CommercialFleet

Van launch: Maxi-Low

Review

The seemingly endless rise in the popularity of online shopping has led to a corresponding increase in the demand for large vans to deliver goods ordered via the internet.

But,the problem with most high-cube commercial vehicles is that, if they are to nudge in under the magic 3.5-tonne barrier (thus avoiding the tachograph, the O-licence and CPC), their payloads are often severely restricted due to the weight of the body.

A group of businessmen, two from Leicester and one from Worthing in West Sussex, has formed a new company to try and solve the huge demand for larger delivery vans.

They are confident they can now offer the delivery industry a solution to the old payload problem using hi-tech lightweight components.

The three firms involved are Doyle’s Auto Refinishing, Crouch Logistics – which delivers six-and-a-half million parcels per year – and Creative Asset Finance.

They have formed Maxi-Low UK and launched the Maxi-Low range of lightweight vehicle bodies.

40% greater payload over standard Luton

Three basic models are available – the Maxi-Low Luton, Luton Multi-Drop with a  walk-through cab and a multi-drop panel van conversion.

The Luton versions have a load capacity of 18.5 cubic metres and a class-leading payload of 1,520kg (1,420kg for Multi-Drop), with a lower rear step at 400mm. Six Euro pallets can be carried.

The new model offers in excess of 40% increased payload over a conventional Luton.

The panel van conversion offers a payload of 887kg and includes a partition with sliding door, racking and shelving and a foldable passenger seat.

The new models are based on the Vauxhall Movano platform-cab and feature a 2.3-litre common rail turbodiesel powerplant with 125bhp which satisfies Euro5 CO2 legislation in respect of greener emissions.

They are built at Doyle’s plant in Leicester.

Doyle’s owner Ady Doyle said: “We have been developing this van for the best part of three years.

"The secret is its lightweight plastic honeycomb body panels which we import. The honeycomb plastic is 100% recyclable.

“While we will be selling the van, all the servicing, maintenance and repair will be done through the Vauxhall dealership chain and all the vehicles will have a three-year warranty.

"We are also planning to have some demonstrators scattered throughout the Vauxhall dealer network.”

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.