4 min read
Since 2012 the number of new light commercial vehicle registrations has increased by 37% and with current year on year figures standing at almost 360,000 new registrations the LCV market is continuing to buck the declining trend we are currently experiencing in the new car market.
When Selecting and operating commercial vehicles there is no one size fits all solution as every client has their own specific needs. Being aware of the questions to ask and having expert knowledge on hand will ensure that the right vehicle choice are made.
WHAT AREAS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED WHEN OPERATING AN LCV FLEET?
FIRSTLY – WHAT TYPE OF VEHICLE DO WE NEED?
With almost 25 manufacturers in the LCV marketplace and hundreds of model variances choosing the right van requires careful consideration. The types of van inlcude:
• A Car derived van
• Panel van
• Crew Cab
• Chassis Cab
• Pick-up Van
Before making your choice, you should consider:
• What is the usage of the vehicle – long distance or stop start drops? – This will impact which fuel type to choose
• Suitability for purpose i.e. loading access, type of equipment transported
• Carrying weights and payloads
• Standard Roof or High Roof
• Short, Medium or long wheelbase
• How many passengers will be carried in the vehicle
HOW CAN WE ENSURE OUR VEHICLE OF CHOICE IS COST EFFECTIVE?
The cheapest product may not ultimately offer the most cost effective solution over the life of the vehicle
Some areas to consider:
• Fuel efficiency
• Service maintenance and repair costs
• Comprehensive service network
• Levels of standard equipment
• Additional extras required
• Strong residual value
HOW CAN WE ENSURE THAT OUR DRIVERS ARE SAFE WHEN OUT ON THE ROAD?
Every employer has a duty of care to their employees within the workplace and to many their commercial vehicle is their place of work. It is fair to say that any employee driving a commercial vehicle on company business should be classed as a professional driver in addition to their core job role
The HSE estimate that “more than a quarter of all road traffic incidents may involve somebody who is driving as part of their work at the time.”
In 2016, 529 people were killed, 5,269 seriously injured and almost 40,000 slightly injured in collisions involving a driver driving for work.
Employee safety is paramount and this covers a number of areas, particularly for commercial vehicle drivers:
• How can we store equipment in the vehicle securely and safely?
• How do we load and off load equipment into our vehicles without compromising our driver’s health & safety?
• What can we do to ensure Drivers are complying with relevant driving hours & speed limits?
• What can we do to ensure our vans are compliant and legal
A racking & storage solution tailored for your driver/company needs offers the best solution ensuring that safety is never compromised; this can also incorporate tail-lifts, ramps and additional loading doors as required
Clear & concise health & safety guidelines and regular vehicle checks and driver awareness training sessions can help to minimise driver risk
Vehicle tracking devices are also worth considering not only for health and safety purposes but also to assist in journey planning & job scheduling
HOW DO WE WANT OUR COMPANY IMAGE TO BE PORTRAYED?
The importance of company image should not be overlooked. We have all experienced white van man (or woman) tailgating at high speed in the outside lane of the motorway – this does not represent a positive image of your business.
A smart liveried fleet portrays a positive image of your company. It creates an impression and raises brand awareness to potential new clients.
• What impression do you want to give?
• What information do you want to display on the vehicle exterior?
• How do you convey this whilst ensuring compliance with company brand guidelines?
Selecting and operating a light commercial vehicle fleet involves carefully considered decisions and robust policies and practises. We believe that demand in this sector will continue to increase and the landscape will continue to evolve particularly in areas such as alternative fuel vehicles, look out for our next Ogilvie Outlook where we will be focusing on the area of alternative fuels and mobility solutions.