Hydraquip turns to Ogilvie to fund vehicles

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Hydraquip Group has turned to Ogilvie Fleet to provide its vans and company cars following a decision to switch funding avenues to contract hire from outright purchase.

The nationwide multi-million pound Hydraquip Group comprises two independent companies - Hydraquip Hose & Hydraulics and Hydraquip Braided Hose Division - providing hose solutions to a multitude of companies from sole traders to multi-national blue chip groups.

The growth of the Hydraquip business in recent years - both organic and the result of the collapse of competitors in the recession - has triggered an expansion of its light commercial vehicle fleet delivering a 24-hour on-site service.

Simultaneously, that led to a decision by managing director Duncan MacBain to use Hydraquip’s capital to invest in the business and to switch from the company’s tradition of buying vehicles and running them for years and to turn to leasing to aid corporate cash flow.

Hydraquip came into contact with Ogilvie Fleet following the decision to add hydraulic engineers and a fleet of 14 fully-fitted Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans from one of the collapsed companies to expand its 24-hour service.

MacBain, who founded Hydraquip in 1989, said: "The company leased the vans from Ogilvie Fleet, which also provided a fleet management service. I had never thought of leasing vehicles before, but quickly discovered the benefits particularly in relation to providing the company with monthly fixed costs, reducing our maintenance bills and improved vehicle downtime management."

Subsequently, the collapse of another rival firm led to the Crawley-based Hydraquip Group’s decision to also recruit its hydraulic engineers and a fleet of 20 Volkswagen Crafter vans, which coincidently were also leased via Ogilvie Fleet.

Today Hydraquip Group has more than 50 light commercial vehicles on lease from Ogilvie Fleet with a further 15 on order and more expected to join the fleet as older owned vehicles are replaced and the company continues to expand. Additionally, Hydraquip Group’s user chooser fleet of 10 company cars is also moving to a lease arrangement with Ogilvie Fleet as outright purchase vehicles are replaced.

MacBain said: "We currently operate a fleet of 70 vans and the growth of the business means that we anticipate operating 100 vans by 2015 at the latest. They will all be leased."

The piecemeal expansion of the Hydraquip Group’s fleet means it currently operates a mix of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Volkswagen Crafter vans. But an Ogilvie Fleet analysis that focused on vehicle reliability and proximity of franchise service centres to the Group’s business locations came out in favour of the three-pointed star.

Moving forward, it means that the van fleet will be composed of Mercedes-Benz 313 CDI hi-roof models operated on three-year/120,000-mile replacement cycles. Vehicles are fitted with racking and storage solutions by Bott before taking to the road.

Ogilvie Fleet, as well as providing vehicle funding and fleet management solutions to Hydraquip Group also operates a pooled mileage arrangement across the van fleet to limit the risk of penalty charges for breaking contracted mileage parameters. A comprehensive suite of driver and fleet decision-maker online tools available through Ogilvie Fleet’s MiFleet dashboard was also instrumental in clinching the deal with Hydraquip Group.

Critically, many Mercedes-Benz dealers offer through-the-night servicing and MacBain praised the relationship with business partners Rossetts Commercials of Crawley and Sparshatts of Kent in Sittingbourne, which operate in the South East of England where the company has its roots.

For the Crawley-headquartered Hydraquip Group that offers its own customers a 24/7 service, the ability to benefit from round-the-clock vehicle servicing and maintenance was critical in reducing downtime and further improving fleet flexibility.

Nick Hardy, sales and marketing director, Ogilvie Fleet, which operates an expanding fleet of almost 11,000 vehicles, said: "The Hydraquip Group is a dynamic business that is enjoying rapid growth.

"As expansion has taken off, the Group has realised the benefits that leasing offers, notably by fixing monthly fleet costs with no nasty maintenance bill surprises particularly as vehicles age and move out of warranty."

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