The RAC has unveiled the latest additions to its vehicle fleet – 50 custom-built Isuzu D-Max patrol vans to deliver more pulling power.
The new vehicles have been adopted in response to the growth of bigger, heavier SUVs, 4x4s and electric vehicles on the UK’s roads.
The RAC’s technical team has worked closely with Isuzu and Strongs Plastic Products to adapt the vehicles to accommodate the standard patrol kit of 500 parts and tools, together with its All-Wheels Up recovery system, which brings flatbed recovery capability to its breakdown patrol vans.
It also comes equipped the RAC’s EV Boost electric vehicle charging system and a new motorbike recovery carrier.
Powered by its 1.9 litre engine, it has the towing capacity to recover vehicles up to 2.8 tonnes, meaning it is capable of recovering up to 90% of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, says the RAC.
RAC head of technical James Gibson said: “The RAC is upgrading its vehicle fleet to meet the challenges presented by modern vehicles and to better serve our members in their moment of need.
“The RAC Heavy Duty 4x4 Patrol van gives our patrols a significantly enhanced capability to recover some of the biggest and heaviest vehicles we encounter including SUVs, 4x4s, EVs and commercial vans.
“We worked close with Isuzu to customise the D-Max to our requirements. As a result it accommodates everything you would find in a conventional RAC patrol van including the Rapid Deployment Trailer, which the All-Wheels-Up recovery system is an extension of, and all the normal parts and tools a patrol requires to repair four out of five vehicles at the roadside.”
The new vehicles will be deployed to some of the UK’s busiest towns and cities where there is the highest proportion of big vehicles.
The Euro 6 van also gives the RAC greater flexibility to deal with recoveries in challenging, congested urban environments where it can be a logistical nightmare for flatbed vehicles to operate.
Gibson continued: “Our first-priority is always to deliver a permanent repair at the roadside, however on those occasions when we cannot fix the vehicle then RAC Heavy Duty 4x4 Patrol van will enable our patrols to recover some of the biggest vehicles without the need for a second call-out for a flatbed and the additional time this takes.
“We see it as a game changer which future-proofs our fleet in readiness for a rapid growth in EVs and the ongoing demand for larger SUVs. It also ensures we have the right kit for our business customers.”
The bodyshell of the new van is manufactured by Strongs Plastic Products from tough polymer plastic, delivering optimum strength but also an important and significant weight saving.
The shell comes with a 20-year guarantee and will be used on multiple vehicles during its lifetime, as the RAC upgrades its fleet.
The specialist RAC-branded Isuzu D-Max is being displayed by Isuzu at the Commercial Vehicle Show at the NEC this week.