Having been in the removals and storage industry now for over 15 years. I have seen many changes to the ways in which removals companies do business over that time. It is true that change is inevitable, and most often change is born from necessity.
One of the biggest changes over the years in removals comes in the form of the vans we use on a daily basis now. There is no getting away from the fact that the removals industry is hard physical labour. Making this as easy as possible is good common sense. In the past, this meant using bigger removals vans on house moves. Helping to make the move easier, by having more space on the vans to play with than needed. This meant we could get the removals vans loaded and unloaded quicker and easier on each house move.
But over the years, these bigger removals vans have become more expensive to run and maintain. Bigger fuel bills and rising insurance premiums have had a big impact. Improved driver qualifications and regulations have been introduced. Increased health and safety regulations have improved the standards of our industry immensely. But they also have a significant impact on the expenses to the business as a whole. Leaving us with tough choices to make in order to remain competitive for our customers.
By using Luton vans on our removals we are able to keep our prices low for our customers. We have to use a bit more common sense with each job. Ensuring we use all the space on the vans, to accommodate the customers' furniture. Luton vans can be operated under most standard UK driving licenses. They drive much like most standard cars to a point,. Usual gearbox, 3 pedals, steering, and controls. So they are very accessible and easy to get accustomed to driving. Modern Luton vans are also very fuel efficient compared to larger removals lorries. Then you have the added benefit of accessibility. Luton vans are able to fit into spaces that larger removals lorries simply can not go.
2x Luton vans vs 7.5-tonne lorries
7.5-tonne lorries definitely still have their place in the removals market. Cheaper on fuel for long distance moves, compared with sending multiple Luton vans. The advantage of the extra weight allowance is also a huge plus. 7.5-tonne lorry bodies also come in a wide variety of different sizes. So you can start to dominate bigger house moves in them with ease.
They do come with their own disadvantages as well though. Due to license restrictions getting tighter over the years, fewer drivers are available. New 7.5 tonne drivers need to take a separate test to qualify for driving this weight class. This is in addition to the required CPC testing each driver must undertake every five years. Used for commercial use and they fall under the EU tachograph requirements. This means drivers are required by law to take regular breaks while driving. This has to be taken into account when timing a long distance removal. Companies operating a 7.5-tonne lorry must also be in possession of an operators license. These are granted by the department of transport. Certain requirements must be met before the operators' license is granted. These include suitable business premises to keep the lorry parked at when not in use.
7.5-tonne lorries are also bigger in size. This makes it tricky to get them on to peoples driveways on many occasions. As well as squeezing them down little country lanes. Often, people living in rural areas are only reachable by smaller vans. Other times, weight restrictions are in place on the road network around the property.
In the last few years, low loaders have been steadily increasing in popularity. They are an ideal removals van alternative. Similar to 3.5-tonne Luton vans in weight restrictions and capacity. They can also be operated under most standard UK driving licenses. Driving them is also like driving a car in terms of gears, pedals and controls. With easy access to the cargo hold and low ground clearance. You can easily step on and off these vans when carrying heavy furniture. The cons being no tail lift as standard, although aftermarket lifts can be fitted. The low ground clearance may become an issue in some areas. But many movers are happy with the tradeoff given the other benefits.
So as you can see, there are many options available when choosing your house removal company. We like to guide our customers through the whole process to ensure we are using the right van sizes for the job at hand. What are your thoughts? Which van sizes do you use and why? Let us know in the comment section down below…
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