The RAC has launched its first dedicated Truck Rescue Patrol, aiming to keep haulage and logistics customers on the move during the busiest time of the year.
The roadside rescue vehicle will be equipped to deal with specific issues faced by drivers of any commercial vehicles from 3.5t vans to 44t HGVs.
The service will aim to target the most common causes of breakdown in commercial vehicles such as batteries and electrical faults, which can be fixed at the roadside (or depot) to help get the vehicle back on the road and reduce fleet downtime.
The Truck Rescue Patrol will operate in addition to the RAC’s network of contractors servicing commercial vehicles. As well as being fully roadside operational, the patrols will also carry items such as compressors, welding equipment and the latest diagnostics tools to support commercial vehicle drivers.
RAC Truck Rescue spokesman Matt Dallaway said the dedicated patrols can offer a more in-depth service to CV fleets, without the need for a costly and a time-consuming full recovery, taking the vehicle off the road.
The patrols will also play a role in preventing breakdowns re-occurring in some situations, such as flat batteries, as the RAC’s advanced diagnostic tools and technology will find out why it was at fault to stop it happening again.
Dallaway said: “We deal with around 100,000 commercial vehicle breakdowns every year, including vans, trucks and trailers, so we know what the most common problems are and a high proportion are fixes that we can do at the roadside.
“We have launched this as a pilot, in expectation of rolling it out in 2017 more widely, as it will mean a significant extension of our capability for commercial vehicle repairs, offering a more in-depth service from a highly trained engineer dedicated to this sector.”
The new RAC Truck Rescue patrol will not only be able to deal with many of the breakdown issues commercial fleets face, but also help vehicles be compliant with as the van will carry numerous parts essential to meeting national standards required by all commercial vehicles.
For example about 34% of electrical faults that caused a preventable breakdown for one of RAC’s biggest commercial customers, were bulb-related.
Dallaway continued: “Working with our customers in the haulage and logistics sectors for the past three decades, we are well aware of the problems caused by vehicle downtime, which is especially frustrating if it’s unnecessary.
“These patrols are dedicated to our CV customers kitted out with the tools and technology to do the jobs specific to their fleets, and thanks to our network of suppliers we can get the parts we need even if it’s not on the van.
“Hauliers are central to the success of our economy as the vast majority of goods are transported by road. That is why this Christmas, we’re determined to do what we can for our customers to make sure they stay on track for their deliveries by ensuring those minor breakdowns don’t snowball into bigger problems.”
The RAC Truck Rescue pilot patrol was launched week beginning December 5, and is expected to be expanded across the country during 2017.