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May 2013 fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan £5 where sold

SAFETY FIRST

Mercedes-Benz heralds a new era of van safety with raft of technology innovations Case study: BT Fleet

Joe Fielder on how remapping will cut BT fuel bill by £4m

Insight: Accident management

Expert advice on the best way to create and run a robust policy

First drive: Navara Visia

Nissan hopes new entry-level trim will boost fleet appeal


Contact us Fleet News, Media House, Lynch Wood, Peterborough PE2 6EA. Email fleetnews@bauermedia.co.uk If you or someone you know is aged between 16 and 24 and is interested in work experience opportunities at Bauer Media go to www.gothinkbig.com Editorial Editor-in-chief Stephen Briers 01733 468024 stephen.briers@bauermedia.co.uk Deputy editor Simon Harris 01733 468308 simon.harris@bauermedia.co.uk Associate editor Trevor Gehlcken Contributors Carlton Boyce, Mark Cartwright, John Charles, Ben Rooth, Chris Lowndes (photographs) Production Head of publishing Luke Neal Production editors Andrew Ryan Alan Salt Designer Charlotte Boon Advertising Commercial director Sarah Crown 01733 468320 B2B commercial manager Sheryl Graham 01733 468256 Account managers Wendy Cowell 01733 468046 Lucy Herbert 01733 468800 Lisa Turner 01733 468345 Stuart Wakeling 01733 468342 Marcus Woods 01733 468269 Head of project management Leanne Patterson 01733 468332 Project managers Angela Price 01733 468338 Kerry Unwin 01733 468327 Telesales/recruitment b2brecruitment@bauermedia.co.uk 01733 468275/01733 468328 Events Event director Chris Lester Event manager Sandra Evitt 01733 468123 Event organiser Kate Howard 01733 468146 Events administrator Nicola Baxter 01733 468289 Publishing Managing director Tim Lucas 01733 468340 General manager Ian Richardson 01733 468555 Group marketing manager Bev Mason 01733 468295 Office manager Vicky Meadows 01733 468319 Group managing director Rob Munro-Hall Printing: Headley Brothers Ltd, Kent © 2013 Bauer Consumer Media Ltd ISSN 0953-8526. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher. You can purchase words or pictures for your own publications. Phone 01733 465982 or email syndication@bauermedia.co.uk. Fleet News will not accept responsibility for unsolicited material. Editor cannot accept responsibility for statements by advertisers and contributors whose views do not represent those of the publisher. Member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation Copyright: Bauer Consumer Media Ltd

CONTENTS 4 I Best practice: Pothole damage FTA survey highlights heavy price UK businesses pay for poorly-maintained roads.

B e n c h m a r k i n g b y t h e F TA P ot h o l e s

Two-thirds of van fleets suffer pothole damage The first thing we wanted to understand was By Mark Cartwright, how many operators had experienced damage head of LCVs, Freight Transport Association due to the impact of potholes. The findings weren’t succession of hard winters coupled a happy story with almost two-thirds reporting with a significant squeeze on the they had suffered damage. budgets of local authorities responAside from the impact on the vehicle itself, sible for the upkeep of most of the there can be further issues. As the fleet and logisUK’s roads has resulted in a bumper tics manager at one of the UK’s NHS ambulance crop of potholes. trusts put it: “Critical patients can be put at risk According to the Annual Local Authority Road by poor road surfaces. They can Maintenance (ALARM) survey – a make an injury worse and they comprehensive audit of Britain’s also slow down the response to smaller roads – one in five of the critical patients.” UK’s roads now have a life expecpotholes were tancy of less than five years. repaired by local What kind of damage are The ALARM report also shows authorities last year operators experiencing? that although local authorities “It’s pretty much the kind of repaired 2.2 million potholes last damage you’d expect: tyres, year, it would take a mind-blowing suspension, steering tracking etc 12 years at the current rate to clear with the occasional stone chip to the road repair backlog in England the windscreen.” said Paul Taylor, and Wales even if the budget average cost impact of pothole damage fleet manager at Morgan Sindall. was available. “The irony for us is that, as a The report concludes that it civil engineering company who has to operate in would cost £10.5 billion for a one-off blitz to get challenging environments, they’re the same sort the roads back into a reasonable condition. of issues we experience operating on-site.” Not surprisingly, there has been a good amount The stats from our survey bear this out with of column inches in the national press recently more than 70% of the incidents of damage regugiven to the state of the roads with this, by and larly involving tyre damage with suspension large, focusing on the impact on car users. breakages being the next most common. We were interested in looking at this from the Aside from vehicle damage there is also the point of view of van operators and surveyed van potential for collisions either from the impact of operating members of FTA.

Stories you can’t afford to miss from the last month.

A

Have your vans suffered poor road surface damage in the past 12 months?

Have you claimed costs back from the local authority involved? 7.5%

What’s new, and which vans are getting upgrades?

12 I Fleet operations: driver behaviour

40% 12.5% 92.5% 25%

47.5%

n Yes n No

n Regularly n Occasionally n Rarely n Never

7.5% 2.5% n Getting much worse n Getting worse n Staying about the same n Getting better

the vehicle (or other road-users) with a pothole or from drivers attempting to swerve a pothole. South Lakeland District Council reports exactly this with a driver attempting to take evasive action and colliding with a stone gate post on a rural road. As it says itself, it probably got off lightly as the incident could have been so much worse if there had been oncoming traffic or even a pedestrian or cyclist in the vehicle’s path. The cost of this damage is not insignificant, particularly when you also take into account the commercial impact of having a van off the road: our respondents put the cost, on average, at around £3,000 per incident. The recently-published Pothole Review commissioned by DfT and supported by, among others, the FTA, estimated that, on average, businesses affected by poor road conditions lose more than £8,000 per year on vehicle damage and increased fuel costs. It’s also worth bearing in mind that, in the most part, our respondents are reasonably-sized, financially-robust organisations. The direct impact on, for example, a selfemployed builder would be immediate. So who bears the cost? It’s easy to assume those responsible for maintaining the roads ultimately meet the cost of damage and, while the ALARM report stated that the annual value of claims against local authorities stood at £35m (aggregated nationally), it is

“Critical patients can be put at risk by poor road surfaces. They can make an injury worse”

What should be done? It is clear that the condition of Britain’s roads is deteriorating and operators hold out little hope of a quick fix. An overwhelming 90% of respondents to our survey felt that road surfaces were either ‘getting worse’ or ‘getting much worse’. FTA’s stance is that the situation is untenable, but we also recognise that recent extreme weather conditions and the economic environment have contributed to an unprecedented problem. Those looking for a pot of money to be thrown at the issue are likely to be waiting a long time, but there are a couple of very useful best practice strategies we would implore local authorities to adopt. The first is for them to ‘fix it right – fix it once’ Several operators complained about the scenario

20 I Fleet Insight: accident management

Effective accident management procedures have never been more important.

24 I Cover feature Industry spotlight: safety features Many new technologies will appear on Mercedes-Benz Sprinter later this year.

28 I Case study: BT Fleet

Scheme will cut carbon footprint by 25,000 tonnes.

30 I CV Show review

A round-up of all the key launches and news from this year’s show.

34 I Driven

Nissan Navara, Citroën Berlingo, Volkswagen Transporter long-termer.

of councils doing a quick fix on a pothole while ignoring a similar one just metres down the road before returning weeks later to fix the second hole. Kent County Council has a great example of best practice with its Find and Fix blitz on potholes within the county. As part of the campaign, the council’s highways teams identify and fill in road defects, and where possible surface dress these to protect the fixes and ensure they last, instead of cracking or being knocked out of place. This approach has already seen the number of potholes on Kent roads halve over the past three years, with the council’s repair time being slashed to an average of just 13 days per pothole. A far more sensible and cost-effective method of managing road repairs Secondly, we would also call upon the authorities to take on a wholelife maintenance approach to reflect a ‘prevention is better than cure’ response. Intervening at the right time in the right way will reduce the number of potholes forming and prevent bigger problems developing later on. There is no quick fix: potholes are here to stay for at least the immediate future. Our final thought is don’t neglect your pre-use checks on vans. However the damage is incurred, it is absolutely the drivers and operators responsibility to ensure your vans are roadworthy.

Fleet operations Driver behaviour

Telematics can monitor driving standards away from the office

GeTTinG The BesT ouT of your fleeT

Promoting a safer driving culture

M

By Trevor Gehlcken ost van fleet operators have a range of responsibilities; they are expected to know about transport management, health and safety, legal and financial issues. It’s a daunting task. But one of the main areas of concern for a fleet manager is getting the best from employees who drive. There are two ways to encourage staff to shine – the carrot and the stick. The secret of success is knowing exactly how to use them and striking the right balance of incentive and the risk of disciplinary action. Driver behaviour can be monitored accurately and managed by electronic equipment installed in the vehicle and if adopted in the right way drivers can be managed without being alienated. There are any number of devices on the market now which will both keep an eye on staff while they are on the road and gently guide them towards more efficient, cost-effective motoring.

But all the experts agree – it is imperative that before you start plugging all sorts of gizmos into your vans, you should get your team together and explain why you are doing it and the benefits for them as well as for the company. If drivers don’t get some kind of reward, they are unlikely to be as enthusiastic as you are. Some fleet operators have had considerable success which has helped to reduce fuel costs as well as cut the risk of unnecessary wear and tear on vehicles. Monthly competitions between drivers with a price for the best fuel consumption, the best kept van or fewest accidents or parking fines can prove surprisingly effective, and often negate the need to take action to combat undesirable behaviour through dialogue with line managers and HR departments. The cost of a modest prize such as a weekend break or dinner at an expensive restauraunt could easily be offset by the savings in fuel costs, lower

maintenance bills and potential downtime for vehicles off the road for repairs across the whole van fleet. However, in some cases it is necessary to pursue formal disciplinary measures with repeat offenders, or those who commit a serious offence. The obvious place to start improving drivers is to send them on driver training courses, although the experts disagree on how successful this is. Dr Will Murray, research director at Interactive Driving Systems, says: “Based on research and experience there are no silver bullets in driver management. What is key is effective management and leadership by example. “The culture varies, but in all the best cases of fleet management there has been an appropriate mix of competence and consequence. “Fuel efficient and safe driving become a fund-amental reflection of the organisation’s performance, with organisations and managers within them understanding the important

balance between sales and safety.” Murray says: “Coaching, involvement, understanding the risks and engaging people to do their best are all important. “Ensuring drivers have an appropriate level of experience, a solid contract of employment, an appropriate (and clean) licence supported by relevant qualifications are all important. “Support this with clear work instructions and an easy to read and comply with driver handbook, enforced by risk assessment and relevant training. “Engagement and encouragement, supported by appropriate equipment, are all important, as is communication to ensure that drivers understand exactly what is required of them. Good employers also think about the health and wellbeing of their drivers and have effective monitoring in place supported by corrective action if things do go wrong for some reason.”

if driver training on its own doesn’t work, it’s time to turn to hi-tech devices offered by telematics firms such as Trimble. Mark forrest, managing director of Trimble’s field service Management (fsM) division, says: “Promoting a safe driving culture is essential. A safe driver is a costeffective driver. They have fewer accidents, they are more productive and they tend to drive more efficiently, reducing the fuel bill. “Driver safety solutions enable managers to monitor driving behaviour and complete back office analysis of aggressive manoeuvres, such as hard acceleration, braking, turns and speed. With this data at hand, recommendations on training can be made for individual drivers, resulting in lower accidents and liability therefore helping to manage the risks and costs associated with work-related driving.” one company which has just launched into this area is bolt-on hybrid systems expert Ashwoods Automotive. Gary Whittam, Ashwoods director of business strategy, says: “The single biggest influence on a van’s fuel consumption is the driver and in particular how the vehicle controls are operated. Typically it can impact fuel economy by as much as 35%. i have looked at the various means to gain sustainable improvements. “The ‘stick’ approach – where the worst performing drivers receive the undivided attention of the fleet manager and disciplinary actions are used to effect

New Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Operations insight

Dr Will Murray, Interactive Driving Systems fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan May 2013 13

Industr y spotlight Safety features

“With all the safety systems tested, turning them off is possible, but not encouraged”

Mercedes-Benz raises the Van safety stakes New technologies will appear on Sprinter later this year

M

By carlton Boyce ercedes-Benz has always had a good reputation for safety in the commercial vehicle market. It was the first to fit a brake booster to a van in 1962; disc brakes and ABS as standard in 1995; ESP in 2002; and Adaptive ESP in 2006. As a result, Mercedes-Benz has calculated that the number of single-vehicle accidents involving its vans fitted with this technology has fallen by 64% since 1999, with the biggest drop – 39% – due to the introduction of ESP in 2002. So when Mercedes-Benz invited Fleet Van to Germany to sample five new safety features on a series of prototype Sprinters we jumped at the chance. Dr Sascha Paasche, head of product engineering Mercedes-Benz Vans, was bullish, saying “we now have control of the physics” before explaining that engineering safety systems into a van is more complex than just grafting on existing passenger car technology; their shape is different, their weight and centre of gravity changes when a load is added and, if the manufacturer is supplying a bare chassis, there is no way of knowing what the final body shape, weight, and use will be. While the vast majority of those who operate commercial vehicle fleets understand and fulfil (and often exceed) their obligations to their employees, others are more reticent; the cost of the extra safety equipment is rarely offset by increased resale value when the vehicle is sold. Aside from the fact that some of the technology we are examining will be fitted as standard to the new Sprinter range due out later this year, the most compelling argument (other than the moral dimension of keeping employees safe) came from Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. He argues that: “time is money”. If a van is off the road being repaired, it isn’t earning money. crosswind assist The most impressive technology at the Mercedes-Benz TecForum was, without doubt, the world premiere of Crosswind Assist. A boxy shape, which is, by definition, what a van

presents, is vulnerable to the effects of crosswinds, with even moderate gusts capable of blowing them into an adjacent lane before the driver can react. Mercedes-Benz has developed Crosswind Assist, a deceptively simple system that utilises Adaptive ESP to apply a braking force to a wheel or wheels on the side the wind is coming from; the result is a much smaller deflection, “centimetres rather than metres”. Using sensors to measure the Sprinter’s yaw rate, lateral acceleration, steering angle, wheel and engine speed, and payload the ECU calculates which wheel or wheels needs to be braked, and by how much and for how long. Driving a prototype Sprinter at the Bosch testing grounds at Boxberg revealed that a 25mph (40km/h) gust of wind was enough to blow the Sprinter into the neighbouring lane. Turning the system on made a marked difference to the van’s behaviour under identical circumstances; the system applied the brakes briefly (but noticeably) reducing the windinduced jink significantly. My heart-rate still rose a little but I was kept safely in my own lane. Crosswind Assist will be a standard-fit item across the next-generation Sprinter range on sale later this year. Lane keeping assist Lane Keeping Assist has been fitted to passenger cars for some time and is simple to understand: if the system suspects that the vehicle is drifting from one lane to another due to driver distraction or inattention it raises the alarm, allowing the driver to correct their mistake. The system – passive as it doesn’t actively intervene at any point – alerts the driver with flashing warning light and an audible alarm if the screen-mounted camera detects a lane change that isn’t accompanied by the use of the indicators. So far so simple, but if a safety system becomes annoying rather than useful it will be ignored, so Lane Keeping Assist is inoperable at speeds below 37mph (60km/h). Manoeuvres in a city (where the use of multiple white and yellow lines is prevalent) do not attract false alarms. The system will not be triggered if the driver brakes or

varies his speed while cutting across the central road markings as he might on a narrow, twisting country road. We tested it and it works.

extra cameras have been mounted on the rear corners of the sprinter to make Blind spot assist a viable option on longer vehicles

Blind spot monitoring Blind spot monitoring systems are another staple of the modern car but they are, again, one that needs modification to become fit-for-purpose for a vehicle as long as the Sprinter. The Mercedes-Benz solution to the increased blind spot that a large van has is to mount cameras on the rear corners of the vehicle as well as on the exterior rear-view mirrors, giving a much wider angle of monitoring. If an object is detected either side of the van in the blind spot, a red triangle illuminates on the relevant mirror, warning the driver of the presence of a vehicle. If the driver then uses the direction indicators the red triangle starts to flash and an alarm briefly sounds. It works very effectively, adding another layer of unobtrusive protection that even attentive drivers will appreciate. It can be turned off, but doing so triggers an amber triangle in either mirror; as with all of the safety systems tested, turning them off is possible, but not encouraged. highbeam assist Highbeam Assist uses a forward-facing camera to detect light sources in front of the vehicle, helping it decide whether high or low beam is appropriate before switching between them automatically. A few conditions needs to be met for the system to kick in: the vehicle’s speed must be over 22mph (35km/h) and there must be no street lighting, preventing the system activating high beam in built-up areas. We didn’t get the chance to test this system, but as the technology is widespread and largely effective in passenger vehicles, it is likely to be equally useful in the new Sprinter.

crosswind assist will reduce the risk of your van being blown into the next lane by a strong gust of wind

collision Prevention assist The most dramatic, and yet partially disappointing, demonstration was that of Collision Prevention Assist. The premise is straightforward: the Sprinter uses radar to automatically detect vehicles in front of it before warning the driver if they are getting too close.

