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New rental trucks are now on Fleet
Mercedes Sprinter Trucks are now on Fleet.
A new vehicle is always a nice thing to take delivery of, rental customers like them as they get an increased sense of utility from them and the hire company is happy as they afford greater peace of mind and reliability. A couple of years ago we started providing Mercedes Vans to our customers and were hugely impressed with the reliability of these vans. After coming from the disaster that was the late 2006 Ford Transit revision we were pleasantly reassured by the German manufacturer’s reliability and the robust nature of the Sprinter vans.
Stick with what works for you!
Admittedly some of our box units were starting to creep up in terms of mileage and we needed to think about replacing a large amount of our Mitsubishi Canter and Isuzu Npr light truck units. So we decided to sit down and go through our options. The single biggest problem with operating within Irish legislation is simply weight. A large amount of operators and customers have little regard for the problems that this poses but it’s a pretty big thing. There is a simple paradox for the customer, the bigger the vehicle, the smaller the payload.
Its The licence Issue that limits Vehicle Payload.
This is a uniquely Irish problem as our licence will only permit a vehicle up to 3,500 kgs and very few people have the larger licence. This licence issue gets larger every day as all renewal will lose the C1 category without doing a medical so another person joins the ranks of the car licence class driver.
With these issues in Mind we get to the vehicles. People want bigger but cannot drive higher gross vehicle weight vehicles. The only variable that we can alter is the weight of the vehicle itself. In terms of box vehicles these are typically purchased as a chassis/cab and a box added later. The Mitsubishi Canters that we have traditionally run are a superb vehicle but the current revision proved too heavy for the spot rental requirements. The NPR was out too as it weights almost 100kgs north of the canter Chassis. This brought us to the realisation that the only way forward was to ditch the twin rear wheel axle chassis that we typically have run. This would afford us two quick advantages, firstly a chassis that gives us a nearly 300kgs advantage over the twin wheel design and secondly a wider selection of potential chassis to choose from.
Mercedes Comes up trumps again!
The Mercedes Sprinter came in the single wheel design and appropriate wheelbase option. We had looked at the Ford Transit Chassis cab but it had two problems. The Transit does not come in a 14ft chassis option so a luton ( Protruding section over the cab ) would be needed to give additional load volume, this kills fuel economy and also necessitates a heavier body construction, so that was a non-runner. Our new Sprinters are equipped with a powerful 2.2 litre direct injection Euro 6 diesel engine that gives plenty of power and far better fuel economy than the 3 litre units that we were previously using.
Bodies Made Specifically for the Job……
The typical rental truck does get a couple of users who are less than kind to their vehicle. This means that we have to specify certain components a bit differently than we would with a customer’s lease vehicle. The spot hire trucks have more robust internal kick plates and re-enforced rear and side doors. For this run of Sprinter we have used Solid sides for their additional toughness over the previous fiberglass composite bodies. There is a large amount of aluminium used on these new bodies and this is again to minimise the unladed weight of the vehicles.
…..and the lightest, most intuitive tail-lift option ever!
Our new European made tail lifts are 75 kilos lighter than the units that were on our older vehicles. They are a single ram design that provides the same lifting capacity as before but sport a really nice joystick style control so a complete novice can operate one with minimal instruction.
These Trucks are being Phased in through 2012 and 2013.
We are in the process of replacing the entire light hire truck fleet with Sprinter Models; this should be complete some time in 2013. For customers they offer some compelling advantages:
- Increased Payload Capacity
- Better Fuel Economy
- Easier to use Tail-lift
By John Murphy, Manager, Vanrentals.ie
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