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The majority of painters and decorators do an admirable job improving the house exteriors and interiors they are called in to renovate or decorate. In fact, many who start their own business from the back of their car (with insurance that permits the car to be used for work purposes), eventually find that they need a van instead.

Becoming successful enough to need a van for all of your equipment can be tough, but if painting and decorating is your calling in life it's certainly worth an up-hill struggle.

One man who arguably had to struggle more than most to get started in the career he was interested in, is Li Shuang. This 39-year-old man, who lives in China, was worried he might never work again after he was forced to have two thirds of his left leg amputated in 2005 due to suffering from a cancerous tumour.

Photo © mjtmail (tiggy) via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence

However, he states, "sitting around moping and feeling sorry for myself is really not my style.

"I decided that one legged, or no legged, I was going to persevere and make something of my life – and that is what I did."

Since his amputation he has set up his own company and made a name for himself in the painting and decorating industry, having first had to work for free in order to prove to people he was just as good at the job as his competitors.

Now he has 40 employees and plans on hiring more. He hopes to be able to employ disabled people who might not be able to find employment elsewhere, and to change Chinese society's view of those who might seem less able-bodied.

Photo © mjtmail (tiggy) via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence

If you love VW Beetles, campers, and buses, make sure that you get over to the Santa Pod Raceway on the weekend of Friday 18th to Sunday 20th July 2014.

Bug Jam 28

The immensely popular VW festival Bug Jam is back for the 28th time, and based on previous events this one will be a corker (no seriously, this event just gets better every year)!

Sprechen sie Dub?

While Bug Jam is aimed towards the die-hard Volkswagen enthusiast, there is still plenty going on for those who just fancy a great weekend out with the family.

VW Beetles

Events and attractions

This event is shaping up to be no less manic than previous years with plenty going on that will keep petrol-heads and VW fans entertained for hours.

As Santa Pod is one of the world's most famous drag racing strips, expect plenty of races taking place with world class machines tearing up and down the 1/4 mile strip all weekend.

On Friday and Saturday you can get your own motor onto the strip with the RWYB (Run What Ya Brung) races. With unlimited runs and a full performance print out for each run - you can be sure that there will be plenty of friendly rivalry taking place! (Full driving licences required.)

Santa Pod Raceway

There will also be a lot of car shows, with the fantastic VW Rust & Rat as well as VW Show & Shine events taking place and awards for the best cars on show!

Music

What with this being a festival, you can expect some of the best bands to be playing. This event will be hosting the likes of:

Friday: The Ordinary Boys, Mused, Hot Red Chillie Peppers, Raindance with Shades of Rhythm, Strictly Disco, and Indie DJs.
Saturday: Cuban Brothers, Judge Jules, Call Me Blondie, Ultra 90s, and Rock DJ Alex Baker.

During the daytime there will be a Live Stage area with musicians playing Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the line-up is to be confirmed.

The Bugwam is making a comeback and is still the perfect place to relax and chill out with live acoustic music, DJs, and a licensed bar.

There will also be a host of comics at this year's event - you can view the line up on the Comedy Guide page.

And more...

The list of events and attractions taking place at the 28th Bug Jam is almost too long to list, rest assured there will be plenty to keep you occupied all weekend long!

For a full run-down of what's what, why not visit the Bug Jam website at www.bugjam.co.uk for the whole itinerary.

Bug Jam Fun Fair

Private and commercial van manufacturer Vauxhall has struck a deal with overhead cranes, components, and related services provider Konecranes. It has supplied the firm with 88 of its Combo and Vivaro vans.

Konecranes

Konecranes, who will probably be purchasing any van driver insurance for its new fleet, will enjoy improved fuel efficiently from these vehicles, since the Combos are fitted with 1.3CDTi ecoFLEX engines with Start/Stop, and the Vivaros Euro 5-compliant 2.0CDTi 115PS engines which offer great fuel economy.

Furthermore, it has had in-vehicle workshop conversion specialist, the Bott Group, modify some of the vehicles to increase their usability.

A Vauxhall spokesperson states, "These vans will help Konecranes across many areas of its business and highlights the versatility across the Vauxhall commercial vehicle range.

"The combination of our two best-selling commercial vehicles will provide Konecranes with a high-performing, reliable and efficient fleet."

Photo © Konecranes

 

Are you a Van Excellence accredited operator? If so, you have been welcomed by Freight Transport Association (FTA) to enter your best van driver into the first ever Van Excellence Driver of the Year contest.

The competition will be held on the opening day of Drive it, a new event at which van drivers are encouraged by the van manufacturing industry's big names to test out their vehicles. It begins on the 10th July, and ends on the 12th.Drive It

The contest will see drivers going head to head to test their safe driving skills at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in Leicestershire.

Exhibitors will also be present to show off their vehicles and to allow van operators to take them for test drives. Companies will include Ford, Citroën, Isuzu, and many other well-know manufacturers, as well as less well-known brands. You can view the full list of exhibitors by clicking here.

FTA head of vans Mark Cartwright, is looking forward to the competition and feels it is an important event. He states, "It gives us a terrific opportunity to show this vital sector of UK logistics in a positive light, and gain van drivers the recognition they deserve for their skill and the importance of the job they do."


Photo © DriveItAt.com

We've certainly come a long way from the days when it was thought that the only people who had need for small business van insurance were "white van men".

Yes, according to a study of 10,000 tradespeople carried out by IronmongeryDirect, there are now more women represented among the typical small business van insurance policyholder demographic than ever before, accounting for 5.7% of all those working in trades.

"It's... interesting to see that women now represent a significant, if still small, proportion of the sector. The emergence of White Van Women could be a major trend as the economy continues to grow," said Wayne Lysaght-Mason, managing director with the firm.

"Good tradespeople are highly prized and an influx of women into the trades would help meet growing demand, for example in the housing sector, as well as providing a great career for women looking to grow their own business."

However, the same study also found that the numbers of migrant worker tradespeople was down, from the 8% reported by the Health and Safety Executive in 2010 to a mere 4.6%.

We here at iVan think it's great to know that there are an increased number of women plumbers, plasterers, and decorators, but we've actually known that for some time, maybe it's because we read Women in Trade.