With collision Prevention assist, a warning light will flash if you get too close to the vehicle in front

This is a two-stage process. If the gap isn’t getting smaller and the driver is just too close a warning light is illuminated, but if the closing speed is fast and a collision would occur within the next two seconds without action, an audible warning is also triggered. This warning can cut driver reaction times by up to 0.2 seconds, which might not sound a lot but equates to six metres at 62mph (100km/h). When the driver does start to brake, the Sprinter monitors the effort applied, and if it is too little (and research suggests it will be in 80% of cases) Brake Assist Pro boosts braking power automatically. During demonstrations the Sprinter repeatedly pulled up much more quickly than seemed possible and did so in a straight line, with Brake Assist Pro applying the maximum retardation to prevent a collision. It was a very impressive demonstration – once the driver started to brake. Therein lies the drawback for me. The Sprinter is capable of detecting an imminent collision and can help the driver avoid it by boosting brake pressure but only after the driver initiates braking. I can’t help thinking that it would be far better to have the vehicle brake automatically if the driver is too slow to react. Mercedes-Benz’s reasoning is that a van driver has many options available, including taking evasive action instead of braking. I still think that it seems like a missed opportunity and I wouldn’t be surprised if Mercedes-Benz upgraded the system to fully automatic braking at some point in the future.

24 May 2013 fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan

fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan May 2013 25

Fleet case study BT Fleet

Remapping key to potential £4m fuel saving

Joe fielder: other major clients are interested in remapping fleet vehicles

BT Fleet scheme will cut carbon footprint be 25,000 tonnes

A

By John Charles potential £4 million a year fuel bill saving and a carbon footprint reduction of up to 25,000 tonnes in 2013 – the equivalent of removing 1,900 London taxis from the roads – are the headline benefits of BT remapping the engines powering 23,000 of its commercial vehicles. Historically engine remapping has been the preserve of boy racers hungry for extra performance from their ‘hot’ hatch. However, BT Fleet, which manages BT’s 33,000-strong vehicle fleet, considered engine remapping as being a potential cost-saving opportunity after being charged by its parent company with making operational cost savings. Following a pilot programme and extensive trialling, a business case won board backing in summer 2012. Now 23,000 vehicles – typically panel vans but also some specialist vehicles deemed suitable – have had their engines remapped. The result is: n The first world’s major deployment of engine remapping n The largest ever fleet globally to implement such a programme. BT Fleet says it has been able to dispel many myths traditionally associated with the exercise: n That it would cause a vehicle to smoke n Vehicle life expectancy could be shortened and part longevity impacted n Stress would be placed on a vehicle’s drivetrain and components. But ECU remapping has not been undertaken in isolation. It is one of a number of cost-saving initiatives that BT Group has introduced on its fleet in recent years. Collectively, measured savings over the last three years run into the millions of pounds as a result of improved vehicle utilisation and extended replacement cycles as well as fuel bill savings against a background of rising pump prices. Effectively BT Group has removed almost 2,000 vehicles – despite the recruitment of more than 1,500 engineers to continue the roll out of super fast broadband nationwide and reduce weather-induced work ‘spikes’. In considering where cost savings could be made, BT Fleet built up a comprehensive data-based picture of vehicle utilisation, downtime and availability married to driver time sheets and job use. Joe Fielder, BT fleet sales and marketing director, says: “We have been able to make capital cost savings running into millions of pounds because we are able to run the fleet in a more intelligent manner.” That, for example, sees two or three engineers utilise one vehicle instead of BT Group operating a one driver/one vehicle approach, vehicle versatility improved with vans equipped to perform multiple job functions and vans redistributed nationwide depending on age/mileage profile. Employee shift patterns were reviewed, long-term sick

leave analysed to help shape a more ‘fluid fleet’, spare parts provision through BT Fleet’s owned network of 63 garages improved and telemetry now in almost 20,000 vehicles was used to improve utilisation. Additionally, BT Group typically replaced its ‘volume’ fleet; vehicles - Ford and Vauxhall panels vans – at three or fouryear intervals, but the data analysis revealed that vans could operate over more flexible periods. As a result, many vans now operate over 54 or 60 month replacement cycles although some specialist vehicles, which have also been remapped, are operational for eight years. Fielder says: “Vehicle life extension ultimately led us to consider ECU remapping. Engine remapping equals fuel savings, which equals cost reduction and the savings are considerable.” ECU remapping across 23,000 vehicles – the remaining third of the fleet is not suitable due to a variety of factors including usage – has delivered average fuel efficiency gains of between 10-15%. “The initiative has delivered substantial environmental gains: a 20% reduction in CO2 emitted – 25,000 tonnes – which is equivalent to 5,000 vehicles being removed from the fleet,” he says. BT Fleet worked with Bromsgrove-based vehicle tuning and engine control unit remapping specialist Viezu Technologies to assess remapping viability and eventually individually remap each van according to operating parameters and payload instead of the generic setting from the factory. The ECU is used to control a variety of vehicle characteristics, including throttle, engine rpm, torque and speed, which in turn determines power output, mpg and CO2 emissions.

23,000

Bt vehicles have now had their engines remapped

even vans under warranty have had their engines remapped

Some employees, he admits, were surprised at the improved driveability and better performance despite the focus of remapping being on fuel efficiency improvements. Shaun Rowley, BT Fleet senior product marketing manager, says: “As we know the exact operating parameters of each van we are able to optimise ECU settings. In some cases that may mean improved driveability and better performance – increased engine power and torque – particularly lower down the rev range, but overall fuel and emissions savings are made.” Remapping is typically undertaken as vans are serviced or MOT’d at BT Fleet’s own garages by technicians trained to undertake the work Viezu Technologies supply the bespoke remap file to a BT Fleet garage within five minutes. Some BT Group vans have been remapped while the engine remains under manufacturer warranty. Rowley says: “ECU remapping is not a product that will cause engine damage so all of our ‘volume fleet’ has gone through the programme irrespective of vehicle age.” BT Fleet’s innovative approach so impressed the judges of the 2013 Fleet News Awards – the industry ‘Oscars’ – that the company won the ‘Cost Saving Initiative of the Year’. The judges’ say: “BT Fleet’s cost saving initiative is head and shoulders above its competition. The savings are of a mind-blowing scale and its research provides the proof and reassurance that engine remapping works and is safe. An outstanding and long-term sustainable success.” It is, believes Fielder, the credibility that BT Fleet has

“these are not theoretical savings. We can evidence our savings and that is powerful for our customers” Joe Fielder, BT Fleet

carried out remapping on its parent company’s vehicles that gives it viability in offering a similar opportunity to clients that include The AA, National Grid, G4S, E.ON and Network Rail. He says: “These are not theoretical savings. We can evidence our savings and that is powerful for our customers and potential customers. They are tangible year-on-year benefits based on our wholelife cost model.” BT Fleet calculates that ECU remapping has the potential to save the industry more than £200 million a year, without any detriment to vehicle performance or driver satisfaction. Fielder says: “We already have three or four of our major customers interested and I have written to clients to tell them of the opportunity.” As for customer reassurance, Rowley says: “Each ECU remapping comes with an insurance-backed guarantee and retains all original settings on file. This offers customers total confidence and should issues arise or vehicle operating requirements change, the ECU can be revised as required.”

Rhodar – Fleet Van Award winner

fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan May 2013 29

CV Show Review

Vans’ turn for centre stage Highlights from the CV Show. For more go to fleetnews.co.uk/news/cvshow2013/

Transit Courier fills a Ford LCV gap Any aspirations by rival manufacturers to cut down on the huge lead in the van sales charts enjoyed by Ford since records began seem to have been well and truly scuppered as the manufacturer continues its avalanche of stylish new vans. Last year Ford announced that it would replace its entire van range within two years. Not only that but the firm split the Transit range into two distinct offerings. And at the CV Show, the wraps were taken off a completely new model – the Transit Courier. Over the years, van fleet buyers have become increasingly particular and precise in their demands and while the rivals were splitting their ranges into ever-smaller sectors, Ford’s offerings had begun looking decidedly sparse. The new Transit Courier fills the gap that presently exists between the Fiestavan and Transit Connect and will join a new Connect when it goes on sale in 2014. Ford has already launched a new Ranger 4x4 truck and Transit Custom,

Body conversions – choosing the right one

Case study

change – can be effective in the short term and for a relatively small proportion of the workforce. The worst performing drivers (the bottom 10%) are often reluctant to accept training and coaching and any improvement is often short lived. “The largest proportion of the workforce are in the middle ground. This group generally wants to do a good job, has a good work ethic and receives coaching well. it responds to the ‘carrot’ approach. “helping this group understand how it can improve vehicle efficiency is valuable. The most successful approach is one where a relationship is built with the driver.” Whittam points out that at the top of any group/workforce is a small group who actively seek to be best, quickest, most efficient etc. it responds well to the ‘carrot’ but in many cases that can simply be an award of the ‘driver of the year’. he said: “Van drivers are largely misunderstood and tend to be type cast using the ‘white van’ syndrome. in reality the vast majority are hard working, hard worked and try their best to do a good job in a tough environment. “it is far better to involve them in the objectives of the business – be that fuel cost reduction, accident prevention etc and then work together sharing the rewards. The ‘stick’ should only be used on those where other means have failed.” n Turn to p14 to find out more on Ashwoods’s solution

“Based on experience there are no silver bullets in driver management”

12 May 2013 fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan

28 May 2013 fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan

NEXT ISSUE – June 2013 Driven

Until now. Mercedes-Benz is at the vanguard of a new wave of van-based technology that promises to reduce accidents – saving fleets money and, more importantly, saving lives. The manufacturer took a group of journalists across to Germany to test some of this technology for themselves, including crosswind assist which could prove to be a real ground-breaking innovation. You can read our report on page 24. Elsewhere in this issue, we assess how you implement an accident management policy (p20) and look at how you can influence driver behaviour (p12). You can also read about all the important news from the 2013 Commercial Vehicle Show (p32).

fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan May 2013 5

Effective management and leadership are key to getting a fleet operating at its most efficient

Strong start boosts hope of buoyant LCV market.

“Vans have for far too long lagged behind cars for safety technology”

Fleet and logistics manager, NHS ambulance trust clear from our survey that few operators pursue this option. Those who had gone down this route reported a less than 50% success rate despite it being, in the words of South Lakeland District Council, “a time-consuming process with detailed descriptions of each incident being required, including photographs, dimensions and location of the pothole along with detailed documentary evidence of repairs carried out”. The council added: “This is very time consuming and unnecessary in these poor economic times.”

4 May 2013 fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan

Effective management and leadership are key to getting a fleet operating at its most efficient.

19 I Remarketing

Stephen Briers, editor-in-chief, Fleet Van ans have for far too long lagged behind cars when it comes to safety technology. Colleagues have often criticised the fact that electric stability control systems are not standard on all vans when they are a common feature on cars. And while cars now have a plethora of options, such as lane departure warnings and assist, brake assist and frontal crash warning, blind spot monitoring and even night vision, this technology is noticeable by its absence on vans.

V

42.5%

£3,000

22.5%

9 I Model update

editor’s coluMn

Do you feel the general condition of UK roads is...

2.2m

6 I News digest

What type of damage have your vans sustained?

FTA survey highlights heavy price UK businesses pay for poor road surfaces

The new Ford Transit Courier

The new Ford Transit Connect

Mercedes pins No2 sales hopes on Citan Mercedes-Benz was showing a full range of light commercial vehicles for the first time in its history as the Citan small van went on sale. Mercedes-Benz has always been thwarted in its fleet sales strategy by the fact that it only offered medium and large panel vans but with a small van now under its belt, UK van sales and marketing director Steve Bridge is confidently predicting that the German firm will sit at No2 in the sales charts by 2016. The Citan is a heavily reworked version of the Renault Kangoo that sees improvements in style, handling and fuel economy. It will cost more than the Kangoo, but Bridge said: “What we have got to do is to educate

Steve Bridge with the new Mercedes-Benz Citan

which replaces the old Transit from 2.6-3.3 tonnes gvw. Barb Samardzich, vice-president of product development at Ford of Europe, flew in from Germany to unveil the new Courier. Also at the unveiling was Phil Hollins, fleet director for Ford of Britain, who said Ford was aiming to increase its LCV sales by 50% as a result of this huge investment in vans. He said: “The UK is a mature market, but if you think about Transit Courier it’s a new product in a new segment that we don’t currently compete in. “Custom and Transit consolidate, while Connect will significantly improve the light van range. Courier is a new product that’s not going to pull from any other existing range and the high-roof Transit gets added to production in September.”

Based on Ford’s global B-segment platform (which produces the Fiesta, B-Max and EcoSport), the Transit Courier delivers class-leading load volume of 2.3 cubic metres with standard full bulkhead within an overall length of 4.16 metres. With a maximum payload capacity of 660 kg, the new model can accommodate a standard Euro pallet. Kombi versions offer 60/40 split folding rear seats with a tip/tumble mechanism for additional versatility or dual business/ personal usage. The Courier will be available with diesel and petrol engines that target best-in-class fuel economy and offer Auto-Start-Stop on all units. Customers can choose between 1.5-litre 75bhp and 1.6-litre 95bhp Duratorq TDCi diesel engines, and the 100bhp 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine.

Mark Lovett – offering useful advice for van fleet operators

Van fleet operators are increasingly seeing leasing companies as trusted advisers who can help out with any number of operational problems, according to Mark Lovett, head of commercial vehicles at LeasePlan. The leasing specialist reported a steady stream of potential new clients to its stand at the show and Lovett told Fleet Van: “Following the launch of our UpTime initiative last year we have seen a year in which our van business grew substantially. “With the UK economy in the doldrums, leasing has become a lot more attractive. Instead of having money tied up in vehicles, firms

can use cash to invest in their businesses.” There is a traditional view that leasing is more expensive than outright purchase, but Lovett said with his team of five experts on hand to offer cash-saving advice, this was not necessarily so. He said: “Nowadays we are seeing the role of the old-style fleet disappearing as more and more HR people are involved in running fleets. “Many of these people do not have a great understanding of operating vans and our experts are being called upon to give advice on all sorts of areas. They are being looked upon as trusted advisers rather than people who are simply there to sell a product.”

