When you're starting a business, making the correct van choice is crucial.

Mercedes are urging all van operators to check if staff have done their CPC training and thus are legal to drive

Mercedes Vans is urging all van drivers in the UK to check out the facts around Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) requirements, before venturing out on the roads.

The deadline for all drivers operating an LGV over 3.5 tonnes to have completed their Driver CPC training, which is a legal necessity of 35 hours of training every five years, was 10 September 2014.

Steve Bridge, Managing Director, Mercedes Vans, said: “It seems like there has been a sole focus in the industry on CPC training for truck drivers, but in reality almost 4,400 vans over 3.5 tonnes sold this year in the UK will be subject to Driver CPC legislation.

“This will also have an impact on Operator licences of mixed fleets, so it is vital that the UK van market is fully aware of the legislation. If drivers of vans over 3.5 tonnes are yet to complete, or even start their CPC training, before they drive their vehicle again they must ensure they have undertaken the 35 hours of learning.

“You can be fined up to £1,000 for driving professionally without Driver CPC, and as it would mean that technically you hold an incorrect licence, your insurance could also be void.

“However, it shouldn’t be just about ticking a box to complete the course – I believe that training for van drivers should be an enjoyable learning experience that brings everyone to a level far beyond the minimum demanded by the current legislation, or even potential future legislation.

“I have completed my Driver CPC, with course content revolving around load security, fuel economy and safety; really valuable training. I hope to see more van drivers participating in ongoing learning going forwards.”

Mercedes UK runs approved Driver CPC training courses, to help ensure that van drivers are recognised for the part they play in keeping the country mobile. Courses are designed to offer all of the relevant guidance through interactive and varied classroom and in-vehicle training, with a wide range of optional topics covering a variety of areas, such as load securing, driving safety, economical driving, road risk and road safety.

Iceland Foods recognises the benefits of driver training and has put 900 of its home delivery vehicle fleet drivers through specialist courses at their Centre of Excellence to date. Mercedes Commercial Vehicle Dealer Road Range provides specialist training and product familiarisation alongside Iceland’s own team at the Centre, who are training Store Managers in their accountability for driver safety.

The Freight Transport Association has also warned that while company drivers may gain their CPC ticket, there is mounting concern that freelance drivers will not have them and they are in high demand in the run up to the Christmas delivery period, so orders could be affected, and the hiring cost is likely to escalate.

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