This thread is a bit of a follow-on from the recent ones on vans/racking/tool storage etc...
Obviously everyone's vans carry their 'tools of trade' so to speak (the mowers, blowers, brushes, mixers, wackers etc) - but does your van kit contain all of the other things that you may need?
(This thread is inspired by having to re-rack a friends van to meet safety compliance standards for one of his big contracts)
Do you have:
A FIRE EXTINGUISHER?
Yes - we all hope we will never need it and in most cases we won't, however there is no substitute for having one when something does catch fire, albeit it a fuel spill or dry debris on a machine catching fire - just think - a £20 fire extinguisher may save your £5000 machine or van!
A FIRST AID KIT?
I'm sure we all have cut/scraped/generally injured ourselves while working - how many of us then ended up digging around in the van for the dusty box of plasters or the electrical insulating tape? Obviously if you employ staff then this should always be on your van!
AN ACCIDENT BOOK?
Probably not one for the sole traders among us - but if you employ staff then all accidents - and their outcome - must be recorded. You can even get these accident books in handy wallets to stop them getting dusty and dirty.
A SPARE PAIR OF GOGGLES/GLOVES/EAR DEFENDERS?
Imagine - you have done one job, go to the next and find you have accidentally left your ear defenders or gloves or goggles behind - the temptation may be to carry on regardless. Just imagine what the consequences could be though - for what a spare pair of ear defenders/gloves/goggles cost (even if not the same quality as you normally use), then surely its worth having spares?
CABLE JOINS AND FIXINGS?
Doubtless many of us out there have accidentally chopped a SKY, TV or telephone cable whilst working - these can normally be quickly and simply repaired with the appropriate joiner (often only a few pounds) - its always worth learning how to fix these and save having to call out an expert or find an appropiate fixing on Friday just before the shops close. Obviously if its live electric -leave it alone!!!
SMALL TRAFFIC CONES?
If, like me sometimes you are forced to park van/trailer in the road or work partially in the road, a few of the mini traffic cones come in quite useful to slow down traffic/temporarily divert pedestrians. I'm not getting into chapter 8 signage and road closures here, but hopefully you can see their uses...
Things like these items take up very little room in the van if properly and effectively stored - but will always be there when you need them!
That's in addition to the spare spark plugs and appropriate socket , engine oil for top ups, spare bit of recoil rope, replacement mower blade, two stroke oil, chain oil, strimmer line, cable ties, gaffa tape, silicone sealer, no more nails, mobile phone charger, maps, sat nav and all the other handy bits and bobs that normally end up in a work van....
Doubtless others can think of things I may have forgotten?
No first aid kit is complete without a supply of imodium.
They do a spray version, although I use the tube, but I find Piz Buin pretty good. Factor 30, claims all day protection which I've had no reason to doubt throughout this summer just ended.
Non-greasy and smells pretty good too, not at all 'girly'! Woof.
Once a Van's small first aid kit has been opened and partially used, do people then discard them or go look for items to top them up/replace used items ?
I think it's a good idea to do a check now and again of what's in it. I think most things could be bought to top it up. Health and Safety rules would probably say to buy a new one every so often but I hate wasting something that can still be used.
Aldi are selling a 2 tonne hand winch for a tenner. I bought two. If its an icy road and I put the van in a ditch and it helps to pull me out then it's worth far more than a tenner.
A thing I carry is a spare trailer breakaway cable, sorry if it's already on the list.
If you have a look a lot of the stuff contained in a first aid kit should have a use by date on it, definitely dressings, eye wash etc. If you wanted to be anal about it you could get it stocked up and have a small inventory list to check contents from now and then.
I just wrote down everthing on here, went out and bought everything now have no room for a mower in a transit :) I seriously think get the most obvious bits fire extiguisher and a decent first aid kit. (Remember if you are not allowed tablets or creams in there), I generally keep the common bits in the van, yes we have to make do sometimes but generally the space is more valuable for kit than the all of the bits you are not likely to use. Also if you were to go out and buy all of the bits mentioned it would cost a fortune in stuff you may not ever use! Quite like the porta loo though as I buy a cadburys creme egg everytime i use the tesco toilet!
Just my opinion as always!
Under the guidelines set by FEPA they advise that the following items should be considered when carrying pesticides
This is really for the carriage of ADR (dangerous goods) but may also help if you are thinking about what you should carry. the BASIS website also offers guidance on carriage by road for the Agrochemical Industry - www.basis-reg.com
I have a powder as look after a village hall and was speaking to there extinguisher contractor and sorted me out although I thought whats that hissing as I was driving along and stopped and the thing had losts its pin and covered the mower in powder as I spade fell against it so think I will have to get a new one! and try to relocate it some where safer
Dan Frazer Gardening said:
What's the best type of extinguisher to use, and do you store it in the cabin or in the back?
I always have the pack of baby wipes, plenty eyewash capsules, small rubber window wiper for steamy windscreens among other bits.