Lightfoot system educates drivers Fuel-efficient vehicles won’t prove costeffective unless driver attitudes are altered, according to Ashwoods Automotive. The company was demonstrating how fleets could save around 13% on their fuel bills with the firm’s new Lightfoot system. Lightfoot has been launched after road trials with more than 20 UK fleets, ranging from delivery companies and construction contractors to utilities and local authorities. In the trials, the system demonstrated savings of more than £70,000 over a fouryear period for a fleet of 50 vans. One company, which installed 100 vans with Lightfoot, also recorded a 50% drop in own-fault road traffic accidents. The system has a traffic light display that goes into the red when excessive behaviour is detected. There are also audio warnings on when to change gear and when driving style needs to be improved. This information is fed back to the fleet manager. Mark Roberts, managing director of Ashwoods Automotive, said: “Every trial has delivered a significant increase in van mpg, ranging from 5% to 23%. A fleet of 50 vans each travelling around 20,000 miles a year would save on average more than £18,000 per annum.” n Real-life benefits of Lighfoot, page 14

Just as big but ‘cheaper to buy and run’ How big can a small van get? In the Fiat Doblo Cargo’s case, it’s the XL which, making its official CV Show debut, looked just about as big as the larger Scudo van. The Doblo Cargo XL, which has been on sale since summer 2012, offers a 5.0 cu m cargo area with a payload of 1,000kg – exactly that of the smallest Scudo. So why build a model which essentially replicates another in the Fiat range?

Leasing attracts cash-strapped van fleets

30 May 2013 fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan

fleet operators about basing their buying decisions on the total cost of ownership against the front-end price. People have to be taught not to look at the list price but how much per day a van will cost to run.” Bridge gave an example of a Citan costing £14,000 ex-VAT against a Ford Transit Connect at £10,600 and a Volkswagen Caddy at £12,900. Although the front-end prices are hugely different, Bridge reckons that on a normal fleet lifecycle and taking into account such items as fuel economy, reliability and residual value, the Connect will cost £6 per day to run, the Caddy £7.50 per day and the Citan £7.60 – a much closer figure.

Fiat Professional director Sebastiano Fedrigo with the Fiat Doblo WorkUp

Fiat Professional director Sebastiano Fedrigo told Fleet Van: “The Doblo XL may have the same loadspace and payload as the Scudo but it is cheaper to buy and cheaper to run. We are increasingly seeing fleet buyers downsizing to save costs and this is why we launched the XL.” Fiat’s standing in the LCV sector has been greatly enhanced over the past few years as the Fiat Professional brand has been rolled out across the UK and Fedrigo is now using the Iveco truck network (also owned by Fiat) to help extend the range of services available to LCV buyers. He said: “Truck operators demand a lot more from their dealers, such as 24/7 servicing, and we are aiming to bring a truck mentality to our dealers. We are increasingly allying them to HGV dealers so that most offer extended opening hours and some offer a 24/7 service. We also have a dedicated team of LCV experts who can help fleet buyers choose the most cost-effective vans.” One area where Fiat is noticeably absent is in the electric van field. Fedrigo said: “It is interesting technology and we are well aware of it but we firmly believe that diesel engines offer the most economical option and give the best performance for fleets. It is fashionable now to talk about electric vans but at the end of the day we have to make a profit and we see this as too small a niche to be able to do that. There are too many problems.”

Mark Roberts (left) and Gary Whittam on the Ashwoods stand

Fuel economy claims for tyres Two new tyres are claimed to help vans make fuel go further by having lower rolling resistance. Compared with its Vanco2 predecessor, Continental’s new ContiVanContact 100 cover features a 10% lower resistance to aid operating economy while offering high safety, durability and life. “But we go a stage further with the 200 version, which uses a van-optimised full silica compound to deliver a 15 per cent reduction,” said brand manager Peter Robb. Sizes of the covers will range from 14 inches to 16 inches, with load-bearing capabilities up to 1,215kg per tyre.

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fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan May 2013 3


B e n c h m a r k i n g b y t h e F TA P ot h o l e s

Two-thirds of van fleets suffer pothole damage FTA survey highlights heavy price UK businesses pay for poor road surfaces By Mark Cartwright, The first thing we wanted to understand was head of LCVs, Freight Transport Association how many operators had experienced damage succession of hard winters coupled due to the impact of potholes. The findings weren’t with a significant squeeze on the a happy story with almost two-thirds reporting budgets of local authorities responthey had suffered damage. sible for the upkeep of most of the Aside from the impact on the vehicle itself, UK’s roads has resulted in a bumper there can be further issues. As the fleet and logiscrop of potholes. tics manager at one of the UK’s NHS ambulance According to the Annual Local Authority Road trusts put it: “Critical patients can be put at risk Maintenance (ALARM) survey – a by poor road surfaces. They can comprehensive audit of Britain’s make an injury worse and they smaller roads – one in five of the also slow down the response to UK’s roads now have a life expeccritical patients.” potholes were tancy of less than five years. repaired by local The ALARM report also shows What kind of damage are authorities last year that although local authorities operators experiencing? repaired 2.2 million potholes last “It’s pretty much the kind of year, it would take a mind-blowing damage you’d expect: tyres, 12 years at the current rate to clear suspension, steering tracking etc the road repair backlog in England with the occasional stone chip to average cost impact of and Wales even if the budget the windscreen.” said Paul Taylor, pothole damage was available. fleet manager at Morgan Sindall. The report concludes that it “The irony for us is that, as a would cost £10.5 billion for a one-off blitz to get civil engineering company who has to operate in the roads back into a reasonable condition. challenging environments, they’re the same sort Not surprisingly, there has been a good amount of issues we experience operating on-site.” of column inches in the national press recently The stats from our survey bear this out with given to the state of the roads with this, by and more than 70% of the incidents of damage regularge, focusing on the impact on car users. larly involving tyre damage with suspension We were interested in looking at this from the breakages being the next most common. point of view of van operators and surveyed van Aside from vehicle damage there is also the operating members of FTA. potential for collisions either from the impact of

A

2.2m

£3,000

Have your vans suffered poor road surface damage in the past 12 months?

Have you claimed costs back from the local authority involved? 7.5%

22.5% 40% 12.5% 92.5% 25%

n Regularly n Occasionally n Rarely n Never

4 May 2013 fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan

n Yes n No

Do you feel the general condition of UK roads is...

42.5% 47.5%

7.5% 2.5% n Getting much worse n Getting worse n Staying about the same n Getting better

the vehicle (or other road-users) with a pothole or from drivers attempting to swerve a pothole. South Lakeland District Council reports exactly this with a driver attempting to take evasive action and colliding with a stone gate post on a rural road. As it says itself, it probably got off lightly as the incident could have been so much worse if there had been oncoming traffic or even a pedestrian or cyclist in the vehicle’s path. The cost of this damage is not insignificant, particularly when you also take into account the commercial impact of having a van off the road: our respondents put the cost, on average, at around £3,000 per incident. The recently-published Pothole Review commissioned by DfT and supported by, among others, the FTA, estimated that, on average, businesses affected by poor road conditions lose more than £8,000 per year on vehicle damage and increased fuel costs. It’s also worth bearing in mind that, in the most part, our respondents are reasonably-sized, financially-robust organisations. The direct impact on, for example, a selfemployed builder would be immediate. So who bears the cost? It’s easy to assume those responsible for maintaining the roads ultimately meet the cost of damage and, while the ALARM report stated that the annual value of claims against local authorities stood at £35m (aggregated nationally), it is


What type of damage have your vans sustained? 20 ■ Regularly ■ Occasionally ■ Rarely ■ Never 15

10

5

0

Tyre

Suspension

Exhaust

Bodywork

“Critical patients can be put at risk by poor road surfaces. They can make an injury worse” Fleet and logistics manager, NHS ambulance trust clear from our survey that few operators pursue this option. Those who had gone down this route reported a less than 50% success rate despite it being, in the words of South Lakeland District Council, “a time-consuming process with detailed descriptions of each incident being required, including photographs, dimensions and location of the pothole along with detailed documentary evidence of repairs carried out”. The council added: “This is very time consuming and unnecessary in these poor economic times.” What should be done? It is clear that the condition of Britain’s roads is deteriorating and operators hold out little hope of a quick fix. An overwhelming 90% of respondents to our survey felt that road surfaces were either ‘getting worse’ or ‘getting much worse’. FTA’s stance is that the situation is untenable, but we also recognise that recent extreme weather conditions and the economic environment have contributed to an unprecedented problem. Those looking for a pot of money to be thrown at the issue are likely to be waiting a long time, but there are a couple of very useful best practice strategies we would implore local authorities to adopt. The first is for them to ‘fix it right – fix it once’ Several operators complained about the scenario

of councils doing a quick fix on a pothole while ignoring a similar one just metres down the road before returning weeks later to fix the second hole. Kent County Council has a great example of best practice with its Find and Fix blitz on potholes within the county. As part of the campaign, the council’s highways teams identify and fill in road defects, and where possible surface dress these to protect the fixes and ensure they last, instead of cracking or being knocked out of place. This approach has already seen the number of potholes on Kent roads halve over the past three years, with the council’s repair time being slashed to an average of just 13 days per pothole. A far more sensible and cost-effective method of managing road repairs Secondly, we would also call upon the authorities to take on a wholelife maintenance approach to reflect a ‘prevention is better than cure’ response. Intervening at the right time in the right way will reduce the number of potholes forming and prevent bigger problems developing later on. There is no quick fix: potholes are here to stay for at least the immediate future. Our final thought is don’t neglect your pre-use checks on vans. However the damage is incurred, it is absolutely the drivers and operators responsibility to ensure your vans are roadworthy.

EDITOR’S COLUMN Stephen Briers, editor-in-chief, Fleet Van ans have for far too long lagged behind cars when it comes to safety technology. Colleagues have often criticised the fact that electric stability control systems are not standard on all vans when they are a common feature on cars. And while cars now have a plethora of options, such as lane departure warnings and assist, brake assist and frontal crash warning, blind spot monitoring and even night vision, this technology is noticeable by its absence on vans.

V

“Vans have for far too long lagged behind cars for safety technology” Until now. Mercedes-Benz is at the vanguard of a new wave of van-based technology that promises to reduce accidents – saving fleets money and, more importantly, saving lives. The manufacturer took a group of journalists across to Germany to test some of this technology for themselves, including crosswind assist which could prove to be a real ground-breaking innovation. You can read our report on page 24. Elsewhere in this issue, we assess how you implement an accident management policy (p20) and look at how you can influence driver behaviour (p12). You can also read about all the important news from the 2013 Commercial Vehicle Show (p32).

fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan May 2013 5


The month in news w w w.fleetnews.co.uk /vans/

News digest EUROPCAR ENCOURAGES FLEETS T O U S E VA N H I R E A S A R E L I A B L E A LT E R N A T I V E Europcar is urging businesses to consider van hire as a cost-effective, flexible and safe alternative to running a fleet of older vans. Recent data from the Freight Transport Association (FTA) showed that half of all vans on the roads over three years old are unroadworthy, with an almost 50% failure rate on first time MOTs. As the industry changes, van rental can offer a solution which not only provides newer vans for use, but is also more flexible for a changing market, said Europcar. Ken McCall, managing director of Europcar UK Group, said: “These figures from the FTA go to illustrate something that has been known within the industry for a long time – businesses are holding onto vans for longer, without having them properly maintained. “This is a false economy for businesses at a time when costs are all important – as eventually the vans will either breakdown or fail their MOT. “Rental provides the answer. Vans that are on average under nine months old and maintained to the highest standard are available at short notice, providing a flexible fleet of vehicles for usage which can actually save businesses money.”

ENVIRONMENT AGENCY CHOOSES CITROËN The Environment Agency (EA) has bought 31 Citroën Berlingo Enterprise vans as part of its commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of its LCV fleet. Graham Patrickson, fleet operations manager at the Environment Agency, said: “This latest purchase of Berlingo vans is part of the EA’s continuing drive to reduce the carbon footprint of its LCV fleet, while reducing costs and raising operational efficiency. “Not only meeting, but exceeding our green targets is at the forefront in all our vehicle selection processes – and the Berlingo Enterprise has all the green credentials required by the EA.” The Environment Agency – part of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) – is allocating its 31 Berlingo vans to staff involved in flood defence and maintenance work, as well as to specialists carrying out environmental management monitoring. To meet individual user requirements, the Environment Agency has worked with racking specialist Bri-Stor to develop a number of internal racking layouts and equipment specifications.

C O 2 L E G I S L AT I O N F O R VA N S : INDUSTRY CALLS FOR BAL ANCE

MERCEDES-BENZ SPRINTER ACHIEVES WORLD FIRST FOR EMISSIONS The new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is the world’s first van to meet the future Euro VI emissions standard in all of its engine variants. Euro VI drastically reduces the emission limits for nitrogen oxides (NOx), total hydrocarbons (THC), and particulate mass. The Sprinter achieves the strict limits with the help of its BlueTec engine and SCR technology that injects AdBlue into the exhaust gas. The performance of the diesel engines has remained unchanged, encompassing four- and six-cylinder units with outputs ranging from 95bhp (70 KW) to 190bhp (140 KW). The combination of the highly efficient diesel engines, the optimised powertrain, the longer axle ratio, the ancillary components, and the BlueEfficiency Plus efficiency package has reduced fuel consumption to a minimum of 44.4 mpg (NEDC combined), which is a record value for the Sprinter segment. Thanks to the Assyst maintenance calculation system the van’s maintenance intervals have been extended to up to 37,000 miles. Order books open in June with the first deliveries in September. n Mercedes-Benz raises van safety stakes - p24

6 May 2013 fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan

The European Automobile Association (ACEA) has renewed calls for a more realistic balance between the competitiveness of the industry and environmental concerns, following a vote on reducing CO2 emissions from vans by the European Parliament’s Environment Committee (ENVI). “We are committed further progress. However it is essential that policy makers take into account the realities in which the industry operates,” said Ivan Hodac, ACEA secretary general. The commercial vehicle segment has been particularly hard hit by the economic crisis, with registrations dropping by 39% between 2007 and 2012. One issue of grave concern to the industry is the setting of long-term targets without any impact assessment. Hodac said: “Targets for both vans and cars need to be fact-based. At this stage, even the European Commission does not have an analysis of what the post-2020 targets for vans should be. The only basis for the figures that ENVI came up with is political horse-trading.” The 2020 target for vans of 147g CO2/km is extremely ambitious, with independent studies showing that it will only be achievable with full hybrid technologies. As vans are first and foremost business tools used by SMEs, there is extremely high price sensitivity, with purchasing and operating costs being the number one decision factor. Given this price sensitivity and other barriers like recharging needs, consumer acceptance of the more expensive hybrid and electrified vans has been poor to date. Just 2,383 electric vans were registered across the EU in 2011.


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Model update

What’s new on the road A look at what’s being launched and which models are getting an upgrade

Peugeot Partner goes electric

The new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Gray & Adams conversion

Gray & Adams’ new home delivery van Conversion specialist Gray & Adams has launched a new home delivery vehicle based on the 3.5-tonne Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The vehicle is fitted with a dual-temperature GAH refrigeration unit and capable of carrying 105 totes (crates) – Gray & Adams freed up the space for an extra tote by ‘designing out’ the wheelbox intrusion. Other innovative features include wide radius

Proace to replace Toyota Hiace Toyota has revealed details of the Proace, the new light panel van which replaces the Hiace and is a remodelled Citroën Dispatch. It will be offered in a 10-model line-up, including long and short wheelbases and standard and high roof, plus a crewcab. Proace offers a choice of three diesel engines. The 89bhp 1.6-litre engine produces 132lb-ft of torque and is matched to a fivespeed manual transmission. Two 2.0-litre diesel units are available, with outputs of 126bhp and 161bhp and peak torque figures of 236 and 250lb-ft respectively. These have six-speed transmissions. n Prices range from £18,560 to £22,240 ex-VAT.

