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.”