‘Tis the season to be busy right now – and no one is more affected than the truck and van drivers on our roads. This has been borne out in a fascinating study in Britain, which reveals that the country’s van drivers could be the forgotten heroes of the holidays, making as many deliveries as Santa himself, doing good deeds for friends and loved ones and working over the festive period to make everyone’s Christmas merry and bright – and all with a big helping of festive cheer, a new study has found.
Only a third of van drivers will be taking time off over Christmas (33%) to spend the holidays with their family and friends. Over one in six will be on call on Christmas Day – which could see them fixing unexpected leaks, broken down boilers, and cars that won’t start to save the day for customers in need.
Almost a third of van drivers will be working Christmas Eve and many will be back in the van on Boxing Day (19%). Nearly a quarter will be working New Year’s Eve, but almost one in 10 will be getting an early night to be up for work on New Year’s Day.
Despite the lack of time off and business picking up in the run up to Christmas, almost a quarter (24%) of drivers will be decorating their van to get into the Christmas spirit.
Their vans will be alive with the sound of Christmas music too, with Wham’s Last Christmas, Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and Bobby Helm’s Christmas classic Jingle Bell Rock, all favourites for the stereo. Chris Rea’s Driving Home for Christmas and Mariah’s All I Want for Christmas, also made the van drivers’ top 10 Christmas tunes.
A spokesperson for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, which commissioned the research of 500 van drivers across the UK, said: “Christmas is a busy time for the nation’s van drivers, as customers want everything done and delivered before they finish for the holidays.
“Our survey shows that van drivers embrace the festive season with good cheer by decorating their vehicles and getting the Christmas music on. But they also sacrifice time with loved ones to make sure that their customers are taken care of at Christmas, so we believe they are the forgotten heroes of the festive season.”
Researchers from OnePoll.com also found that van drivers’ good will to all men doesn’t stop with call outs on Christmas Day. Seven out of 10 (70%) drivers say they have used their van at Christmas to do a good deed for others.
On average, van drivers travelled for 120 km to do their good turn, and 9% have even travelled more than 160 km to do something nice for someone else. Now isn’t that nice? Ho, ho, ho!