The new Toyota Proace

cappings to smooth the airflow and high-gloss Kemlite floor skins which are used externally as well as internally, to help prevent dirt and debris accumulating beneath the vehicle and thus reducing payload capacity. Gray & Adams has also taken steps to protect the vehicle from accident damage by fitting plastic, high impact-resistant rear light plates, proximity sensors and reversing cameras.

Peugeot has launched an electric version of the Partner small van, costing £16,750 ex-VAT when the Government’s Plug-In van grant is removed. The load volume and payload match that of the Partner’s diesel counterpart. The Partner Electric has a range of up to 106 miles and top speed is 68mph. Included in the standard specification is Electronic Stability Control (ESC), ABS brakes with EBD, air-conditioning, remote central locking and electric windows and mirrors.

The new Peugeot Partner Electric

Steed comes with six-year guarantee The Great Wall Steed is being offered with a sixyear warranty in a bid to prove the durability of the new Chinese import. The warranty, up to 125,000 miles, is being offered on vehicles sold until the end of June. It comprises the standard three-year 60,000 mile guarantee, plus a further three years up to 125,000 miles offered by importer Great Motor Distributors (UK). “The six-year warranty reaffirms Great Wall’s

commitment to offer fantastic value and guaranteed quality to businesses and consumers in the UK,” said Haydn Davies, marketing director at Great Wall UK. Great Wall’s entry-level Steed S is the cheapest 4x4 double-cab pick up in the UK, at £13,998 ex-VAT. Great Wall’s first offering to the UK market, the Steed S, has been joined by two special edition models, the Steed Chrome and Steed Tracker, each weighing in at £14,998.

The new Great Wall Steed Chrome

fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan May 2013 9


89g/km Corsavan

126g/km Combo

174g/km Vivaro

199g/km Movano

COMMERCIAL VEHICLES The Wheels of Business

*CO 2 emission ďŹ gures quoted are the lowest in each model range. ^Telephone lines are open Monday-Friday, 8.30am to 5.00pm excluding Bank Holidays.


MINDED BUSINESS FRIENDLY There’s an ecoFLEX model for every van in the Vauxhall line-up.* So everyone can enjoy the real commercial benefits that lower fuel consumption and CO 2 emissions bring. Our ecoFLEX range has won the prestigious What Van? 2013 Green Award, while the Vivaro picked up the 2012 MPG Marathon Award for delivering the most improved† miles per gallon. Which is good news for your business.

Vivaro ecoFLEX†

To find out more, please visit your local Vauxhall Commercial Vehicle Retailer, call Vauxhall Fleet on 0870 010 0651^ or visit www.vauxhall.co.uk/fleet

All calls may be recorded or monitored for quality and/or training purposes. †Fleet World MPG Marathon 2012.


Fleet operations Driver behaviour

GETTING THE BEST OUT OF YOUR FLEET Effective management and leadership are key to getting a fleet operating at its most efficient

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By Trevor Gehlcken ost van fleet operators have a range of responsibilities; they are expected to know about transport management, health and safety, legal and financial issues. It’s a daunting task. But one of the main areas of concern for a fleet manager is getting the best from employees who drive. There are two ways to encourage staff to shine – the carrot and the stick. The secret of success is knowing exactly how to use them and striking the right balance of incentive and the risk of disciplinary action. Driver behaviour can be monitored accurately and managed by electronic equipment installed in the vehicle and if adopted in the right way drivers can be managed without being alienated. There are any number of devices on the market now which will both keep an eye on staff while they are on the road and gently guide them towards more efficient, cost-effective motoring.

12 May 2013 fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan

But all the experts agree – it is imperative that before you start plugging all sorts of gizmos into your vans, you should get your team together and explain why you are doing it and the benefits for them as well as for the company. If drivers don’t get some kind of reward, they are unlikely to be as enthusiastic as you are. Some fleet operators have had considerable success which has helped to reduce fuel costs as well as cut the risk of unnecessary wear and tear on vehicles. Monthly competitions between drivers with a price for the best fuel consumption, the best kept van or fewest accidents or parking fines can prove surprisingly effective, and often negate the need to take action to combat undesirable behaviour through dialogue with line managers and HR departments. The cost of a modest prize such as a weekend break or dinner at an expensive restauraunt could easily be offset by the savings in fuel costs, lower

maintenance bills and potential downtime for vehicles off the road for repairs across the whole van fleet. However, in some cases it is necessary to pursue formal disciplinary measures with repeat offenders, or those who commit a serious offence. The obvious place to start improving drivers is to send them on driver training courses, although the experts disagree on how successful this is. Dr Will Murray, research director at Interactive Driving Systems, says: “Based on research and experience there are no silver bullets in driver management. What is key is effective management and leadership by example. “The culture varies, but in all the best cases of fleet management there has been an appropriate mix of competence and consequence. “Fuel efficient and safe driving become a fund-amental reflection of the organisation’s performance, with organisations and managers within them understanding the important


Telematics can monitor driving standards away from the office

Promoting a safer driving culture

balance between sales and safety.”  Murray says: “Coaching, involvement, understanding the risks and engaging people to do their best are all important. “Ensuring drivers have an appropriate level of experience, a solid contract of employment, an appropriate (and clean) licence supported by relevant qualifications are all important. “Support this with clear work instructions and an easy to read and comply with driver handbook, enforced by risk assessment and relevant training. “Engagement and encouragement, supported by appropriate equipment, are all important, as is communication to ensure that drivers understand exactly what is required of them. Good employers also think about the health and wellbeing of their drivers and have effective monitoring in place supported by corrective action if things do go wrong for some reason.”

If driver training on its own doesn’t work, it’s time to turn to hi-tech devices offered by telematics firms such as Trimble. Mark Forrest, managing director of Trimble’s Field Service Management (FSM) division, says: “Promoting a safe driving culture is essential. A safe driver is a costeffective driver. They have fewer accidents, they are more productive and they tend to drive more efficiently, reducing the fuel bill. “Driver safety solutions enable managers to monitor driving behaviour and complete back office analysis of aggressive manoeuvres, such as hard acceleration, braking, turns and speed. With this data at hand, recommendations on training can be made for individual drivers, resulting in lower accidents and liability therefore helping to manage the risks and costs associated with work-related driving.” One company which has just launched into this area is bolt-on hybrid systems expert Ashwoods Automotive. Gary Whittam, Ashwoods director of business strategy, says: “The single biggest influence on a van’s fuel consumption is the driver and in particular how the vehicle controls are operated. Typically it can impact fuel economy by as much as 35%. I have looked at the various means to gain sustainable improvements.    “The ‘stick’ approach – where the worst performing drivers receive the undivided attention of the fleet manager and disciplinary actions are used to effect

change – can be effective in the short term and for a relatively small proportion of the workforce. The worst performing drivers (the bottom 10%) are often reluctant to accept training and coaching and any improvement is often short lived.   “The largest proportion of the workforce are in the middle ground. This group generally wants to do a good job, has a good work ethic and receives coaching well. It responds to the ‘carrot’ approach.  “Helping this group understand how it can improve vehicle efficiency is valuable. The most successful approach is one where a relationship is built with the driver.”    Whittam points out that at the top of any group/workforce is a small group who actively seek to be best, quickest, most efficient etc. It responds well to the ‘carrot’ but in many cases that can simply be an award of the ‘driver of the year’.  He said: “Van drivers are largely misunderstood and tend to be type cast using the ‘white van’ syndrome.  In reality the vast majority are hard working, hard worked and try their best to do a good job in a tough environment.  “It is far better to involve them in the objectives of the business – be that fuel cost reduction, accident prevention etc and then work together sharing the rewards.  The ‘stick’ should only be used on those where other means have failed.” n Turn to p14 to find out more on Ashwoods’s solution

“Based on experience there are no silver bullets in driver management” Dr Will Murray, Interactive Driving Systems fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan May 2013 13


Fleet operations Driver behaviour

LIGHTFOOT PROMISES A LOWER FUEL BILL Violation warnings in the cab help fleets cut both fuel costs and accidents

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By Stephen Briers elematics plays two roles when it comes to driver behaviour: influencing styles and monitoring compliance. Van fleet operators have plenty of choices. Some systems plug into the vehicle’s CANBus; others rely on GPS. Some put the emphasis on scheduling and utilisation; others are focused on safer driving. Into the mix comes Ashwoods, the hybrid light commercial vehicle converter, with a new product which it claims offers unique features designed to increase the product’s immediate impact on driver behaviour. Lightfoot is a driver behaviour system only. It combines real-time feedback to the driver with a management report for the fleet and uses the familiar red/amber/green traffic light system. Where it differs from other systems is its violation process. Drivers are informed immediately if they breach the acceptable level of performance but if they then alter and improve their driving style, the fleet manager is not informed about the violation. However, if they disobey the warning three times, then the infringement is flagged on the fleet manager’s report. Consultant Gary Whittam, who has been working with Ashwoods on the Lightfoot product, believes this seemingly small point of difference with other telematics systems makes all the difference. “It works better than other systems because it builds a relationship with the driver,” he says. “The three-strike rule means that the driver can influence

Lightfoot on test By Trevor Gehlcken With fuel savings of up to 15% possible, it’s easy to see why many van fleet operators will be interested in fitting Ashwood Automotive’s Lightfoot system to their vehicles. But be warned – there’s more to it than simply clipping a unit on the dash and hotfooting it to the bank with the extra cash. Lightfoot isn’t a quick fix ­– it’s more of a slow burn. We tested the system fitted to a Vauxhall Corsavan for a three-day period. To be honest after a day, I was ready to chuck the thing out of the window. Luckily, it was securely bolted on to the dashboard, so the

35%

of fuel use can be influenced by the driver

9%

increase in fuel efficiency was achieved in a sixmonth trial of Lightfoot

temptation was not actually put into effect. It wasn’t until the third day and after a journey of 250 miles that I began to see the benefits of Lightfoot and I believe that if I had been driving the van for a month or so it would have become second nature. We have tested several of these “traffic light” systems in the past but Lightfoot takes the technology much further. And thereby lies the source of the initial annoyance. Every time the system decides it’s time to change gear it pings gently. On many occasions I was actually in the process of changing anyway. Then if the system decides you need a little smack on the wrist, one of those annoying sat-nav type ladies tells you so in no uncertain terms: “Improve driving style”. Two warnings

“It means drivers will remain calmer and less stressed on the roads” 14 May 2013 fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan

the result in a positive way because a report doesn’t immediately go straight to the fleet manager.” He added: “The unions also like it because it builds drivers’ skills levels.” The display sits on the instrument panel, specially designed to fit individual models’ layout. It shows real-time and longterm performance. A first violation results in a female voice instructing the driver to “improve your driving style”– research shows that a female voice is the best way to get a driver’s attention, according to Whittam. A second violation receives a “warning message”, while a third sees a “violation received” with a report sent to the fleet manager. This approach ensures that the driver is not penalised for isolated inefficient incidents. “The driver can influence 35% of the vehicle’s fuel use especially if they leave it in gear for longer,” he told Fleet Van. “But it’s not about tackling the bottom 10% of worst drivers that gives you the savings. This group tends not to care and doesn’t listen. They have to be handled in a different way – it’s more disciplinary rather than a driving issue. “It’s about the middle 60% of drivers who have average skills. They will improve the most.” Lightfoot trials have proved this to be the case. One fleet installed the system into 100 Transit vans for six months. Its fuel savings, on an annualised basis, were calculated at £388,000 on the back of a 9% increase in fuel efficiency. The fleet also saw accident numbers fall by half, particularly instances of driving into the back of a vehicle in front. Whittam estimates that a fleet of 100 vans will save on average £169,000 over three years based on 28,000 miles a

and she starts telling the fleet manager back in the office too. But as stated earlier, the annoyance is initial and short-lived and I soon began to work out how to keep those lights from going up into the amber and red areas. It’s not that difficult. While the system basically works on G-Forces, it’s interesting to note that it is intelligent enough not to zoom off the scale during an emergency stop – it can tell the difference between bad driving and the need to avoid a crash. What Lightfoot hates is acceleration and a medium dab on the throttle is enough to set that red light twinkling. Obviously what I call harsh acceleration and what Lightfoot calls harsh acceleration are different things. Suffice to say that after three days I had learned to accept the system’s quirky little ways and the lady living under the dashboard didn’t smack my wrist half as often as on the first day. At the end of the day Lightfoot is not just about saving money for the fleet manager. It also means drivers are likely to have fewer


GEAR-CHANGE INDICATOR A shift-up icon and audible alert shows drivers the optimum time to change gear. System is positioned on centre console next to speedometer.

year; over five years the savings rise to £310,000. It equates to roughly £600 per van per year. The corresponding CO2 reductions amount to 187 tonnes over three years and 311 tonnes over five. Wiltshire Council has been running the Lightfoot system on five vans for almost a year. Transport officer Ian McKinnon said: “Having monitored the daily reports against our own fuel systems, we have improved our consumption by 8-10% on these vehicles.” Lightfoot starts at £250 per van plus between £8 and £15

FLEET MANAGER FEEDBACK Long-term system assesses style over multiple journeys to provide cumulative feedback. Also emails report to fleet manager as a weekly or monthly snapshot of driver performance.

DRIVER FEEDBACK Traffic light system issues real-time warnings for each isolated violation, but doesn’t report one-offs to the fleet manager

per vehicle a month for the sim card and fleet reports. Discounts are available for volume deals. It takes 20 minutes to install the system which requires no drilling or cutting. Return on investment, claims Whittam, is “typically within months”. So far 10 large fleets are using the system. On-going talks with other fleets should see this number double by summer, with Ashwoods estimating sales of 15,000 units this year. The company is also in talks with leasing companies and manufacturers about installing it into their vehicles.

accidents and are less likely to be caught speeding. They will also remain calmer and less stressed on the roads, which can’t be a bad thing. One piece of advice though to anyone thinking of fitting Lightfoot: it’s imperative to get the drivers involved first. Tell them why you are installing the system and show them the rather natty YouTube video that goes with it explaining how it works and what the benefits are. Fail to do this and you’ll end up with a bunch of surly blokes (or ladies) who will scupper your best intentions one way or another.

Verdict

When I received the print-out of my test, I was pleased to see that, despite the fact that I hadn’t really been trying hard, I was in the green for 88% of the time and in the red only 1%. The ultimate aim is 90% green so I wasn’t far off achieving the standard.

fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan May 2013 15


Advertisement feature

BCA reports LCV values are still climbing in April

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ight commercial vehicle values rose for the third consecutive month to reach a new highpoint in April, according to BCA’s latest figures published in the monthly Pulse report. The average April figure of £4,998 for all LCVs was the highest on record for any month since Pulse began reporting in 2005. Average age was static at just under 59 months, although average mileage fell back by nearly 4,000 miles compared to March. The fleet & lease and dealer partexchange sectors established new record values for LCVs as the shortage of supply continued. Year-on-year, April 2013 was ahead by £727 or 17.0%, with age rising and mileage falling over the period. BCA’s Duncan Ward commented: “April has continued the pattern seen over recent months with demand virtually across the board from smaller car-sized vans up to large long-wheel base panel vans. “Condition and presentation remain important, and high mileage may discourage some bidders, but overall average values and conversion rates remain very strong. The auction halls have been very busy across the BCA network, while the number of buyers participating via BCA Live Online continues to rise.” Ward added: “In the current market, the limited supply and levels of demand in the remarketing sector have seen prices rise for

“Demand is firm across the board from car-sized to large panel vans”

corporate stock and older dealer partexchange vans. “Anecdotal evidence from a number of sources suggests retail used van activity remains slow, yet the wholesale remarketing sector is relatively strong. LCV values have been universally strong throughout the first third of this year and are significantly higher than the same period last year.”

