Vehicle procurement advice for fleet managers
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You wouldn’t try to hammer a nail with a spoon.
Similarly, each one of your vans, trucks, cars or motorcycles are in your fleet for a specific reason. The tool has to be matched to its perfect function, otherwise you will be wasting money on vehicles that aren’t right for the job.
Therefore, it’s wise to buy fleet vehicles that are geared to one sector over another. Depending on your industry, they can have a significant impact on whether the work is performed to a good, sustainable standard.
Read on for our advice regarding vehicle procurement.
Food & drink delivery
A business that performs takeaway or alcohol drop-offs should go for the smallest, most cost-efficient vehicles they can find. Compact cars such the Ford Fiesta and Renault Clio have plenty of room for stacks of boxes/bags in the boot. Since delivery distances tend to be short, you don’t have to worry about quiet engines or expensive suspension technology.
Motorbikes are another option, but only if you send riders out for individual assignments and it’s dangerous to give them too much of a load at once.
Are you heading a workforce of cleaners, tree surgeons, maintenance experts or any other sort of service offering? Buy fleet vehicles that can handle the equipment you’ll carry from place to place.
If it’s likely that two or three people will be working in tandem, find a modest van like the Volkswagen Caddy. Up-front costs might not be the cheapest, but it’ll resist wear and tear over time. Slightly larger models – panel vans especially – will be suitable for loading ladders and other tall, heavy kit if it’s needed.
HGVs (Heavy Goods Vehicles) are essential for bulk deliveries across many hundreds of miles. But what should you go for? Typically, it depends on the load capacity you’re looking to gain. The GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) should be included in the truck’s user manual, the same as the ‘curb weight’ i.e. how much it weighs without any cargo or passengers. You can subtract this from the GVWR, assuming that the maximum capacity isn’t already stated, for the safe load-bearing figure.
Smaller trucks include the Ford Transit, a staple of supermarket resupplies. For heavier haulage, visit a Denby or Vauxhall outlet to see where you can save cash and buy used vehicles that do what you want them to.
For taxis, comfort is paramount. Passengers don’t like being disturbed by a loud engine, or feel as if they’re getting somewhere slowly. We suggest investing in the Ford Mondeo as the standard option – it has slightly broader load provisions and legroom than other cars, as well as a sleek, polished cabin design. More passengers (a group of five or more) can fit into the Citroen Berlingo Multispace, which has brilliant fuel economy.
While we’re on the subject, it’s worth finding high-grade GPS systems when you buy fleet vehicles. A taxi or chaperone service lives and dies on your drivers’ navigational abilities.
This is just the tip of the iceberg; your industry will carry its own, specific requirements, and they should be addressed carefully. But use our advice as a launchpad for your fleet management in 2018. Remember too that Allstar have several fuel card schemes and service packages to help cut the cost of vehicle maintenance to a minimum.