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Phones, car seats – it’s all change as from 1st March

So here we are then, already into the third month of 2017 and already there has been a pretty hefty shift in legislation that affects your behaviour and the penalties you could face if your behaviour goes against what is demanded behind the wheel.

To be honest, you’d have to have been living under a stone to not know that from 1st March 2017 that greater penalties are now to be directed against anybody who uses a device capable of receiving phone calls or an internet signal.  Whilst this has been illegal since 2003, regular polls show a high instance of drivers still choosing to ignore the legislation, hence now drivers caught using their mobile phone behind the wheel will now receive a fine of £200, double the previous charge.  The maximum fine a car to motorbike driver could receive is £1,000 if your case goes to court. Bus and HGV drivers could see their fine increasing to £2,500.   In addition, motorists who have had their licences for less than two years could well be banned if they use their device just once and have to repeat both their theory and practical test.

Remember – This law still applies even if you are stopped at traffic lights, queuing in traffic or if the engine is running. 

In addition, and this is something that has seemingly come in without being noticed, are the laws on children’s booster seats, so here is a breakdown:

  1. Backless booster seats can only be used for children over 125cm tall and who weigh more than 3st 6.5lbs.
  2. Children must use a car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135cm tall.
  3. Only EU approved car seats can be used in the UK.
  4. Children can travel without a car seat if the journey is unexpected, necessary or over a short distance (over three years old only).
  5. Children up to 15 months old must be in a rear facing car seat, after 15 months they can move into a forward facing one.
  6. Children can travel in a taxi without a seatbelt, but must sit in the rear of the car & if over three wear an adult seatbelt.
  7. Children can travel in a coach without a seatbelt.
  8. If you are in a car without a seatbelt then children under three cannot travel in it.
  9. If you have lots of kids – and there isn’t room for a third car seat. the third child can either travel in the front with a car seat, or in the back without one if over three years old.

The new laws for backless booster seats only apply to manufacturers and the labelling of new seats on sale, please make sure that you read up on these laws as you will face a £500 fine if you are found travelling with your child in the incorrect seat requirements for their age, height and weight.

So whatever you’re doing behind the wheel, this Kent courier implores you to do it safely and legally.

Until next time…

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Music on the move…what drives you?

As a Kent Courier, we here at JDL Deliveries cover a fair few miles every year and, of course, we like a singalong to some tunes whilst we’re carrying your business.

So what we’d like are your favourite tunes, tracks, albums or stations that help you behind the wheel.  Feel free to add your comments as to why they’re your favourite and the reason we like the most will win an exclusive JDL Deliveries prize!!!

So literally what are you waiting for – this is a chance to share your driving musical tastes and possibly win yourself a prize too!  Don’t be shy, because after all; sharing is caring…

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How does JDL Deliveries differ from a multi drop courier?

Kent Courier

“Courier”…so defined in British English as:

a person or company that takes messages, letters, or parcels from one person or place to another: I want to have this package delivered by motorcycle courier.

This is a rather limited description, as a Kent courier such as JDL Deliveries does literally move anything anywhere, but as a definition it does give you the basic idea of what courier work is.

However, when you speak to the public, the perception of a courier is an individual whom works on behalf of an internet seller who delivers your new mobile phone or iPad, doing anything from 60-150 of these kind of drops a day.  This perception is quite deep seated and it even extends to when we’re talking to insurance companies who struggle to differentiate companies such as JDL from multi drop firms.

So what are the key differences between JDL Deliveries as  a Kent courier from multi drop work?  If you’re a reader of the JDL Deliveries blog you can probably guess that there is a list fast approaching…

  1. The customer base.  It sounds obvious, but the multi drop trade is delivering to the general public (B2C as we like to say) whereas our business is about carrying your business, therefore we tend to have a customer base of organisations rather then individuals.  This is not to say that we don’t also deal directly with the general public (rushing them forgotten iPads seems to be the flavour of the month at the moment), but 98% of our trade is B2B.
  2. The number of drops we do.  We at JDL run what is known as a dedicated courier service, this in effect means that we take one product from point A and deliver it to your customer at point B.  Granted we may be commissioned by the same person at point A to also go onto maybe a point C and a D as well, but it is a pre-planned and priced for delivery schedule.  We certainly don’t do 100 drops per day, each a small item, this ensures that with our sophisticated vehicle tracking you are in control of your delivery at all points.
  3. The range of services we offer.  Have a look at the items displayed on the back of a couple of our vans at the top of the page.  We are more of a logistics solution company as is demanded by the modern business rather than just a van with boxes and a sat nav in it.  Take for example this curtain sider: It is equipped with a pallet truck, a trolley, a tail lift for pallets up to 500kg, access to either side via the curtains, a carrying capacity of 1200kg, an ability to take up to six standard UK pallets and all of this is available in a van that can go pretty much anywhere a large family car is able to go.  With such versatility it is no wonder it is a favourite of our customers for their delivery needs.
  4. The variety of our work.  One day we might be delivering fruit, the next important documentation, the day after 5 metre long steel pipes.  The variety is endless; yesterday for example we had several vans in London delivering employee information documents, visa documents, apple and preservative sames plus an antique bench to a second floor flat.  We certainly get to see the sights:
    Going up in the world at the Shard