Fleet & lease Values in the fleet & lease LCV sector improved again in April, rising by £264 (4.4%) to £6,171 – the first time average monthly values for corporate LCVs have been above £6,000.

Duncan Ward, BCA  

Online buyers have been increasingly active as the stock shortage continues

Source: BCA

Fleet & lease used values 2011-2013 £7,000 £6,000

Part-exchange April part-exchange van values were also the highest since Pulse began reporting in 2005, increasing by £114 (3.4%) compared to March. CAP comparisons at 102.7% continue to outperform the fleet & lease sector, while year-on-year values remain well ahead by £634 or 22.9%, with average age and mileage relatively static compared to a year ago.

Nearly-new

£5,000 £4,000

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£3,000 £2,000

Values have risen every month bar one since last August. Performance against CAP fell back by nearly two points to 100.9%, while retained value against Manufacturer Recommended Price improved to 37.17% from 35.43% in March. Year-on-year, the value evolution for corporate stock remains significant – April 2013 was £1,063 (20.8%) ahead of the same month in 2012 – with average age and mileage down over the year.

Nearly-new values fell back in April to £11,286 with CAP performance declining by a point to 98.21%. As always, this has to be taken in the context of the very low volumes reaching the market and the model mix factor.

Europe’s No.1 vehicle remarketing company Log on to bca.co.uk or call 0844 875 3480


Remarketing LCVs

Strong start boosts hope of buoyant LCVs market Auction experts believe first quarter results will offset summer slump

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By Simon Harris sed LCV sales showed some strength during March, reflecting a healthy start to the year. Conversion rates of used vans were up to 81% in March, while the average number of days LCVs remained on site reduced to just 10.9, according to the National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA). Increased conversation rates are positive as auction vendors are realising their capital more quickly and thus helping cash flow, says NAMA. Average values of used LCVs at auction across the board decreased from £4,387 to £4,293, equivalent to a 2% decrease between February and March.  However, this can be attributed to a change in the mix of vehicles sold, with an increase in sales of older, poorer-quality vehicles. Total sales rose in March from 6,523 to 6,725 units, representing a month-on-month increase of a 3%.  Despite the slight fall in the average price for LCVs, other key market factors indicated that March recorded another solid performance from the LCV auction market. However, with summer months approaching the normal seasonal market changes are expected to follow.

Used LCV values have been strong in Q1 If sales volumes and mileage continue to rise, at a time when the typical condition of light commercial vehicles is deteriorating, this market strength will be put to a severe test. By reviewing the price changes over the last six months, NAMA is able to provide a clearer insight into the market. As the market has remained stable over the past few months, the highs at the end of 2012 and the lows

“It is encouraging that the first quarter has seen the LCV market perform strongly” Alex Wright, National Association of Motor Auctions

seen in February will have largely Alex Wright, chairman of the resulted from which fleets were in NAMA Commercial Vehicle Group, the market at that time, according to said: “It is encouraging to see that the organisation.  the first quarter has seen the LCV Sales of new LCVs auction market perform have strengthened in strongly. recent months and this “With such strong stability is likely to conversion rates and continue throughout Average price of used with the low number of LCV in March, down days 2013. that LCVs This will result in an 2% month on month remained on site, it is clear that auction increase in two to fourcustomers are fully year-old LCVs appearing in auction halls across utilising the market. “NAMA hopes the the UK. While this will have a strong foundation Total LCV sales in positive effect on the created in the first March, up 3% quarter will have an average price of LCVs, it month on month will also have a detrieffect on the slower mental effect on all less attractive, summer months and will help to keep the market buoyant.”  older lots.

£4,293 6,725

VOLUME CHANGES BY AGE <2 Years 2 - 4 Years 4.1 - 6 Years Over 6 Years Total

Oct-12 % Diff 331 46% 1,918 4% 3,342 13% 1,521 11% 7,112 11%

Nov-12 % Diff Dec-12 129 -61% 154 1,027 -46% 1,061 1,837 -45% 1,534 1,089 -28% 802 4,082 -43% 3,551

Source: NAMA % Diff Jan-13 % Diff 19% 365 137% 3% 1,685 59% -16% 2,208 44% -26% 1,880 134% -13% 6,138 73%

Feb-13 % Diff 431 18% 1,625 -4% 2,596 18% 1,871 0% 6,523 6%

Mar-13 % Diff 198 -54% 2,058 27% 2,497 -4% 1,972 5% 6,725 3%

fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan May 2013 19


Fleet insight Accident management

LIMITING THE HIDDEN COST OF ACCIDENTS Effective accident management procedures have never been more important

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By Ben Rooth ent metal costs are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to resolving the true financial impact of road accidents. In addition to the price of fixing the damage, everything from van downtime to lost contracts and third-party costs to employee injuries needs to be taken into account. The total costs can be anything between four and 32 times the cost of the actual repair. Consequently, the art of pro-actively managing an accident is crucial. Fleets have four options: handle the process themselves in-house, pass responsibility to their insurer, use their leasing provider’s services (usually via through a third-party supplier) or outsource direct to an independent accident management company. For larger fleets, the use of accident management providers or their leasing company are the preferred options as it cuts down admin. The issue for most companies is that managing the accident is not seen as a core fleet function. It requires resource and expertise. However, if using an outsourced provider it is key for fleets to manage the supplier to ensure downtime is kept to a minimum and thresholds are set for authorisation of high value repairs. Set the authorisation level too low and the fleet team will be contacted too frequently, which can be time consuming for a small team. It would mean the fleet team effectively acting as the accident management provider itself, which could delay the start of the actual repair, increasing downtime. Kevin Boxall, fleet manager at EDF Energy, says: “If the provider doesn’t receive authorisation from us within a certain time, then up to another level of value they can go ahead with the repair. “We get slicker, they get slicker and our vehicles aren’t held up unnecessarily awaiting repair.” Duncan Vernon, RoSPA’s road safety manager for England, believes robust accident management processes are essential – and they should consider the employee as well as the vehicle. “From the perspective of the employer, there is always going to be a wide range of cost implications; for example, what happens if an employee can’t work for a period of time,” he says. “It’s only when an organisation understands the problems that its drivers are going to face and then thinks through the procedures to manage these that an effective accident management policy can be implemented.” At their simplest, these accident management policies control what happens in connection with the handling of the insurance claim, the repair procedure and replacement vehicles.

20 May 2013 fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan

But these policies are also increasingly acting as safeguards which demonstrate an organisation’s compliance with legislation, protocol governing employees’ safety while using the vans and ‘cost control’ measures. Prevention is better than cure Simon Cook, LCV commercial leader for GE Capital UK, said that an effective accident management policy serves a vitally important preventative function. “Prevention is always better than cure,” he says. “When accident management policies are tailored to meet the needs of an organisation, then these policies result in minimum downtime for a fleet – in terms of the time spent on repairs.” GE Capital’s approach is to discuss pre- and post-event accident management with fleets. Conversations on cost control and monitoring driver behaviour lead to discussions about preventative policies, such as speed limiters or reversing cameras. “It’s at this point that we find out from them about issues like what their annual mileage is and whether they’re engaged in multiple drops, and ensure that they are fully briefed about duty of care,” Cook says.

claim form; tell the insurer. According to Doug Jenkins, of Axa Corporate Services, this order leaves a window of opportunity for credit hire companies to contact the third party. Fail to inform your insurer within – at most – a day and the claims bill could soar as a result, leading to higher insurance premiums at renewal time. Jenkins believes that the insurer (or accident management firm) should be informed immediately after names/addresses are exchanged – even before the company is informed. It’s the only way to minimise the claims cost. A robust accident management policy should: n Reduce administrative burdens n Create savings whenever possible – through streamlining the claims process or through outsourcing n Consolidate and upgrade management information and operating data to identify areas of risk and potential savings n Improve safety records n Standardise service across the UK n Define critical repair times n Include mobile repairs, if appropriate

Tailored policies to meet fleet needs Organisations operating fleets of vans need to have a clear focus on what they want to achieve with their accident management policy. Amanda Mullans, operations director at Total Accident Management, says: “When policies are tailored to meet an organisation’s needs then they ultimately provide a competitive advantage by getting them back on the road as quickly as possible in the most cost-effective manner.” These policies need to make clear how an organisation intends to: n Keep drivers on the road n Organise replacement vehicles quickly n Protect future insurance premiums n Maximise vehicles’ residual values n Ensure that insurers are quickly notified – frequently referred to as ‘first notification of loss’ (FNOL) n Safeguard against expensive third-party personal injury claims – known as third party capture n Maximise uninsured loss recovery (ULR). FNOL is a crucial part of the process. Often, post crash, the following process takes place: names/ addresses exchanged; crash reported to company; claim form filled in; tell broker (if applicable); send a copy to claims handler; file the

up to 32 times the cost of the repair is the real cost of a road accident


“It is only when an organisation understands the problems its drivers are going to face and thinks through the procedures to manage these that an effective management policy can be implemented” Duncan Vernon, RoSPA

For many fleet managers, the most straightforward way of ensuring that correct and carefully tailored procedures are put in place is by employing an accident management company. Their role is to ensure the vehicle is properly repaired, check that the repair estimates and final bills are reasonable, getting the driver back on the road as quickly as possible, and handling any third party involved in the crash. However, when tendering, fleets must investigate the financial stability of firms in light of the collapse of two accident management companies in the past six months. Key areas to assess include average cost of repair, successful control of third-party costs, the quality and training of staff, established procedures and the company’s reporting ability. Accident management companies should also be able to project a fleet’s costs for the year ahead based on historic figures and demonstrate predicted savings. Steve Thompson, group sales director of Nationwide Accident Repair Services, says: “As insurance premiums continue to rise, accident management providers can minimise repair costs, organise non-insurance work and help to protect future insurance premiums. “More and more large fleets are outsourcing their accident management as they realise that this can be an area for significant efficiencies, improvements and cost savings.” Mark Garnham, network manager at claims management company CAA, believes accident management companies offer fleet managers economies of scale. CAA has more than 250,000 vehicles on cover which allows it to negotiate and agree competitive rates with all of its partner suppliers. Garnham says: “Fleet managers have a responsibility that in the event of an incident their drivers are looked after and cared for, and the vehicles they drive are maintained and repaired to the correct manufacturer and safe standards. “Outsourcing accident management and having a documented policy in place removes the inconvenience of handling all of the different aspects of an accident and dealing with multiple invoices from different suppliers.” ‘Total financial sense’ Colin Wilson, head of national new business at Northgate Vehicle Hire which has more than 52,000 vans on rental nationwide, says that employing the services of an accident management company “makes total financial sense”. “My recommendation to our clients is that they get an external firm to oversee their accident management policy,” he says. “There are many different reasons why this is necessary but, as far as I’m concerned, demonstrating duty of care is paramount and there’s also the issue of ensuring that the vehicles are correctly repaired. “We have vehicles returned to us which have not been correctly repaired and that subsequently requires our clients to pay for remedial repair work, costing them even more. “This doesn’t tend to happen when one of the main accident management firms has been used.” Wilson adds that different accident management providers will be

fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan May 2013 21


Fleet insight Accident management appropriate for different clients. For example, some companies have national bodyshop networks which work best for those van fleets which operate across the country. He adds: “Five years ago, there was a trend for our customers to attempt to deal with the damage themselves. But the arrival of strict legislation has now made many fleet managers look again at their obligations and they’ve found that it simply makes financial sense to bring in the services of a specialist external provider.” Indeed, changes in legislation – and particularly the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 – are widely acknowledged to be one reason why accident management policies are now rising up boardroom agendas. This legislation has resulted in organisations being found guilty of corporate manslaughter if it is determined that there has been any serious management failures that have resulted in a gross breach of duty of care. Amanda Mullans, operations director at Total Accident Management, says: “Legislation is obviously something that fleet managers need to be very much aware of. “The Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007 is chief among these – and good accident management companies will be able to advise on what to do according to an organisation’s individual requirements.” Health and safety law also applies to onthe-road work activities like any other work activity and these risks also need to be managed accordingly. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires employers to take appropriate steps to ensure the safety of their employees – and others who may be affected by their activities – when at work. This includes when they are driving.

The future of accident management in fleet In March, GE Capital’s Fleet Services division launched an online service named Integrated Solutions which helps “streamline” its clients’ accident management strategies – and ultimately save money. Integrated Solutions aggregates fleet data, including costs incurred from driver speeding fines, the cost of any accidents in which employees have been involved, the cost of non-standard maintenance and tyre replacement, with risk assessment scores. This is then analysed by bespoke software to produce detailed reports showing the frequency and cost of all major aspects of driver behaviour. Simon Cook, LCV commercial leader for GE Capital UK, says: “Looking at the different criteria in Integrated Solutions enables fleet managers to build up a picture of the way their drivers behave and to plan their strategy in order to cut costs and improve driver safety.” Accident management services are likely to grow and improve rapidly over the next few years, according to Michael Wilmshurst, chief executive of Nationwide Accident Repair Service. He says: “As technology advances in vehicles, and more generally in everyday life with mobile and hand-held technology, cloud computing, and ever-improving IT platforms, this will affect the type of support services large fleet operators will want and how they will acquire them.” Many fleet managers are currently forced

to use traditional analogue systems in an increasingly digital world and this approach can be fragmented and inefficient. In addition, automotive support service providers will need to move forward quickly to keep pace with the demands and expectations of the industry. “Historically, fleet support could involve a large number of service providers, adding complexity and cost,” says Wilmshurst. “A number of automotive support services suppliers, including Nationwide, have identified there is a market for a more integrated approach. “Accident management is one element of this – it brings together the insurance claim handling, repair, replacement vehicle solution, and budgeting.” He believes future accident management will form part of an integrated automotive support, covering the life of the vehicle. “Although some providers claim to do this at the moment, the truth is that until the IT platforms are integrated throughout the entire service chain, they are fallible because there will always be gaps between the systems,” he says. “What we and others in the industry are aiming for is truly integrated service in which there is seamless IT infrastructure throughout the life of the fleet vehicle covering servicing, windscreens and glass, accident management, courtesy cars and vans, delivery , as well as pre-fleet and end of life preparation and disposal.”

