Asbestos removal specialist Rhodar is cleaning up its act, and reducing its fuel bills with new efficient Mercedes-Benz vans.
Leeds-based Rhodar has invested in a new batch of 14 Sprinters and a Vito from Northside Truck & Van, Leeds. The dealer has also supplied Rhodar’s parent company Lexia Solutions Group with a Citan, which is now working for demolition division Bagnall UK.
The Sprinters are all 313 CDI models and equipped with fuel-saving ECO-Start systems. ECO-Start automatically cuts the engine when the vehicle is stationary for three seconds then re-starts it as soon as the driver depresses the clutch, thereby cutting both diesel consumption and exhaust emissions.
The overwhelming majority of Rhodar’s fleet of more than 180 vans wear Mercedes-Benz three-pointed stars, but the new arrivals have replaced vehicles by another manufacturer, which had proved thirsty and expensive to maintain.
“By contrast, we know from experience that the Sprinter is extremely cost-effective to operate, and very reliable,” says group fleet manager Steven Haigh.
“Also important is the fact that we can get our new vans maintained outside our own working hours, thus avoiding costly downtime – unlike the supplier of the vans we’ve stood down, which was basically a car dealer, Northside are proper commercial vehicle specialists and understand our business needs perfectly.”
The Vito 113 CDI and Citan 109 CDI are both Dualiner variants with second rows of seats, so capable of carrying a driver and four passengers while maintaining a useful cargo capacity.
Some also tow mobile decontamination units which are effectively highly specialised caravans, divided into three compartments. After working on an asbestos site operatives enter at the ‘dirty end’, remove all their protective clothing, then move through to the middle section, which is equipped with showers, before exiting through the ‘clean end’.