    Big Ben at dusk
  5. The fact we get the job done.  There is no such thing for a Kent courier like JDL Deliveries as a “Sorry you were out when I attempted delivery” card.  Our drivers are prepped to know what to expect at the drop off point and with years of experience of delivering across this fine country of ours and beyond, are adept at getting your goods to the destination required, whether it be in a central city location or in the middle of the country side.

We do hope that this has given you an insight into the world of JDL Deliveries.  If you’d like more enlightenment be sure to tune into the blog on a regular basis.

Until next time…

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Fog Lights – When To Use Them – A Kent Courier’s Tips

Fog lights, fog lights, fog lights…you’ve got to love them haven’t you?  This Kent courier certainly does as their warming red glow dazzles you on motorways in heavy rain or at traffic lights on a pristine clear night having driven through a 100 yard wide fog bank 10 miles previously.

So why is it that a safety device on your vehicle is used so inappropriately on such a high number of occasions?  Psychologists often say that being in a vehicle is like being in your own bubble.  The temperature is to your own liking.  The music is to your own liking.  The seating position is to your own liking.  Basically, it’s your space inside and because of this, you’re less likely to appreciate the outside world as it cannot possibly affect you inside your bubble.  Once you’ve switched your fog lights on in that small bank of fog, their impact on drivers behind you is of no consequence to you in your bubble, even when they’ve long since stopped being required.

However miss-use of fog lights can have consequences for you; the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations (1989) prohibits the use of front and rear fog lights to dazzle other drivers when visibility is not reduced or when the vehicle is parked.  Using fog lights in drizzle and rain is therefore not allowed.  You are even eligible for a fine from the police if caught.

Under instruction from the Highway Code (rule 226), fog lights should only be used in the fog, when visibility drops below 100 metres (328 feet) which is roughly the length of a football pitch.  However if you’re found to not have used your fog lights whilst driving in fog that necessitated their use, and you have an accident, your insurance can be invalidated.  So it’s a fine line, however it is a line that can be kept to as long as you use common sense and only use your fog lights as and when they’re needed and not as a default!

So remember please, you are in a ton or more of metal moving at significant speed on occasions.  You are not in a bubble and you have influence on your external environment.  Take this Kent courier‘s advice as it has come from several hundred years worth of driving experience behind us!

Until next time…

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Is it over for social media as a selling tool?

A little bit off tangent for today’s blog, because I’d like a chat about social media.  Now it seems it is THE thing for business and everyone says that if you’re not on social media you’re simply not there at all.  We are told that to the millenials, social media is the only way that they can connect to brands and old ways of marketing and networking are long dead.  This does of course ignore the fact that most millenials as a buying demographic are the first generation since God knows when to have less disposable income than the generation who proceeded it.  Does the savvy business have to invest the time, energy and money to connect with this group, knowing that there are more fruitful alternatives out there whom might not see social media as the be-all and end-all of their brand interaction.

Take us at JDL Deliveries for example…we’ve got a decent enough website, a new app coming soon (oooohhh!), and a social media presence, but avert your gaze to the top of the page and look at one of our vans.  As a marketing bang to the buck, sign writing has proved a very decent yield.  Maybe the average punter has been turned off on social media because of the constant stream of “buy my stuff” in this format.  In the end everyone on social media is just saying the same thing and very few people seemingly have the wit and skill to stand out from the crowd and do something different.  In much the same way that television advertising in the 1970s, 80s and 90s became a skill and in some instances the adverts were actually better than the programs and are still fondly remembered…R Whites Lemonade, Shake & Vac, Um Bongo, Tango…the list goes on.  How many social media posts do you remember in the same manner?  Social media as an advertising is still in it’s infancy, but it does seem strange that it hasn’t learnt the lessons of other forms of advertising that came before it and made itself cutting edge or something people genuinely have affinity with.