“Support service providers need to move forward quickly” Michael Wilmshurst, Nationwide Accident Repair Services

22 May 2013 fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan


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Industr y spotlight Safety features

MERCEDES-BENZ RAISES THE VAN SAFETY STAKES New technologies will appear on Sprinter later this year

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By Carlton Boyce ercedes-Benz has always had a good reputation for safety in the commercial vehicle market. It was the first to fit a brake booster to a van in 1962; disc brakes and ABS as standard in 1995; ESP in 2002; and Adaptive ESP in 2006. As a result, Mercedes-Benz has calculated that the number of single-vehicle accidents involving its vans fitted with this technology has fallen by 64% since 1999, with the biggest drop – 39% – due to the introduction of ESP in 2002. So when Mercedes-Benz invited Fleet Van to Germany to sample five new safety features on a series of prototype Sprinters we jumped at the chance. Dr Sascha Paasche, head of product engineering Mercedes-Benz Vans, was bullish, saying “we now have control of the physics” before explaining that engineering safety systems into a van is more complex than just grafting on existing passenger car technology; their shape is different, their weight and centre of gravity changes when a load is added and, if the manufacturer is supplying a bare chassis, there is no way of knowing what the final body shape, weight, and use will be. While the vast majority of those who operate commercial vehicle fleets understand and fulfil (and often exceed) their obligations to their employees, others are more reticent; the cost of the extra safety equipment is rarely offset by increased resale value when the vehicle is sold. Aside from the fact that some of the technology we are examining will be fitted as standard to the new Sprinter range due out later this year, the most compelling argument (other than the moral dimension of keeping employees safe) came from Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. He argues that: “time is money”. If a van is off the road being repaired, it isn’t earning money. Crosswind Assist The most impressive technology at the Mercedes-Benz TecForum was, without doubt, the world premiere of Crosswind Assist. A boxy shape, which is, by definition, what a van

With Collision Prevention Assist, a warning light will flash if you get too close to the vehicle in front

24 May 2013 fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan

presents, is vulnerable to the effects of crosswinds, with even moderate gusts capable of blowing them into an adjacent lane before the driver can react. Mercedes-Benz has developed Crosswind Assist, a deceptively simple system that utilises Adaptive ESP to apply a braking force to a wheel or wheels on the side the wind is coming from; the result is a much smaller deflection, “centimetres rather than metres”. Using sensors to measure the Sprinter’s yaw rate, lateral acceleration, steering angle, wheel and engine speed, and payload the ECU calculates which wheel or wheels needs to be braked, and by how much and for how long. Driving a prototype Sprinter at the Bosch testing grounds at Boxberg revealed that a 25mph (40km/h) gust of wind was enough to blow the Sprinter into the neighbouring lane. Turning the system on made a marked difference to the van’s behaviour under identical circumstances; the system applied the brakes briefly (but noticeably) reducing the windinduced jink significantly. My heart-rate still rose a little but I was kept safely in my own lane. Crosswind Assist will be a standard-fit item across the next-generation Sprinter range on sale later this year. Lane Keeping Assist Lane Keeping Assist has been fitted to passenger cars for some time and is simple to understand: if the system suspects that the vehicle is drifting from one lane to another due to driver distraction or inattention it raises the alarm, allowing the driver to correct their mistake. The system – passive as it doesn’t actively intervene at any point – alerts the driver with flashing warning light and an audible alarm if the screen-mounted camera detects a lane change that isn’t accompanied by the use of the indicators. So far so simple, but if a safety system becomes annoying rather than useful it will be ignored, so Lane Keeping Assist is inoperable at speeds below 37mph (60km/h). Manoeuvres in a city (where the use of multiple white and yellow lines is prevalent) do not attract false alarms. The system will not be triggered if the driver brakes or

Extra cameras have been mounted on the rear corners of the Sprinter to make Blind Spot Assist a viable option on longer vehicles


“With all the safety systems tested, turning them off is possible, but not encouraged”

varies his speed while cutting across the central road markings as he might on a narrow, twisting country road. We tested it and it works. Blind spot monitoring Blind spot monitoring systems are another staple of the modern car but they are, again, one that needs modification to become fit-for-purpose for a vehicle as long as the Sprinter. The Mercedes-Benz solution to the increased blind spot that a large van has is to mount cameras on the rear corners of the vehicle as well as on the exterior rear-view mirrors, giving a much wider angle of monitoring. If an object is detected either side of the van in the blind spot, a red triangle illuminates on the relevant mirror, warning the driver of the presence of a vehicle. If the driver then uses the direction indicators the red triangle starts to flash and an alarm briefly sounds. It works very effectively, adding another layer of unobtrusive protection that even attentive drivers will appreciate. It can be turned off, but doing so triggers an amber triangle in either mirror; as with all of the safety systems tested, turning them off is possible, but not encouraged. Highbeam Assist Highbeam Assist uses a forward-facing camera to detect light sources in front of the vehicle, helping it decide whether high or low beam is appropriate before switching between them automatically. A few conditions needs to be met for the system to kick in: the vehicle’s speed must be over 22mph (35km/h) and there must be no street lighting, preventing the system activating high beam in built-up areas. We didn’t get the chance to test this system, but as the technology is widespread and largely effective in passenger vehicles, it is likely to be equally useful in the new Sprinter. Collision Prevention Assist The most dramatic, and yet partially disappointing, demonstration was that of Collision Prevention Assist. The premise is straightforward: the Sprinter uses radar to automatically detect vehicles in front of it before warning the driver if they are getting too close.

Crosswind Assist will reduce the risk of your van being blown into the next lane by a strong gust of wind

This is a two-stage process. If the gap isn’t getting smaller and the driver is just too close a warning light is illuminated, but if the closing speed is fast and a collision would occur within the next two seconds without action, an audible warning is also triggered. This warning can cut driver reaction times by up to 0.2 seconds, which might not sound a lot but equates to six metres at 62mph (100km/h). When the driver does start to brake, the Sprinter monitors the effort applied, and if it is too little (and research suggests it will be in 80% of cases) Brake Assist Pro boosts braking power automatically. During demonstrations the Sprinter repeatedly pulled up much more quickly than seemed possible and did so in a straight line, with Brake Assist Pro applying the maximum retardation to prevent a collision. It was a very impressive demonstration – once the driver started to brake. Therein lies the drawback for me. The Sprinter is capable of detecting an imminent collision and can help the driver avoid it by boosting brake pressure but only after the driver initiates braking. I can’t help thinking that it would be far better to have the vehicle brake automatically if the driver is too slow to react. Mercedes-Benz’s reasoning is that a van driver has many options available, including taking evasive action instead of braking. I still think that it seems like a missed opportunity and I wouldn’t be surprised if Mercedes-Benz upgraded the system to fully automatic braking at some point in the future.

fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan May 2013 25


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Top tips to get your tyre Improving safety and lowering costs still remain the top priorities for Michelin’s van fleet customers.

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ead of fleet Dave Crinson gives three top tips on saving money, reducing risk and ensuring your vans – and budgets – go the extra mile. Maintain pressure One of the simplest ways to improve safety and reduce costs is to carry out regular tyre pressure checks, although the practice is often neglected. Crinson said: “If tyres are correctly inflated the tread wears more evenly reducing the likelihood of premature replacements and improving safety. They also use much less fuel. Typically, if a tyre is 20% under-inflated, fuel consumption increases by 2%. As fleet size and mileage increase, those savings can really add up.”

‘Typically, if a tyre is 20% under-inflated, fuel consumption increases by 2%’ Michelin’s head of fleet Dave Crinson

Michelin customer example: The importance of correct tyre pressures has been demonstrated by utility company Anglian Water which has held two of Michelin’s Fill Up With Air events at its headquarters. The events, which see tyre experts measure the pressures and tread depths of company cars, vans and grey fleet, have prompted significant safety and budget improvements, according to the company’s fleet maintenance manager John Harding. He said: “After our first event in 2011, Michelin predicted that up to £65,000 and 177

tonnes of CO2 emissions could be saved annually simply by correcting our vehicles’ tyre pressures, and statistics from the latest event show positive progress is being made. I’m pleased to report the most recent results show nearly 10% more of our drivers have correct tyre pressures.” In addition to safety benefits, if the increase in correct tyre pressures is indicative of all Anglian Water’s commercial vehicles – 1,616 in total – the business is estimated to have reduced carbon emissions by 46 tonnes and saved 18,000 litres of fuel in just 12 months. At today’s prices that equates to around £25,000 in fuel savings. Seasonal variations Considering the average temperature last winter was little more than 3° Celsius, Crinson believes it is surprising that still relatively few UK van fleets have adapted their tyre policies to suit conditions. Cold weather tyres considerably improve safety, performance and grip when temperatures fall to 7° Celsius or lower, and have been adopted by many home delivery and emergency service fleets. Michelin customer example: Tesco.com is one of the UK’s leading online grocers, and fleet and equipment manager Dino Papas believes customer service and


ent feature

es to go the extra mile driver confidence have both significantly improved since the team chose to fit Michelin’s Agilis Alpin cold weather van tyres to the 3,200-strong fleet in the autumn of 2011. He said: “Trends show that trading hours are getting longer and we are now delivering on an increasing number of days throughout the winter, including bank holidays, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. That means our vans are in demand pretty much every day, so we need to be fully prepared at all times to carry out deliveries in the safest possible manner. “When the harsh weather hit, our decision to fit Michelin cold weather tyres meant we were in a significantly better position to get orders to customers. Now we have seen the long-term benefits of winter tyres, it would be difficult to go back to operating without them.” Plan ahead for tyre replacements Crinson has called for a wholesale shift in the way drivers view tyre appointments because of the sheer numbers of tyres now available, and recommends van drivers book ahead to avoid unnecessary waiting

times and guarantee availability. He said: “It’s important to adhere to their agreement once a tyre policy has been put in place to ensure predicted wholelife costs do not increase, and that can mean planning ahead for tyre replacements. “It’s unrealistic to think that every tyre dealer will have every single tyre size and brand in stock at all times and unless drivers give advance warning, they jeopardise their chances of getting their first choice tyre.” He added: “We can learn lessons from Europe where company car drivers are used to booking tyre appointments in advance as a matter of course.” Michelin distributor comments: ATS Euromaster and Kwik Fit are backing Michelin’s call for drivers to plan ahead for tyre replacements. ATS Euromaster’s group sales director, Peter Fairlie, said his team is looking to set up an online booking system for tyre appointments for the leasing industry following a high take-up of the company’s e-bookings system in Holland and France. He said: “We are currently working on a

Email: michelin-contact@uk.michelin.com Telephone: 0845 3661590 Visit: www.michelin.co.uk

project to offer UK lease vehicle customers the ability to book a tyre fitting appointment in our centres online. It is still early days, but we hope to add this to our range of available services later this year.” Kwik Fit’s fleet sales director, Peter Lambert, said: “We have 800 centres and stock between 1,200 and 1,500 tyres per centre, but gone are the days where you can turn up at a centre and almost guarantee they will have the specific tyre you need. We would encourage all customers – retail and fleet – who have busy schedules and want to minimise time spent in the centre to phone first, check we have their tyres in stock and identify a good time for them to come in and have them fitted.”

Manage your tyres Michelin’s online Tyre Manager tool has been designed to help drivers track how tyres are wearing and predict when they will need replacing. To manage your tyres visit www.mymichelin.co.uk/tyre-manager


Fleet case study BT Fleet

REMAPPING KEY TO POTENTIAL £4M FUEL SAVING BT Fleet scheme will cut carbon footprint by 25,000 tonnes

A

By John Charles potential £4 million a year fuel bill saving and a carbon footprint reduction of up to 25,000 tonnes in 2013 – the equivalent of removing 1,900 London taxis from the roads – are the headline benefits of BT remapping the engines powering 23,000 of its commercial vehicles. Historically engine remapping has been the preserve of boy racers hungry for extra performance from their ‘hot’ hatch. However, BT Fleet, which manages BT’s 33,000-strong vehicle fleet, considered engine remapping as being a potential cost-saving opportunity after being charged by its parent company with making operational cost savings. Following a pilot programme and extensive trialling, a business case won board backing in summer 2012. Now 23,000 vehicles – typically panel vans but also some specialist vehicles deemed suitable – have had their engines remapped. The result is: n The first world’s major deployment of engine remapping n The largest ever fleet globally to implement such a programme. BT Fleet says it has been able to dispel many myths traditionally associated with the exercise: n That it would cause a vehicle to smoke n Vehicle life expectancy could be shortened and part longevity impacted n Stress would be placed on a vehicle’s drivetrain and components. But ECU remapping has not been undertaken in isolation. It is one of a number of cost-saving initiatives that BT Group has introduced on its fleet in recent years. Collectively, measured savings over the last three years run into the millions of pounds as a result of improved vehicle utilisation and extended replacement cycles as well as fuel bill savings against a background of rising pump prices. Effectively BT Group has removed almost 2,000 vehicles – despite the recruitment of more than 1,500 engineers to continue the roll out of super fast broadband nationwide and reduce weather-induced work ‘spikes’. In considering where cost savings could be made, BT Fleet built up a comprehensive data-based picture of vehicle utilisation, downtime and availability married to driver time sheets and job use. Joe Fielder, BT fleet sales and marketing director, says: “We have been able to make capital cost savings running into millions of pounds because we are able to run the fleet in a more intelligent manner.” That, for example, sees two or three engineers utilise one vehicle instead of BT Group operating a one driver/one vehicle approach, vehicle versatility improved with vans equipped to perform multiple job functions and vans redistributed nationwide depending on age/mileage profile. Employee shift patterns were reviewed, long-term sick

28 May 2013 fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan

leave analysed to help shape a more ‘fluid fleet’, spare parts provision through BT Fleet’s owned network of 63 garages improved and telemetry now in almost 20,000 vehicles was used to improve utilisation. Additionally, BT Group typically replaced its ‘volume’ fleet; vehicles - Ford and Vauxhall panels vans – at three or fouryear intervals, but the data analysis revealed that vans could operate over more flexible periods. As a result, many vans now operate over 54 or 60 month replacement cycles although some specialist vehicles, which have also been remapped, are operational for eight years. Fielder says: “Vehicle life extension ultimately led us to consider ECU remapping. Engine remapping equals fuel savings, which equals cost reduction and the savings are considerable.” ECU remapping across 23,000 vehicles – the remaining third of the fleet is not suitable due to a variety of factors including usage – has delivered average fuel efficiency gains of between 10-15%. “The initiative has delivered substantial environmental gains: a 20% reduction in CO2 emitted – 25,000 tonnes – which is equivalent to 5,000 vehicles being removed from the fleet,” he says. BT Fleet worked with Bromsgrove-based vehicle tuning and engine control unit remapping specialist Viezu Technologies to assess remapping viability and eventually individually remap each van according to operating parameters and payload instead of the generic setting from the factory. The ECU is used to control a variety of vehicle characteristics, including throttle, engine rpm, torque and speed, which in turn determines power output, mpg and CO2 emissions.

Even vans under warranty have had their engines remapped

23,000

BT vehicles have now had their engines remapped


Joe Fielder: other major clients are interested in remapping fleet vehicles

Some employees, he admits, were surprised at the improved driveability and better performance despite the focus of remapping being on fuel efficiency improvements. Shaun Rowley, BT Fleet senior product marketing manager, says: “As we know the exact operating parameters of each van we are able to optimise ECU settings. In some cases that may mean improved driveability and better performance – increased engine power and torque – particularly lower down the rev range, but overall fuel and emissions savings are made.” Remapping is typically undertaken as vans are serviced or MOT’d at BT Fleet’s own garages by technicians trained to undertake the work Viezu Technologies supply the bespoke remap file to a BT Fleet garage within five minutes. Some BT Group vans have been remapped while the engine remains under manufacturer warranty. Rowley says: “ECU remapping is not a product that will cause engine damage so all of our ‘volume fleet’ has gone through the programme irrespective of vehicle age.” BT Fleet’s innovative approach so impressed the judges of the 2013 Fleet News Awards – the industry ‘Oscars’ – that the company won the ‘Cost Saving Initiative of the Year’. The judges’ say: “BT Fleet’s cost saving initiative is head and shoulders above its competition. The savings are of a mind-blowing scale and its research provides the proof and reassurance that engine remapping works and is safe. An outstanding and long-term sustainable success.” It is, believes Fielder, the credibility that BT Fleet has

“These are not theoretical savings. We can evidence our savings and that is powerful for our customers” Joe Fielder, BT Fleet

carried out remapping on its parent company’s vehicles that gives it viability in offering a similar opportunity to clients that include The AA, National Grid, G4S, E.ON and Network Rail. He says: “These are not theoretical savings. We can evidence our savings and that is powerful for our customers and potential customers. They are tangible year-on-year benefits based on our wholelife cost model.” BT Fleet calculates that ECU remapping has the potential to save the industry more than £200 million a year, without any detriment to vehicle performance or driver satisfaction. Fielder says: “We already have three or four of our major customers interested and I have written to clients to tell them of the opportunity.” As for customer reassurance, Rowley says: “Each ECU remapping comes with an insurance-backed guarantee and retains all original settings on file. This offers customers total confidence and should issues arise or vehicle operating requirements change, the ECU can be revised as required.”

fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan May 2013 29


CV Show Review

Vans’ turn for centre stage Highlights from the CV Show. For more go to fleetnews.co.uk/news/cvshow2013/

Transit Courier fills a Ford LCV gap Any aspirations by rival manufacturers to cut down on the huge lead in the van sales charts enjoyed by Ford since records began seem to have been well and truly scuppered as the manufacturer continues its avalanche of stylish new vans. Last year Ford announced that it would replace its entire van range within two years. Not only that but the firm split the Transit range into two distinct offerings. And at the CV Show, the wraps were taken off a completely new model – the Transit Courier. Over the years, van fleet buyers have become increasingly particular and precise in their demands and while the rivals were splitting their ranges into ever-smaller sectors, Ford’s offerings had begun looking decidedly sparse. The new Transit Courier fills the gap that presently exists between the Fiestavan and Transit Connect and will join a new Connect when it goes on sale in 2014. Ford has already launched a new Ranger 4x4 truck and Transit Custom,

The new Ford Transit Courier

The new Ford Transit Connect

which replaces the old Transit from 2.6-3.3 tonnes gvw. Barb Samardzich, vice-president of product development at Ford of Europe, flew in from Germany to unveil the new Courier. Also at the unveiling was Phil Hollins, fleet director for Ford of Britain, who said Ford was aiming to increase its LCV sales by 50% as a result of this huge investment in vans. He said: “The UK is a mature market, but if you think about Transit Courier it’s a new product in a new segment that we don’t currently compete in. “Custom and Transit consolidate, while Connect will significantly improve the light van range. Courier is a new product that’s not going to pull from any other existing range and the high-roof Transit gets added to production in September.”

