How to drive a van (with pictures)

How to drive a van (with pictures)
How to drive a van (with pictures)

Pickup trucks are the perfect choice for anyone who wants to haul a lot without having to spend a lot of money on a large vehicle. This is because this type of car is smaller than a semi-trailer and a bit bigger than a regular car and it's really not expensive, which makes it the perfect option. So whether you are using your own van, or choosing to hire one, there are a few rules of conduct that you should know about. This will ensure your safety and that of those around you.


Part 1 of 3: prepare to drive

Drive a Van Step 1

Step 1. Adjust your mirrors as well as your seat

Adjust your seat so that you can comfortably reach the pedals while still being able to see your various mirrors. Also, arrange these so that you can clearly see the adjoining roads as well as a small portion of the edge of the van. Since most vans are designed to carry a variety of goods, they do not have a rear view mirror, so the outside mirrors are more important.

Some trailer-carrying vans have extendable side mirrors. If you have this type of car, adjust these mirrors so that you can see a small part of the trailer when the trailer and the van are properly aligned

Drive a Van Step 2

Step 2. Get used to the dashboard

Unlike semi-trailers, the majority of modern pickup trucks have a dashboard similar to that of regular cars. However, icons and gauges can look and be organized differently. So take the time to memorize their appearance and their place. Pay attention to features specific to large vehicles, including multiple fuel tanks or those related to modern vehicles like dashboard cameras.

You can consult your user manual if you have trouble understanding what the icons and the various gauges represent

Drive a Van Step 3

Step 3. Load your cargo fairly

Once done, tie everything with rubber bands. Many pickup trucks, especially utility vans, are designed to accommodate bulky furniture and large cargo. When packing multiple items, make an effort to distribute the weight as evenly as possible between the rear, front, right and left sides of the van. Also, to prevent your packages from moving during the trip, tie them with rubber bands connected to the holes in the interior hooks of the van.

Drive a Van Step 4

Step 4. Do not exceed the weight limit

If you plan to carry an entire cargo, make sure that the weight of all your luggage does not exceed the limit of your van. This will prevent potential damage and promote good driving. This rule is usually mentioned in the operator's manual for the van. If it's not there, search the internet for your van model or contact the agency that sold or leased it to you.

Drive a Van Step 5

Step 5. Obtain insurance for your van

If you rent or borrow a van, be sure to purchase temporary insurance or certification for the period in which you plan to use it. Depending on the size of the vehicle and the region you live in, you will likely need to apply for a national or local certificate before you can legally drive the vehicle. You can check if such authorization is required in your area by contacting the department responsible for motor vehicles in your area.

Drive a Van Step 6

Step 6. Practice driving in the back streets

Or, you can opt for empty parking lots. Indeed, it can be difficult to adapt to vans at times, so take the time to practice before hitting the main tracks. Places like unoccupied back streets and empty parking lots are great for testing the vehicle's braking, acceleration and cornering without putting you and those around you in unnecessary danger.

Part 2 of 3: driving safely

Drive a Van Step 7

Step 1. Drive with a firm grip on the steering wheel with both hands

No matter what vehicle you are driving, it is very important to keep both hands on the wheel at all times. To have absolute control, imagine that the steering wheel you are holding is a clock and place your hands at 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock. Controlling the steering wheel is especially important for pickup trucks, because if you can't do it, you risk losing control of the car and causing it to tip over.

Drive a Van Step 8

Step 2. Leave a little more space between you and the other cars

Since pickup trucks are larger and heavier than regular vehicles, braking takes longer. To account for this, be sure to leave extra space between you and other vehicles. It is generally advisable to leave at least four seconds of distance between your car and the one in front of you.

To calculate your distance from a car, wait until it passes road signs or a transparent object. As soon as it's done, count the number of seconds it takes to pass the same mark

Drive a Van Step 9

Step 3. Obey the speed limit of the pickup truck

Depending on the size of the vehicle and the region, your pickup truck may be subject to special speed limits in addition to those posted. In general, it would be 15 km per hour, lower than the maximum for ordinary cars. To find out, contact the motor vehicle department in your area or search the internet for local driving regulations.

Drive a Van Step 10

Step 4. Slow down more than usual when cornering

Because the vans are narrow and tall, they are more likely to tip over. While this is usually not a problem on straight roads, it can be trickier when cornering. To reduce the risk of an accident, slow down about 10 to 15 km per hour before making a sharp turn.

Drive a Van Step 11

Step 5. Make big turns

To avoid colliding with other vehicles, a traffic sign, or a sidewalk, make sure your pickup truck is placed in the far right or left lane, depending on which direction you are going. Also, make sure other cars are far enough away from your pickup truck so that they don't get scratched to the side when turning. After these checks, you can enter the bend, but wait until you have gone far enough into the intersection so that the back of your van does not hit other vehicles.

Drive a Van Step 12

Step 6. Always look in your mirrors

It is important to always do this before changing lanes or backing up. Also, be sure to turn on your turn signals to indicate what you plan to do. Then look in your mirrors to see if there are pedestrians or other cars. If your van has a rear window with an unobstructed view, look through it to make sure there are no other vehicles in your blind spot.

If necessary, get out of the van to take a look around before backing up

Drive a Van Step 13

Step 7. Be careful going under bridges and low ledges

Even though a van is not as big as a semi-trailer, it is clearly taller than a regular car. This means that it might not pass under bridges and ledges, unlike other cars. Before going under a low ledge, check the indicator panel at the top to see if your van is low enough to go underneath. Do not go under ledges that are lower than your van.

Most large decks are high enough to accept semi-trailers. So, look especially for old bridges in small towns and clearance poles at quick service restaurants and gas stations

Part 3 of 3: park properly

Drive a Van Step 14

Step 1. Park in open spaces and designated places

Usually, vans are longer than regular vehicles, which means more space is needed to park them. When parking your van in traditional parking lots, look for spaces next to the lot where you can parallel park, open spaces with multiple spots that you can occupy, or spaces reserved for large vehicles. If no such spot is available, use your judgment and park carefully or wait for an opening. Or, find another parking area.

Drive a Van Step 15

Step 2. Park in reverse in parking areas

This will make it easier for you to exit. Whenever possible, you should park in parking lots in reverse instead of going in front. To do this, stand in front of the parking lot, brake and put your car in reverse. Look in your mirrors to make sure the perimeter is clear. Then turn the steering wheel to the right place and slowly release the brake. Slowly back your van into the parking space, readjusting your car if necessary.

Place a traffic cone behind your van to make reversing easier

Drive a Van Step 16

Step 3. Make a niche

This is an option you can consider when normal parking areas are not available. Find a space large enough for your van and park next to the car in front. Then put your van into reverse and take your foot off the brakes. When your side window lines up with the other car's rear bumper, turn the steering wheel toward the parking area and back into reverse. As soon as the vehicle is at a 45 degree angle, turn the steering wheel against the air and back up until you have fully entered the air.

Drive a Van Step 17

Step 4. Apply your handbrake

Since pickup trucks are much heavier and larger than most vehicles, they are more likely to roll when parked. To avoid this, be sure to apply your parking brake whenever you are about to get out of the car. Most hand brakes are controlled with a lever located near the gear controls or a pedal which is located below the steering wheel. If you have trouble locating the handbrake, read the vehicle's owner's manual.

  • To avoid damaging the car, only apply the brake when it is already parked.
  • Be sure to release the handbrake before driving.

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