We’ve got no axe to grind with social media as a strategy, but in our humble opinion, if you’re putting all your advertising eggs in the social media basket, you’re asking for trouble, in spite of what your social media guru is telling you in your £75 a month master class.  Keep your options and budget open, of course integrate social media into an overall strategy, but also be smart and savvy and make sure you find out what works for you and your customers and then implement it!

Until next time.

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Do you wanna build a snowman…

Yes, it’s snowing!  Yes it can be a pain, but this Kent courier has vans on the road today making sure we’re carrying our customer’s expectations (as well as their loads) is and safe, courteous and efficient manner.  However because it’s snowing today, for no other reason than it’s fun, here is a picture of a Lego snowman that was transported by JDL Deliveries to a photo shoot last summer:

If that isn’t enough, here is a real one I made with my little boy last night (we started making a snow dog too, but after two hours snowball fighting and building, we called it a day):

 However frivolity aside, we have already done one blog on winter driving and maintenance tips.  I would urge you to read it, so have a quick clickity click here.

So it is a brief blog today, but make sure you drive safe and smart in the snow.

Until next time.

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The driving charter – interesting facts about being behind the steering wheel

Well, well, well so here we are in 2017 & I bid you a welcome to the first JDL Deliveries, (the quality Kent courier‘s), blog of the new year.  In the best traditions of JDL’s blogs throughout 2016, we’re going to do a list, and the reason we’re going to do another one is because we like them, so there!

This one is going to be some startling (some not so possibly) facts that come from our love affair of being behind the wheel.  So hold onto your hats and let us get going shall we!

  1. Did you know that 92% of us consider themselves “good drivers”, however…65% also admit to breaking the 70mph speed limit and almost one in six UK motorists have been caught speeding in the last five years.  Not any of our drivers of course!
  2. In the whole of the United Kingdom, the highest concentration of pink cars occurs in Ipswich.
  3. The UK driving test has a pass rate of only 50.2%…yes that does seem quite low doesn’t it?
  4. The total road length in the UK in 2012 was estimated to be 245,400 miles.  Rumours that at least 200,000 miles of these have either roadworks or traffic cones on them is, of course, complete nonsense…
  5. When you’re driving your vehicle at 30mph your brain will take in an average of 1320 pieces of information a minute (that’s 22 things a second), so make sure you’re not touching that mobile phone when you get a text message.
  6. Travelling at 80mph uses 11% more fuel than travelling at 70mph, yet saves you just five and a half minutes on a 50 mile trip. Even travelling at 75mph uses 6% more fuel, yet saves just three minutes. At almost £5 per gallon, those small percentages soon add up to much bigger fuel bills.
  7. Friction with the road warms the air in your tyres, creating a false reading when checking tyre pressure. So always make sure you check your tyres ‘cold’ before you set off, rather than en route.
  8. Your instincts may tell you exactly the opposite, but if you find yourself skidding on ice, the best thing to do is to turn into the skid. Trying to turn the car out of the skid will just make it worse.
  9. Britons spend 454 days of their life just sitting in traffic, just as an aside, we offer a quick and self updating traffic report service by clicking right here.
  10. One quarter of drivers have not had an eye test in two years and it is estimated that the actual cost of poor driver vision annually is £33 million and some 2,900 road casualties.  Remember; keep ’em peeled and get ’em checked too!

So there we go then, 10 facts or anecdotes as quick as a flash.  I hope you’ve found them as useful as we have…

Until next time.

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A very Merry Christmas and a Happy Year from JDL Deliveries

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This is going to be the briefest of the brief type of blogs to wish all our customers and suppliers past, present or future a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

Actually…nah!  It wouldn’t be a JDL Deliveries blog without a list would it?  So here we go; 10 obscure facts about Christmas to digest with your mince pies…