Based on Ford’s global B-segment platform (which produces the Fiesta, B-Max and EcoSport), the Transit Courier delivers class-leading load volume of 2.3 cubic metres with standard full bulkhead within an overall length of 4.16 metres. With a maximum payload capacity of 660 kg, the new model can accommodate a standard Euro pallet. Kombi versions offer 60/40 split folding rear seats with a tip/tumble mechanism for additional versatility or dual business/ personal usage. The Courier will be available with diesel and petrol engines that target best-in-class fuel economy and offer Auto-Start-Stop on all units. Customers can choose between 1.5-litre 75bhp and 1.6-litre 95bhp Duratorq TDCi diesel engines, and the 100bhp 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine.

Leasing attracts cash-strapped van fleets

Mark Lovett – offering useful advice for van fleet operators

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Van fleet operators are increasingly seeing leasing companies as trusted advisers who can help out with any number of operational problems, according to Mark Lovett, head of commercial vehicles at LeasePlan. The leasing specialist reported a steady stream of potential new clients to its stand at the show and Lovett told Fleet Van: “Following the launch of our UpTime initiative last year we have seen a year in which our van business grew substantially. “With the UK economy in the doldrums, leasing has become a lot more attractive. Instead of having money tied up in vehicles, firms

can use cash to invest in their businesses.” There is a traditional view that leasing is more expensive than outright purchase, but Lovett said with his team of five experts on hand to offer cash-saving advice, this was not necessarily so. He said: “Nowadays we are seeing the role of the old-style fleet disappearing as more and more HR people are involved in running fleets. “Many of these people do not have a great understanding of operating vans and our experts are being called upon to give advice on all sorts of areas. They are being looked upon as trusted advisers rather than people who are simply there to sell a product.”


Mercedes pins No2 sales hopes on Citan Mercedes-Benz was showing a full range of light commercial vehicles for the first time in its history as the Citan small van went on sale. Mercedes-Benz has always been thwarted in its fleet sales strategy by the fact that it only offered medium and large panel vans but with a small van now under its belt, UK van sales and marketing director Steve Bridge is confidently predicting that the German firm will sit at No2 in the sales charts by 2016. The Citan is a heavily reworked version of the Renault Kangoo that sees improvements in style, handling and fuel economy. It will cost more than the Kangoo, but Bridge said: “What we have got to do is to educate

fleet operators about basing their buying decisions on the total cost of ownership against the front-end price. People have to be taught not to look at the list price but how much per day a van will cost to run.” Bridge gave an example of a Citan costing £14,000 ex-VAT against a Ford Transit Connect at £10,600 and a Volkswagen Caddy at £12,900. Although the front-end prices are hugely different, Bridge reckons that on a normal fleet lifecycle and taking into account such items as fuel economy, reliability and residual value, the Connect will cost £6 per day to run, the Caddy £7.50 per day and the Citan £7.60 – a much closer figure. Steve Bridge with the new Mercedes-Benz Citan

Lightfoot system educates drivers Fuel-efficient vehicles won’t prove costeffective unless driver attitudes are altered, according to Ashwoods Automotive. The company was demonstrating how fleets could save around 13% on their fuel bills with the firm’s new Lightfoot system. Lightfoot has been launched after road trials with more than 20 UK fleets, ranging from delivery companies and construction contractors to utilities and local authorities. In the trials, the system demonstrated savings of more than £70,000 over a fouryear period for a fleet of 50 vans. One company, which installed 100 vans with Lightfoot, also recorded a 50% drop in own-fault road traffic accidents. The system has a traffic light display that goes into the red when excessive behaviour is detected. There are also audio warnings on when to change gear and when driving style needs to be improved. This information is fed back to the fleet manager. Mark Roberts, managing director of Ashwoods Automotive, said: “Every trial has delivered a significant increase in van mpg, ranging from 5% to 23%. A fleet of 50 vans each travelling around 20,000 miles a year would save on average more than £18,000 per annum.” n Real-life benefits of Lighfoot, page 14

Just as big but ‘cheaper to buy and run’ How big can a small van get? In the Fiat Doblo Cargo’s case, it’s the XL which, making its official CV Show debut, looked just about as big as the larger Scudo van. The Doblo Cargo XL, which has been on sale since summer 2012, offers a 5.0 cu m cargo area with a payload of 1,000kg – exactly that of the smallest Scudo. So why build a model which essentially replicates another in the Fiat range?

Fiat Professional director Sebastiano Fedrigo with the Fiat Doblo WorkUp

Fiat Professional director Sebastiano Fedrigo told Fleet Van: “The Doblo XL may have the same loadspace and payload as the Scudo but it is cheaper to buy and cheaper to run. We are increasingly seeing fleet buyers downsizing to save costs and this is why we launched the XL.” Fiat’s standing in the LCV sector has been greatly enhanced over the past few years as the Fiat Professional brand has been rolled out across the UK and Fedrigo is now using the Iveco truck network (also owned by Fiat) to help extend the range of services available to LCV buyers. He said: “Truck operators demand a lot more from their dealers, such as 24/7 servicing, and we are aiming to bring a truck mentality to our dealers. We are increasingly allying them to HGV dealers so that most offer extended opening hours and some offer a 24/7 service. We also have a dedicated team of LCV experts who can help fleet buyers choose the most cost-effective vans.” One area where Fiat is noticeably absent is in the electric van field. Fedrigo said: “It is interesting technology and we are well aware of it but we firmly believe that diesel engines offer the most economical option and give the best performance for fleets. It is fashionable now to talk about electric vans but at the end of the day we have to make a profit and we see this as too small a niche to be able to do that. There are too many problems.”

Mark Roberts (left) and Gary Whittam on the Ashwoods stand

Fuel economy claims for tyres Two new tyres are claimed to help vans make fuel go further by having lower rolling resistance. Compared with its Vanco2 predecessor, Continental’s new ContiVanContact 100 cover features a 10% lower resistance to aid operating economy while offering high safety, durability and life. “But we go a stage further with the 200 version, which uses a van-optimised full silica compound to deliver a 15 per cent reduction,” said brand manager Peter Robb. Sizes of the covers will range from 14 inches to 16 inches, with load-bearing capabilities up to 1,215kg per tyre.

fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan May 2013 31


CV Show Review

Citroën uses EVs to win new customers The electric vehicle market has got off to a slow start in the UK, but it hasn’t deterred new manufacturers from introducing EVs. The new Citroën Berlingo Electrique was unveiled in Birmingham and Citroën commercial vehicle operations manager Scott Michael was in a buoyant mood about its prospects. He told Fleet Van: “We were the first to offer an electric van between 1999 and 2005 and we learned a lot from our mistakes then. “Back then, we sold the van and leased the batteries but we found several operational problems with this strategy – for example, with second users and residual values. This vehicle will be sold outright but can be leased from us too as a complete package.” Until the launch of the Renault Kangoo ZE electric van last year, electric LCVs of this size were selling at around £40,000 but the Berlingo Electrique will cost a straight £21,300 ex-VAT. So will Citroën actually make a profit on the van after deducting all the development costs? Michael told Fleet Van: “We would not sell this van if we couldn’t profit from it. “We believe electric vehicles will remain a niche but one point to bear in mind is that

The new Citroën Berlingo Electrique is unveiled at the show by dancing girls clad in silver outfits offering an electric van gives us access to fleets who do not buy Citroën vehicles at present. “Once we have demonstrated our vehicles to them, there is always a chance that they will take other Citroën products too.” The Berlingo Electrique has a range of up to 106 miles on a single charge and top speed is 68mph. It can usie a domestic socket and can be charged to 80% capacity in 35 minutes using

a quick charge facility. Load volume and payload is not affected by the batteries. Standard equipment includes Electronic stability control (ESC), ABS brakes, Hill Start Assist, air-conditioning and a nearside sliding side door. At present, 10 Citroën dealers will be specialising in selling and maintaining the new van, mostly set in the big city conurbations.

Fee-free card aimed at small companies

Tuning specialists promise 15% saving

A major parts and servicing organisation is planning to win more business by helping cut the cost of operating small company car fleets. Drive, a new card from Kwik-Fit, will include fee-free credit at all supermarket fuel stations as well as paying for products and services from the fast-fit specialist. “Our rationale is simple – customer care is at the heart of repeat business and we are putting a lot of investment into improving the standard of everything we do. This is another way we can give a better service to encourage loyalty,” said fleet director Peter Lambert. Announced at the CV Show and available from June, Drive will come with no network service charge and monthly invoicing. “We think the environment is right for a card without fees. Supermarket fuel is around 3ppl cheaper and further savings will come from eliminating service charges,” added Lambert.

Engine tuning specialist Viezu Technologies showcased its fuel-saving technology at the show, promising savings of around 15%. The firm remaps the fuel management systems in cars and vans, leading to lower CO2 emissions and better fuel economy. BT recently had 20,000 of its vans remapped and is seeing savings of between 12% and 15% – and is reckoned to be saving £3 million on its fuel bills. Viezu general manager Alasdair Maclachan said: “With an ISO certified process and a potential payback period of just three months, any technical risks are minimised and rewards can be felt almost instantaneously.” Asked whether remapping a vehicle’s engine could affect its warranty, Maclachan said: “We currently have 90,000 vehicles that have been remapped and we have a £5 million insurance policy against problems. In four and a half years we have not had a single problem.”

Peter Lambert – hoping to win more business with a fee-free card

32 May 2013 fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan

BMW makes its LCV show debut The BMW brand has until now been far removed from the world of light commercial vehicles, but at this year’s show its Mini subsidiary was there to show the new Mini Clubvan. Three vehicles were on display –one each for the butcher, baker and candlestick maker, in a stylish setting featuring oldfashioned shopfronts. The new van has a 500kg payload and a load volume of 0.86 cubic metres. Mini is offering a choice of two petrol engines and one diesel: the 98bhp One, the 122bhp Cooper and the 112bhp Cooper D, the latter achieving 72.4mpg on the combined cycle. Mini is expecting the Clubvan to appeal to “lifestyle focused” businesses, for whomthe distinctive Mini could perhaps be an extra marketing tool.

Alasdair Maclachan – promising fuel savings for van operators


Nissan eNV200 passes British Gas tests Nissan has been making great inroads into the small van sector with the NV200, which beats all its rivals in the class on load volume. Now it is set to make an even greater impact with the launch at the show of an electric version, the eNV200, and a London black cab version. The NV200 black cab has been heavily modified from its original NV200 form to comply with the host of TfL London Taxi Conditions of Fitness. As well as seating for five adults, the NV200 taxi has also been modified to accommodate a wheelchair passenger and achieve a 25ft turning circle – a legal requirement for all Hackney carriages. On the opening day of the show, British Gas announced the conclusion of an intensive month-long eNV200 test programme ahead of its plan to make a substantial proportion of its 13,000-strong LCV fleet electric by 2015. The recent test in Sunderland saw the zeroemission eNV200 run part-laden to recreate the conditions of its working life. With temperatures dropping to -12 °C during testing, the UK weather didn’t disappoint and neither did

the eNV200. During the testing, British Gas engineers, members of the fleet team and part of the management board, plus eight members of GMB union, successfully put the eNV200 to the test, demonstrating that the pioneering van can be driven safely by staff across British Gas. Colin Marriott, fleet general manager at British Gas, said: “We have been very impressed with all elements of the eNV200. Our test went well in the cold weather and was vitally important to establish the van’s characteristics in real-life working conditions. The drivers enjoyed the experience and the vehicle’s performance and reliability. We will now continue further testing in 2013 and 2014 ahead of us deciding our future fleet mix.” Jon Pollock, sales director at Nissan GB, said: “We’re delighted that the next stage of testing for British Gas has been a success. “Working with a large fleet operator like British Gas allows us to receive a range of feedback before the van launches in early 2014 and we look forward to continuing our close working relationship.”

Van Excellence hailed a success Blue chip companies are giving full backing to a plan aimed at lifting operating standards among fleets. But smaller firms are also showing an enthusiastic response to the FTA’s Van Excellence initiative, it was claimed at the CV Show. “We have now accredited 40 operators and have another 40 in the probationary process,” said head of vans and LCVs Mark Cartwright. “The industry is starting to use our code as a basic framework for improvement and we’re very pleased with our progress. The initiative now embraces more than 80,000 vehicles and is helping underline the wide range of views the association makes to policy makers on issues relating to white van man.”

Used van demand outstrips supply Vans will continue to be hard to find on the used vehicle lots for at least another year – and the prices they achieve are set to remain high for the foreseeable future as demand continues to outstrip supply. That was the stark message as a major auction group revealed “chronic” shortages in volumes and record prices for dwindling stock. “There’s no doubt that people are working their vans harder than ever before,” said Manheim Remarketing commercial vehicles director James Davis. “On average, the vans we’re now selling are around five years old and they’re fetching good prices, which is good news for the vendors.”

The Nissan NV200 black cab

Plastic rear for extra lightness A 3.5-tonne gross vehicle weight van with 18.5 cubic metres of loadspace and a payload of 1,500 kg would have been an impossible achievement until recently. But visitors to the Roadload stand at the show discovered that, thanks to the use of modern plastics at the rear end, such a vehicle is now on sale. The rear of Roadload’s vans is made from thermoplastic polypropylene and glass fibre panels with a honeycombed core for extra lightness. The result is a range of huge vehicles that still retain that all-important high payload. Roadload’s vehicles are based on the Peugeot Boxer platform.

