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Turning Passion into Profession – Riding for Work in the UK

Riding A Motorcycle For Work Delivery Or Courier Rider

Riding A Motorcycle For Work Delivery Or Courier Rider

Riding a motorcycle can go beyond a simple passion or a mode of transport to commute to and from work. It can become a real bug and in some cases addicted riders want something more from their riding. 

That’s when they choose to become a full time rider. It can serve as an effective tool for various professional roles, such as motorcycle instructor, delivery rider, or courier. In some cases for a chosen few, their role in the emergency services can lead them to riding as a career.

The Gig Economy

Some riders make the highest grade in riding whilst others just use the vehicle to make some money by delivering pizzas and food in the local community. No matter what your thoughts are about the gig economy, it is big business and is here to stay. 

Some say learner riders should not be allowed to ride for a vocation, as they are the weakest riders. They ride at night in all weathers and are up against time restraints to deliver food quickly and hot. Is it right to let inexperienced riders ride in these terrible conditions for less than the minimum wage? You decide!

However, turning this hobby into a profession comes with an increased responsibility towards safety, legal obligations, and efficiency. 

This article will equip you with necessary insights, skills and knowledge to make a decision about whether it is for you. You can make it a seamless transition from a recreational rider to a professional one with the right information and mindset.

Legally Riding within the Rules

The first step in professional motorcycle riding is understanding and adhering to the legal requirements in the UK. There are a number of things a rider must know and understand before they become a professional rider.

Depending on the nature of your work, you must ensure you possess the correct driving licence and appropriate business insurance. There are some roles that the insurance company will not cover, this applies to age and type of motorcycle being used and what task is to be undertaken.

Working hours regulations also apply too and it’s critical that these are complied with to maintain your health and safety. This will also hinder any insurance claims if it can be proven that you have not ridden within the rules of the road or you contravened the rules and regulations for your role. 

Load Management

As a professional rider, your motorcycle will often become a carriage for goods. This could be any number of items from food to highly classified documents that must be delivered with confidence, as some couriers only deal with highly classified material.

Whether it’s important paperwork or general packages for delivery, you must know how to load and equip your motorcycle properly. You are responsible for the load you are carrying and how it is stowed.

Using the right equipment such as panniers, tank bag, tail pack or a top box can aid in safely carrying loads. The accessory used to carry the items must be securely fastened to the motorcycle. They must also conform to weight and size restrictions governed by law.

In addition, technological aids like sat navs can help ensure efficient route planning and timely deliveries. But be aware that they can go wrong and not always take you to the correct destination. You should avoid using them at dangerous times, like very heavy traffic or when the danger in front is heightened because of hazard situations.

Advanced Filtering is a Skill Worth Acquiring

Navigating through heavy traffic efficiently is an essential skill for a professional rider. This is especially true for riders in large cities such as London, Birmingham and Manchester. Young food delivery riders zip through the traffic like they are playing a computer game, with little regard for their safety.

There is a saying that sums up riders who have little regard for their safety. A young inexperienced rider starts with two bags, one full of luck and the other is an empty bag of skill. The idea is to fill the bag of skill, before the bag of luck runs out! 

Don’t run out of luck!

The message here is that if you take too many chances and too many risks, at some point your luck will run out and you will be involved in an incident. Filtering skills are high risk on small motorcycles with limited power delivery and when riding through moving traffic, the mopeds will not match the speed of other vehicles. This could put inexperienced riders in jeopardy.

Completing the advanced filtering module of the DVSA Enhanced Rider Scheme can greatly benefit those riding for work. It allows for safer and quicker travel through congested areas. When done properly it can be a joy to watch an experienced motorcyclist demonstrating their skills.

This will not only improve your on-time delivery rate but also enhance your overall riding safety.

Motorcycle Training Instructor and student

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Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

Just as in any profession, CPD is key to success in learning how to become a professional rider. Some riders are content to be average whilst others want to progress. This is why riders have completely different abilities when it comes to riding. 

However, if you want to ride for work and as a profession you should set your sights and standards high. This means undertaking regular training and if you work for a company, they have a duty of professional care and must put you on training courses to uplift your skills and ability.

Several educational courses are available to improve your riding skills. You must understand basic motorcycle maintenance, as you will need to diagnose issues as they arise or at least know when something isn’t right. As part of your role, you should stay updated with the latest safety and work procedures.

It’s not just about the ride from A to B, it’s also about ensuring that your motorcycle is in peak working condition. You must also be in good health and not tired when you ride for a living.

Safety on the Road and Clothing

Your riding environment on the road contributes significantly to work-related safety. You must be aware of the destinations you need to ride to as well as know your surroundings. If you are unfamiliar with the area you are riding in, you should take extra care with lane position and discipline.

Regularly assessing road congestion is important to your overall safety. Also make sure you know what the weather conditions will be as you will need to be appropriately dressed for adverse conditions. Staying warm in the winter is imperative to your safety and comfort.

With the aid of advanced riding, you can adapt your riding techniques accordingly to the weather and traffic conditions. Without elevated skills and understanding you will be at a higher risk. This is especially true if a young rider is riding on L Plates after only completing a CBT. It means they may have only had two hours of education on the road and are now riding for a vocational reason.

Additionally, wearing appropriate professional clothing that provides both safety and comfort is equally important. Always wear a high visibility vest for visibility reasons and have the headlight turned on if riding an old machine. Always think that other road users have not seen you.

Basic Motorcycle Maintenance

Understanding basic motorcycle maintenance is critical for professional riders. You do not have to be a qualified mechanic but you should know how to check over your motorcycle correctly and also know when something doesn’t look, feel or sound right. Then you can seek professional advice to get the motorcycle repaired.

Regularly inspecting your motorcycle, keeping it clean and ensuring timely services can help prevent breakdowns. Regular inspections will ensure you are road fit and if required have your motorcycle checked quarterly to ensure it is road legal and safe to be used as a work vehicle.

Turning the Ride into a Career

Riding for work, particularly in a professional capacity can present unique opportunities. As a motorcycle instructor you’ll be able to pass on handy tips and advice to new and novice riders. 

A delivery rider or courier has a role that is responsible for carrying an important item. It may not be important to the rider but it will be important to the recipient. Make sure you take your role seriously and ride professionally at all times. Your duty is to take care of the cargo you carry.

The shift from pleasure rider to professional rider not only adds a new dimension to your passion for riding but also brings along new challenges and responsibilities. 

By equipping yourself with the right knowledge and skills and embracing a disciplined approach towards safety and legality, you can smoothly navigate the professional path you have chosen as your vocational route.

Always ride within your own capabilities, remember to keep safe with extra training and guidance to become a better and safer rider. Be aware of your own goals and challenges and Keep it on the Black Stuff.

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