Vehicle rental is seen by many fleets as a stop-gap transport solution, but not at Kelly Group where it plays a major role with an average 200-250 light commercial vehicles on hire at any one time.
The company typically spends more than £1 million a year on the spot hire of vans, which become a part of the company’s fleet for periods of time ranging from three days to three years.
Kelly Group, a telecommunications and utilities service provider which operates in industries as diverse as telecommunications, rail, metro, highways and brewery installation, uses spot hire to supplement its own fleet of 1,300 vehicles, of which some 85% are light commercial vehicles with the remainder company cars plus a handful of HGVs.
The company outright purchases vehicles on its mainstream fleet with vans typically defleeted when four to five years old depending on the condition of vehicles, the buoyancy of the used LCV market and the duration of contracts on which vans are working.
Kelly Group operates a solus Ford light commercial vehicle fleet which contains virtually every van produced by the ‘blue oval’ from the car-derived Fiesta van to a Transit 350 long wheelbase Crew Cab Tipper.
In addition to the more than 1,100 owned diesel light commercials on the company fleet, the number of vans on spot hire on the Kelly Group fleet can be as high as 400, depending on the duration of contracts.
Operations director Dermot Coughlan says: “The spot hire of vehicles provides the company with a cushion of vehicles which we like as we need to be flexible in terms of our ability to service contracts.”
Coughlan, operations director at Kelly Fleet Services since May 2009 and previously transport manager at the company for 21 years, oversees the fleet operation across the group’s six subsidiary companies: Kelly Communications, Kelly Integrated Transport Services, Kelly Telecoms, Kelly Fleet Services, Kelly Property and Kelly Leisure.
Major clients include BT Openreach and Virgin Media. Vans operating on contracts with those two organisations include some branded Kelly as well as others branded in the BT Openreach and Virgin Media liveries.
It also has vans branded both Kelly and the name of the client.
With its own workshops and mobile vehicle repair and maintenance fleet, Kelly Group undertakes work on preparing both owned and rented vehicles for the road with appropriate livery and racking.