8 Courier Driver Essentials

8 Courier Driver Essentials

When you are a courier, time is of the essence. If you are out on the road and discover that you are missing something you need, it can really mess up your delivery schedule. This article is a checklist for couriers, listing the most important things to have with you in the morning before you hit the road. Not everything is relevant to every courier, so pay attention to what you need and ignore the rest.

1. Your phone

We all take our phones with us when we leave the house but for couriers it is even more important, and so are the supporting accessories.

Make sure that your phone is fully charged before you start work and take with you what you need to keep it charged up, whether cables or portable chargers. Install on your phone route planning software to save you time typing in addresses and finding optimal routes. Get a phone holder so the phone will be easily visible while you drive and you won’t be tempted to hold the phone while driving.

2. Clothes

You might be thinking that no one would start their workday without clothes and you’d be right. What we’re talking about here is wearing the right clothes and taking spares for different occasions.

Wear comfortable clothes, ideally with your company logo on them. Pack a change just in case your first pair gets wet or dirty, as happens unpredictably from time to time. Keep wet weather gear with you in case of rain e.g. rain jacket and umbrella. During sunny times wear polarised sunglasses to protect your eyes and prevent the glare from interfering with your vision.

3. Personal Protective Equipment

There are times when normal clothes are not enough and you will need PPE.

Get a high visibility vest and, if you can fit them in your vehicle, reflective safety triangles (they are like traffic cones). These will keep you safe if you have a breakdown on the highway and need to get out to change a tyre for example.

Also, in the era of COVID don’t forget that you cannot enter many buildings without masks so have a few spare ready.

Be conscious that there are extra PPE requirements at certain sites and prepare accordingly if your deliveries require you to enter those places.

4. Food and drink

There isn’t always time to stop for food and drink and yet these are essential to keep you going. Keep with you sufficient healthy sustenance as required, and coffee too if you are so inclined. This will save you time and money.

5. Transport gear and useful tools

In order to safely move goods most couriers will need equipment to help them.

For heavy items or a large stack of parcels, be sure to use a trolley. Have a variety of straps that can keep items secure whether in the courier vehicle or on the trolley such as ratchet straps or elastic straps. Also keep some protective covering to prevent damage to goods when stored in the vehicle, like foam mats or blankets.

Take a torch with you in case you are working in the dark and need to read labels or letterbox numbers. Have a marker pen with you. You can use it to label things to aid your memory. Keep a notepad and pen in the vehicle too. Also take a box-cutter knife in case something needs to be cut.

Pack a first aid kit too, just in case.

6. Drivers licence and identification

You may be asked for your licences and ID by the traffic police or your clients. Have them on you in a convenient way so that you can easily show them when necessary.

It is a good idea to have your business cards with you ready to go also, you might be able to make some new customers while you are out delivering.

7. Insurance

Be sure to get your insurance sorted before you start work. Unfortunately although the risks that couriers face can be reduced, they cannot be prevented entirely and they can occur unexpectedly. Appropriate insurance coverage will mean that no matter what happens, those who experience a loss will be compensated and your courier business will not be saddled with a costly (or worse) financial burden. Couriers insurance needs to be tailored to the individual risks that your courier business faces.

Have a dash cam or multiple cameras around the vehicle to protect you in case of an incident and to make the insurance claims proceed more smoothly. Get a comprehensive policy from a reputed insurance broker.

8. Money

When you are out on the road you may need to pay for things such as food or something for the vehicle. Don’t set off on your route unless you have a payment method with you. The most convenient thing is to set up your phone to make payments directly, but it is smart to have a backup offline method too in case you have a problem with your phone.