Northern Ireland’s strategic housing authority has replaced its entire fleet of leased maintenance vehicles with 85 Renault vans.
The Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) ordered 33 Trafic Panel Vans, 44 Master Panel Vans and eight Master Tippers after running a tender through the Crown Commercial Service (CCS).
The company, which offers a range of services to people living in socially rented, privately rented and owner occupied accommodation as well as supporting and working with a number of other public bodies, will use the mix of Renaults in the maintenance of the 89,000 dwellings that it is responsible for across Northern Ireland.
NIHE opted for the Trafic panel van in short wheelbase, low-roof format with the efficient dCi 115 1.6-litre turbo diesel engine, while its Master panel vans were ordered in medium wheelbase, medium-roof specification and powered by the dCi 110 2.3-litre turbo diesel engine.
The Master Tippers – available to order ‘off-the-shelf’ through Renault’s dealer network and with 45-degree rear-tipping ‘Scattolini’ bodies fitted by accredited Renault supplier VFS – were ordered in front-wheel drive, medium wheelbase specification with the dCi 125 2.3-litre turbo diesel engine.
All ordered models feature the generous Business specification, which includes DAB radio with Bluetooth, ESC (Electronic Stability Control) with HSA (Hill Start Assist) and Grip Xtend, electric front windows and remote central locking.
The new Renaults also come with a four-year warranty.
The Trafic and Master Panel Vans were sourced through Charles Hurst Renault in Belfast, with the Master Tippers supplied by Shelbourne Motors in Craigavon.
Unlike the vehicles that they replace, the Renault LCVs were bought outright by Northern Ireland Housing Executive.
David Roe, fleet manager, Northern Ireland Housing Executive, said: “We considered a number of vehicles through the tender, but none could rival the value or the emissions offered by Renault.
“Despite the large size of the order and our urgent request for the vehicles, all have arrived on schedule and now that we have the first few out in the field, we’ve had excellent feedback from our operatives."
He continued: “Fuel economy is proving to be very impressive and the teams are especially pleased with the quality feel of the vehicles, the level of equipment and the fact that they drive like a car.”
Darren Payne, sales director, Groupe Renault UK, said: “We are exceptionally pleased that in the face of some very strong competition and through a very extensive selection process, Renault LCVs were deemed to be the best fit for Northern Ireland Housing Executive.
“This is a particularly sizeable order for the region and is a perfect illustration of the broad appeal of our award-winning light commercial vehicles, including the availability of our in-house Master conversion programme that has made it very simple for Northern Ireland Housing Executive to enhance its fleet with quality Tippers that have the official manufacturer seal of approval.”