New Ford Transit Econetic vans, offering a 10% improvement in fuel efficiency, state-of-the-art racking and increased loading space, have now hit the streets of Stoke.
Kier Stoke managers and staff met back in February to brainstorm specifications for the new fleet, which has been fully customised based on staff requirements and secured through a competitive tender process to ensure value for money.
Kier Stoke logistics manager, Mark McGill, said: "The new racking is 100% bespoke to Kier Stoke. We built a prototype van based on staff feedback, and operatives were then invited to come and see it, test it, and provide any last comments before the final van was produced.
"Operatives can now load up and access materials faster than ever before, meaning they can spend their time completing jobs for residents. We’re also reducing waste because technicians don’t have to cut materials to fit the inside the vehicle."
Kier regional managing director, David Mawson, added: "The new vans are much safer because larger items such as copper piping and timber can be stored inside the van as opposed to on the roof.
"The racking system, which extends outside of the van, means the driver never has to enter the vehicle. This helps to reduce load-related injuries, which accounted for 32% of all non-fatal work-related injuries in the UK between 2011 and 2012.”
Ford’s 100bhp turbo diesel engine combines the latest technology to offer a 10% reduction in fuel consumption. Features include acceleration control to limit harsh acceleration, stop-start technology to reduce idle fuel consumption and speed limiters for motorway driving.
Other fleet innovations include a high powered jet wash van for cleaning blocked drains, scooters for delivering urgent materials in busy urban areas, and new tippers and pickups with secure tool storage and rain cover roofing.