Nine Thoughts of a Van Driver


Weapon of choice.

For the next couple of days I’m leading a nomadic existence. Just me and a Bedford Luton van, hurting down the country, filling the van with stuff and then driving it all somewhere else. I’ve done this quite a bit in the past, helping families and friends move. and I quite like doing it really. There’s something about driving a great big van that is rather nice. You learn things:

  1. People are more inclined to get out of your way if you are driving a big, rented vehicle with out of town number plates towards them at speed.
  2. British roads are very lumpy. The number of bangs and crashes that we experienced on the M1 was quite surprising. The van suspension did the best it could, but we did have some teeth jarring moments.
  3. You can plug your smartphone into the audio system of a Transit van, but the socket is right at the bottom of a glove compartment, and looks exactly like a bolt which is fitted at the bottom of another, much easier to get to, cubby hole.
  4. Van sound systems are surprisingly robust and can go very loud indeed.
  5. Smashmouth Astro Lounge is absolutely great driving music.
  6. So is Pet Shop Boys Actually, although the first track has driving sound effects that can mask the siren of a police car coming up right behind you. Which can be scary.
  7. After a while you stop missing the rear view mirror and just get good at using the wing mirrors. And looking for shadows of cars that might be behind you.
  8. Nothing (speeding up, slowing down, going round corners etc) happens suddenly in a fully loaded van.
  9. The sound of the sack barrow crashing about in the back of an empty van when you stop at traffic lights is very scary, until you figure out what it is.