re a courier and want to make delivery easier and get home faster, try Circuit Route Planner for free.