The Roadload SD35 has 18.5 cubic metres of loadspace

fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan May 2013 33


First drive Nissan Navara Visia double-cab Navara Visia returns 34.5mpg on the combined cycle

Behind the wheel The Navara may be growing old gracefully, but the fact is that it was so far ahead of the opposition when it was launched that it still holds its head up well against the newer contenders. We were sort of expecting some cheap and cheerful “cooking” version with the Visia, but this model is anything but. Its alloy wheels give the truck a smart appearance and the whole thing looks chunky and solid yet stylish and tasteful – no mean feat. The cab has all the creature comforts a van driver could expect, such as air-con and a natty sound system, and there’s plenty of interior room for five. All the knobs and switches are of Tonka toy proportions and general fit and finish is top notch. The engine fires up with a meaty growl which is loud enough to give the truck a macho feel while not too loud so that the occupants can’t talk to each other without yelling. The 144bhp on tap proved quite adequate for all my needs during our test week. Gearchanges are neat and power steering nicely weighted so that progress on-road is a pretty painless affair, although not quite up to the quiet efficiency of the rival Volkswagen Amarok. However, this Navara undercuts the cheapest Amarok by £270, although the Volkswagen beats the Nissan on fuel economy at 36.2mpg to 34.5mpg. Off-road the Navara will tackle anything the average driver will dare throw at it –­ and more. Our test model came with a ‘roll and lock’ cover which will help keep any cargo from prying eyes, although it came as an extra at £1,265.

Specification

Visia helps Navara stay at front of pack Affordable entry version is in response to fleet demand Need to know n New entry-level model with low price point n De-tuned 2.5 dCi produces 144bhp n Standard alloys, Bluetooth and ESC

W

By Trevor Gehlcken hen the latest Nissan Navara was unleashed back in 2005 it was the undisputed leader of what was then a pretty agricultural pack. Most of the contenders in the sector were fairly low-powered and some had such hard suspension that they could loosen your fillings on bumpy roads. But times have changed and a whole array of topnotch performers have been launched against the Navara, namely the Ford Ranger, Volkswagen Amarok and Isuzu D-Max. Sadly the Navara is beginning to look a little tired. In a bid to increase its sales, Nissan has unveiled the model on test here, the Visia, which has been launched in response to fleet and business demand and is an affordable entry-level version at £17,725 ex-VAT.

Navara Visia has 2.36 cubic metres of load space

Gross vehicle weight (kg): 3,210 Power (bhp/rpm): 144/3,600 Torque (lb-ft/rpm): 258/2,000 Load volume (cu m): 2.36 Payload (kg): 1,250 Comb fuel economy (mpg): 34.5 CO2 emissions (g/km): 215 Price (ex-VAT): £17,725

34 May 2013 fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan

The Visia introduces a new version of the 2.5-litre dCi common-rail diesel four-cylinder engine, producing 144bhp (down from the standard 190bhp) and 258lb-ft of torque and returns 34.5mpg on the combined cycle. The interior door handles are finished in black rather than chrome, the front bumper is specified in body colour rather than having a two-tone element and the grille struts are painted rather than chromed. Conventional wiper blades are used in place of the flat blades found on higher specification versions. None of the changes affect the vehicle’s ability and functionality, with the Visia providing 2.36 cubic metres of loadspace. Towing weight is 2,600kg. Electronic stability control (ESC) which helps avoid sideways skids, is standard, together with air-conditioning, 17-inch alloy wheels, central locking and Bluetooth connectivity.

Verdict

Despite being eight years old, the Navara is still a creditable fleet performer. New models have been launched but none beat the old timer in any major way.


First drive Citroën Berlingo e-HDI 90 Airdream L X

Unusually for a small van, the Berlingo has a third seat

Berlingo is a winner on fuel economy Award-winning Citroën offers more than 60mpg Need to know n Fuel-saving technology provides 60.1mpg n EGS six-speed automated manual gearbox n CO2 emissions of 118g/km

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By Trevor Gehlcken ith Britain’s economy continuing to be in a parlous state and with fuel price rises showing no sign of slowing down, many of today’s new van models are all about moving the maximum amount of cargo for the minimum cost. That’s exactly what the model on test here is concerned with and Citroën has used all its latest technological skills to produce a vehicle that offers 3.7 cubic metres of loadspace but still returns 60.1 mpg on the combined cycle. For a van, this model is packed not only with fuelsaving technology but also with other equipment. As with most Citroën LCVs, you get a Trafficmaster Smartnav system as standard, which not only acts as a sat-nav unit but also encompasses stolen vehicle tracking and even a helpline which will assist with breakdowns, and informations such as the direction of the nearest McDonald’s restaurant. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is standard, unlike

36 May 2013 fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan

on lower level models, together with ABS brakes, remote central locking, electric front windows and cruise control. Our test model also had the Enterprise pack which adds metallic paint, air-conditioning, rear parking sensors and grip control pack, bringing the price to £14,045 ex-VAT. But it’s in the engine department that the Berlingo gets really interesting. There’s a 1.6-litre common rail turbodiesel powerplant pumping out 90bhp and 159lb-ft of torque, but it’s mated to an EGS six-speed automated manual gearbox, which means that there’s no clutch, although gears can be ‘paddled’ up and down with levers behind the steering wheel. Unlike conventional automatics, this system doesn’t use any more fuel and, together with a standard stopstart system, it all adds up to pretty phenomenal fuel economy and a low CO2 output of 118g/km. The Airdream also features a regenerative braking system that recovers and stores energy that would otherwise be lost when slowing down.

Verdict

This van just keeps getting better and better. Fleet buyers will well appreciate being able to lug this much cargo around in a van which should still return over 60 miles per gallon.

Behind the wheel When the Citroën Berlingo was first launched in 1995, it was so far ahead of the rivals that it won a Fleet News van award for five years in succession. But the original version was fairly agricultural compared to the sleek, smooth offering here. One reason it is so different, apart from the better technology available, is that it has grown in size to accommodate its smaller brother, the Nemo, underneath. Thus, with a special passenger seat folded down, this van swallows nearly four cubic metres of cargo, up to three metres in length. That’s some cargo area for a small van. Meanwhile in the front, the Berlingo has plenty of legroom for the driver and, uniquely in the sector, a third seat – but, there isn’t exactly a lot of legroom for that third person. If the extra seat is only needed for short journeys, however, it will suffice. Meanwhile the middle seats fold halfway down to reveal a handy desk. In the back, there’s a side sliding door and six load-lashing eyes. There’s no clutch and no gear lever – instead just a knob on the dash which you twist round to select the driving mode. I tried the two ‘up and down’ paddles on the steering wheel and then didn’t bother after that as the van manages to change gear quite well without my help. Changes aren’t exactly seamless but you soon get used to the gentle little jolt. The 90bhp on offer is quite enough for normal driving and handling is well weighted. However, the mesh bulkhead allowed a fair amount of noise into the cab, rather spoiling the ambience at higher speeds.

Specification Gross vehicle weight (kg): 1990 Power (bhp/rpm): 90/4,000 Torque (lb-ft/rpm): 159/1,500 Load volume (cu m): 3.7 Payload (kg): 670 Comb fuel economy (mpg): 60.1 CO2 emissions (g/km): 118 Price (ex-VAT): £14,045


L o n g - t e r m t e s t V o l k s w a g e n Tr a n s p o r t e r

Now vans can be green too Checking out the environmental credentials of VW’s Bluemotion Transporter Need to know n Bluemotion uses fuel-saving technology n Offered only on standard body T27

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By Simon Harris hen choosing a van, its ability to do its intended job properly has always taken precedence over whether it was slightly more costly than another on fuel. Van manufacturers traditionally haven’t been required even to publish official fuel consumption figures in the way the car manufacturers have. But a Europe-wide drive to reduce average CO2 emissions for light commercial vehicles has led

to the matter of fuel consumption and emissions being tackled. A number of compact vans have offered stop/start technology for a while, and a few have taken it a step further with a suite of fuel-saving technologies. Volkswagen has made available a Bluemotion variant in the Transporter. While there are a number of Transporter diesel vans that wear the Bluemotion Technology badge, like its car range there is also a stand-alone Bluemotion model that has been optimised to deliver the best fuel consumption in the range. The Transporter Bluemotion uses a 114bhp version of the 2.0 TDI engine and comes with stop/start

“Optimised to deliver the best fuel consumption in the range”

Specification

The trip computer shows 43mpg on the first long run

technology, gear-shift indicator, revised gearing and low rolling resistance tyres. It offers CO2 emissions of 166g/km and fuel consumption of 44.8mpg on the combined cycle. It is also the only Transporter to be given a T27 GVW designation – as a result of the optimisation process of balancing total weight with the rolling resistance of the tyres and gearing of the vehicle. The basic price of the van at just over £19,000 (excluding VAT) seems reasonable, and standard equipment includes electronic stability control, daytime running lights, CD/radio, and the various Bluemotion features. The optional SE pack adds air conditioning, alarm, solid bulkhead and arm rest. Other factory options fitted to the van include a rubber loadfloor and plywood interior panels, metallic paint, body-colour bumpers and satellite navigation. Dealer-fit accessories include an iPod connector, rear parking sensors and a Bluetooth phone and music touch-screen kit. The Transporter has impressed so far with its refinement and fuel efficiency, with the trip computer showing 43mpg on its first long run. Over the next few months it should also be deployed for more typical working roles carrying loads, so we hope to report on how the Transporter maintains its award-winning appeal as well as having a modest appetite for fuel.

Gross vehicle weight (kg): 2,700 Power (bhp/rpm): 114/3,500 Torque (lb-ft/rpm): 184/1,500 Load volume (cu m): 5.8 Payload (kg): 871 Comb fuel economy (mpg): 44.8 Test fuel economy (mpg): 43.0 CO2 emissions (g/km): 166 Price as tested (ex-VAT): £19,035

Volkswagen’s Bluemotion Transporter is impressive in its refinement and fuel economy

fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan May 2013 37


Van running costs

Short wheelbase medium vans

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By Trevor Gehlcken his month we continue our series of running cost comparison features by looking at the short wheelbase medium van sector. This segment is increasingly being challenged by long wheelbase small vans as these ‘smaller’ vans are getting bigger. For instance, the Fiat Doblo Cargo XL, which was unveiled at last month’s CV Show, has a cargo area and payload that is exactly the same as the SWB Scudo, which is the next model size up. It would be tempting to think that, under these circumstances, medium vans have a limited future but, of course, they offer seating for three whereas most of the small vans – with the exception of the Citroën Berlingo and Peugeot Partner – have only two seats. The big news in the medium short wheelbase van sector is the arrival of the new Ford Transit Custom. Until now Ford offered a single Transit which weighed anything from 2.5 tonnes gvw up to 4.5 tonnes. The new Custom is a completely different van from its bigger brother and is offered in weights of between 2.5 tonnes and 3.3 tonnes. The newcomer is up against the Citroën Dispatch, Fiat Scudo, Hyundai iLoad, Mercedes-Benz Vito, Peugeot Expert, Nissan Primastar, Renault Trafic, Vauxhall Vivaro and Volkswagen Transporter. Worthy of note in this sector is that the Vivaro, Trafic and Primastar are Good fuel economy helps the Transit Custom take third place

“Over four years the Renault Trafic will be £2,768 cheaper to run” essentially the same vehicle, as are the Dispatch, Scudo and Expert. Interestingly though, thanks to price, specification, servicing and predicted residual value variations, they don’t all have the same overall running costs. Our figures are taken over four years/80,000 miles. Standing proud against the opposition is the entry-level Trafic, which weighs in at a £7,166 less than the most expensive model, the Vito, and thus wins the running cost table hands down at 33.6ppm, some 3.46ppm less than the next nearest rival, the Dispatch. Over the four-year lifecycle, the Trafic will be £2,768 cheaper to run. Bear in mind, though, that this base model won’t offer a lot in the way of standard goodies and creature comforts. The other point worthy of note is that despite the Hyundai iLoad’s relatively cheap front-end price – it is the second cheapest after the Trafic – its running cost figures trail badly thanks to its high fuel consumption. This is a clear example of why it is important to look past front-end price when making important buying decisions. Meanwhile, the Vito, which costs £4,042 more than the iLoad, has a lower running cost figure thanks to its better fuel economy and SMR figures. The Transit Custom stands up well against the established rivals. It is higher priced than many of the opposition, but thanks to its good fuel economy figures it slots into third place between the Dispatch and Scudo. The most expensive van to run in our comparison is the Vivaro, rather surprisingly as it is basically the same vehicle as the Trafic and Primastar. The higher running cost figure is mainly down to a higher depreciation cost.

RUNNING COST COMPARISON (4YR/80,000 MILES) Citroën Dispatch L1 1000 1.6HDi 90 Fiat Scudo L1 10Q 1.6Multijet 90 Ford Transit Custom 270 SWB 2.2TDCi 100 Hyundai iLoad 2.5CRDi 116 Mercedes Vito 113 Comp 2.1CDi BlueEfficiency 136 Nissan Primastar SWB 2.9t 2.0dCi 115 Peugeot Expert L1 1000 1.6HDi 90 Professional Renault Trafic 27 SWB 2.0dCi 90 Debut Vauxhall Vivaro SWB 2.9t 2.0CDTi VW Transporter T26SWB 2.0TDI 102

List price (£) 17,174 16,625 18,895 16,128 20,170 17,880 17,580 13,004 18,978 18,560

Power (bhp) 90 90 100 116 136 115 90 90 90 102

Torque (lb-ft) 133 133 229 253 229 236 132 192 177 184

Load vol (cu m) 5.0 5.0 5.36 4.3 5.2 5.02 5.0 5.0 5.3 5.8

GVW (kg) 2661 2661 2700 3160 2800 2950 2661 2790 2950 2600

Payload (kg) 988 1000 883 1062 930 1240 988 1080 1254 752

CO2 (g/km) 177 182 178 199 190 198 177 180 198 198

Fuel economy (mpg) 40.9 40.9 42.2 34.0 38.7 37.7 42.1 37.7 37.7 37.7

Fuel cost (ppm) 15.96 15.96 15.47 19.2 16.86 17.33 15.5 17.31 17.31 17.31

Depr (ppm) 17.59 17.44 17.92 16.1 19.43 18.44 18.06 12.93 19.54 16.89

SMR (ppm) 3.51 3.86 3.76 4.08 2.91 4.05 4.42 3.35 4.17 3.88

Total (ppm) 37.06 37.25 37.14 39.37 39.20 39.83 37.98 33.60 41.02 38.08

Figures over four years/80,000 miles – source: KeeResources

For more running costs, visit www.fleetnews.co.uk/vans 38 May 2013 fleetnews.co.uk/fleetvan


www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk

The Crafter BlueMotion. Of course we’ll provide you with the right large vans for your fleet. But it’s also our job to keep you moving. How? By having 100 (and growing) authorised repairers across the UK, ensuring you’ll never be far away from the help you need. And by giving you Volkswagen Roadside Assistance for 3 years, covering the whole of the UK and most of Europe. So you can have peace of mind knowing that you can call on experts who fix 95.5%* of problems at the roadside, 24 hours a day. Isn’t it time to review your current fleet partner? To book a demo call our dedicated Business Centre Team on 01908 601 320 or visit volkswagen-vans.co.uk/fleet/crafterbluemotion Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Your partner in business.

Save on fuel by up to 26% claim based on: Volkswagen Crafter CR30 SWB 2.0TDI BlueMotion DPF SS 109 €5 Van 6Spd 13, achieves combined MPG 39.8, based on 60,000 miles, cost of fuel per litre 139.42 pence**, total litres used 6,859, total cost of fuel £9,563 vs Mercedes Sprinter 210 SWB 3.0t 2.1CDi BlueEfficiency DPF SS 95 €5 Van 6Spd 09, combined MPG 31.7, based on 60,000 miles, cost of fuel per litre 139.42 pence**, total litres used 8,612, total cost of fuel £12,007 **www.petrolprices.com, correct on 10/08/2012. Actual fuel consumption depends on driving style and road conditions. Higher residual value by up to 34% claim. Volkswagen Crafter 2.0TDI 109PS BlueMotion CR30 SWB end residual of £6,850, compared with Renault Master 2.3DCI 100 SL28 EU5 end residual value of £4,525. Residual values taken from CAP Clean prices with 60,000 miles and 36 months (2012/62 reg). Correct 25/09/2012. *Source: RAC, correct August 2012.


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