If you’re in the process of taking on self-employed courier jobs, you’ll probably be inundated with advice about dos and don’ts. |
However, the chances are that a lot of the advice will concentrate on the mandatory things, like insurance. But there are a whole host of seemingly ‘trivial’ things that might not only come in handy but also prove to be invaluable.
Things to think about
People with a lot of experience doing self-employed courier jobs will tell you that some of the following things are very useful!
• A fully stocked first aid kit - Some insurance policies may list this as a mandatory requirement but you should carry one even if they don’t.
• Fluorescent vests - These could easily save your life one day if you’re on the roadside in dark or foggy conditions.
• Evidence of delivery receipts – You’d be amazed how often things get lost after delivery, and if you can’t prove you actually delivered it you may be expected to pay - or even accused of theft. Make a signature MANDATORY before you hand something over.
• Very sturdy footwear - You’ll be very lucky if you go too long before something gets dropped on your toes. Steel toe caps are a worthwhile investment.
• A clip board - If you don’t have one, you’ll quickly tire of trying to write against the side of your vehicle.
• Sat Nav – Far safer and more efficient than driving with a map on your knee.
• A road map – A Sat Nav can stop working, so having a conventional map in the vehicle is a smart idea.
• A took kit - Even though modern vehicles are usually reliable, sometimes you’ll break down and need to call for help just because you don’t have a screwdriver and spanner handy to resolve the problem yourself.
• Straps and webbing - One of the most dangerous things for drivers undertaking self-employed courier jobs is a heavy load starting to move around inside the vehicle whilst in transit. To stop that happening, straps and webbing are a must-have.
• Packing - Your clients won’t take kindly to their items arriving bashed and bruised. Some movement is inevitable and loading is always a risk, so blankets and wrapping are essential for protection.
• Plenty of pens - Self-explanatory really. Just make sure you get them back!
• Mobile phone hands-free kit - Again, absolutely essential as it keeps the public safe and you out of trouble.
• Torch - This should be a no-brainer but sadly many professional drivers still leave home without one. If you do, you’ll struggle when trying to check something out in the back or under the bonnet in the dark!
• Sunglasses. No, not to try and make you look super-cool but a practical necessity if you’re spending hours on the road driving into the sun.
If as a self-employed courier, jobs take you outside the UK, you must remember that some items on the list above are a legal requirement. You may also be obliged to carry other things that aren’t mandatory in the UK – such as an alcohol breath-testing kit in France.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day self employed courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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