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Shift your gear safely with Europcar From car boots to online auctions, Europcar helps thrifty consumers save their backs and their budgets

With the increasing popularity of car boot sales and online auctions as places to save or make some extra cash, Europcar, the UK’s leading vehicle rental company is helping cost-conscious consumers buy, sell and move their gear safely with its top tips for carrying heavy items.  With rentals from £5.99 an hour for a car derived van and £6.99 per hour for a transit sized van*, Europcar is making it easy for thrifty consumers to rent a van just for the time they need it rather than be committed to a whole day’s rental.

Catriona Lougher, Marketing Director for Europcar said: “When times are lean, we naturally look for ways to save costs and earn some extra money.  This has led to a real rise in car boot sales, online buying and selling sites and a DIY approach to home deliveries of furniture and white goods to save costs.

“With the option of weekend, daily and even hourly rentals, plus the addition of 50% more tail lifts on our fleet we are already helping customers transport bulkier items more safely, particularly for those doing lone trips. However, we recognise it is sometimes necessary to load and unload awkward or heavy objects into a van by hand. In this situation great care must be taken to avoid any chance of injury to the back, legs and arms and for this reason we have put together the following tips for our van customers”:

Europcar’s Tips for Lifting and Carrying

Assess the situation

· Test the weight of a large object by lifting a corner, can you lift the load safely by yourself or do you need help?

· If the load is too heavy or an awkward shape is it possible to break-down into smaller parts?

· Check how far you have to carry the load and if the path is clear of anything which may cause you to trip. Check that all doors have been opened in advance.

·  Once the load is lifted, will it block your view?

Correct lifting techniques for heavy items

· Before you lift a heavy object make sure you have a firm footing.

· Stand close to the object and centre yourself over it with your feet shoulder width apart, squat down to the ground.

· Before starting to lift make sure you have a good handhold.

· To lift, straighten your knees and rise from the ground in a smooth, steady motion. Concentrate on keeping your back straight and let your legs do the lifting. Tightening your stomach muscles will help to support your back.

· Never bend your back to pick something up.

· Once upright do not twist or turn your body, keep your head up and look straight ahead. Focusing upwards will help to keep your back straight.

Carrying the load

· Hold the object close to your body and keep it steady with your arms bent, the further the object is from your body the heavier it will feel.

· Keep your feet about shoulder width apart, take short steps and move slowly.

· Change direction by turning your feet and once facing in the right direction continue to move forward.

· If you are straining or feel tired set the load down and rest for a few minutes.

· To lower the object, once again position your feet shoulder width apart, tighten stomach muscles and lower to the ground by bending your knees in a smooth and steady action. Only release your grip when the load is securely set down upon a firm surface.

General lifting advice

· Wear gloves to protect your hands and provide better grip.

· Use a mechanical aid whenever possible and control using both hands.

· When using a lifting aid or trolley always push rather than pull, use your body weight to assist and help control the load.

· Use tie-downs where necessary to secure the load.  

Europcar offers a wide variety of vans to rent from most of its 250 plus locations with one way rentals and delivery and collection available across the UK. 

END

September 2008

* The price includes VAT, Damage and Theft Waiver and License and Fee’s 

Conditions: 

  • One way rentals not available on hourly pricing.
  • Damage and Theft excess is £600
  • Hourly rentals are available from 0800 on a Monday to Midday on a Friday
  • Vehicles must be returned by Friday 14:00.

Notes to Editors  

Owned by the French private equity firm Eurazeo, Europcar is the European leader in passenger car and light utility vehicle rentals. Since March 2007 with the acquisition of Vanguard EMEA (National & Alamo brands), its network comprises over 5,300 rental outlets in 160 countries. Europcar serves business and leisure customers throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region. Excluding franchise operations, in 2007 Europcar signed more than 10 million rental contracts, with 7,700 employees and a fleet exceeding 215,000 vehicles. For more information: www.europcar.com

For further press information please contact Dominic Dennis, Elinor Puzey, Jenny Staniforth or Madeleine Roles at HSL, Churcham House, 1 Bridgeman Road, Teddington, Middlesex, TW11 9AJ. Telephone: 020 8977 9132. fax: 020 8977 5200. leisureteam@harrisonsadler.com

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