  1. Christmas is a contraction of “Christ’s Mass,” which is derived from the Middle English Cristemasse, which in turn comes from the Old English Cristesmæsse, a phrase first recorded all the way back in 1038.
  2. Boxing Day gets its name from all the money collected in church alms-boxes for the poor.
  3. Robins on cards started as a joke 150 years ago when postmen wore red tunics and were named after them.
  4. Believe it or not, but it’s illegal to eat mince pies on Christmas Day in England. In the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas pudding, mince pies and anything to do with gluttony. The law has never been rescinded.
  5. Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer was invented for a US firm’s Christmas promotion in 1938.
  6. During the 20th century there were only seven official white Christmases in the United Kingdom.
  7. Ebenezer Scrooge’s famous line “Bah Humbug” almost never existed. Charles Dickens’ initial choice was “Bah Christmas.”
  8. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen is the only record to get the UK Christmas Singles Chart Number One twice, once in 1975 and again in 1991. “Do They Know It’s Christmas” was number 1 three times (1984, 1989 and 2004), but technically it was by different groups, so doesn’t count, before you point that out!
  9. Christmas pudding was originally a soup made with raisins and wine.
  10. The average Brit consumes around 7,000 calories on Christmas day, and you’ll reach your recommended daily allowance at about 2pm.

So whatever you’re up to during the festivities, have an extraordinarily fantastic time.

Until next time…

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A Kent courier’s Christmas spending tips

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We love Christmas at JDL Deliveries, absolutely love it!  Spending time with the family, scoffing mince pies and generally enjoying the festive spirit.  However one thing we as a small business know about is finance and avoiding the spending hangover that could follow an over-indulgent festive period once the bills hit in January.  So in the best tradition of lists, we start at number one and go all the way to number six, outlining spending tips for you over the next few weeks to make the start of 2017 that bit easier for you.

  1. Set your spending budget AND STICK TO IT, make sure your holiday budget is part of your household budget as well, because (shock horror) your bills still need to be paid, even in December.
  2. Use credit cards and savings wisely.  Make sure you know how you’re going to finance your budget and if you do utilise your credit cards, make sure that you clear them down as quickly as possible due to the expensive interest charges.
  3. Make sure that you shop around and look for the best deals.  Rather like having a weekly shopping list helps ensure that your “normal” shopping bills don’t secretly tot up, the same is true of your Christmas spend.  Once you know what you’re looking for, spend some time looking for the best deals for each item.
  4. Keep your receipts – just in case anything needs to be exchanged or refunded.
  5. Children literally don’t care about the price of your present, in fact they’re more likely to be more interested in the box or the wrapping paper.  If you think you’re going to impress nieces or nephews with branded goods, then think again…
  6. Save early, granted this is probably a bit late to be telling you this now, but hey!  Remember it for 2017!  The average family spends £796.00 on Christmas, so if you squirrel away £66.34 a month then that sounds far more manageable!

So there we have it, a few tips and ideas to make your Christmas a bit merrier and your new year that much happier.  Add some more of your own if you like sharing.

Until next time…

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Driving tips – a Kent courier’s guide


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We like to blog about a number of things, but as a dedicated Kent courier, we like to throw a tip or two (or 7 in this case) out there about driving.  Some of it maybe quite random, but hey!  That’s how we like to roll…

  1. Headlights…you know when they go all milky?  The tip of the day…use a 500 grit sandpaper to shift the grit, apply TOOTHPASTE (preferentially one with biocarbonate of soda) with a lesser grade and you’ll have sparkly clean lights.  Possibly apply a bit of polish for an extra touch.
  2. Got a new car or a hire car, need to fill it up.  What side is the fuel tank on?  Handily you’ll see an arrow on your vehicle’s dashboard near the fuel gauge to indicate which side you need to pull up to the pumps with.
  3. Need tissues or wipes in a hurry?  Stuff some in an old coffee cup that’ll sit nicely in your cup holder, hey presto!  Your own dispenser through the little hole in the lid.
  4. If your remote fob is not working very well or you want to increase its range just for fun, stick it against your cheek or chin.  The fluids in your head turn it into an increased conductor.  Go on try it…
  5. If your tyre ever blows out, DON’T suddenly brake.  This will result in you losing control and you could even flip the car.  Instead, remove your foot from the accelerator and steer the vehicle in the direction of the blown tyre.
  6. Wing / side view mirrors; keep your vehicle OUT of their view, otherwise you’ll have a blind spot.  If you can see your car in your mirror, they’re not adjusted far enough out.
  7. Check your tyre pressure on a regular basis; if your pressure is too low you’ll be using too much fuel and creating uneven wear on your tread.  Not sure about what the levels are?  There is often a guide stuck inside the driver’s door or simply look on a search engine.

Of course there are a whole host of other tips we could throw at you, but we thing (for now) that these will suffice.

Until next time…

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