The latest aerodynamically profiled additions to the City Plumbing fleet are based on 3.5-tonne Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis supplied by Intercounty Truck & Van. The same model accounts for the overwhelming majority of its 500-plus Lutons and panel vans.
The new vehicles are working from locations nationwide, and make the majority of deliveries directly to residential locations at which plumbers, heating engineers, bathroom fitters and other tradespeople are working.
Although it has been a valued customer of the West Midlands-based Bevan Group in the past, for the last four years City Plumbing has purchased its Luton bodies from another company. Fleet Operations Interface Manager Craig Kenyon made the decision to turn back the clock with its latest order.
He explained: “We depreciate our vehicles over seven years, so we need a body that can withstand rigorous use over that entire lifespan. We still have Lutons on the fleet that left the Bevan Group factory 10 years ago and look great to this day.”
Craig continued: “Bevan’s five year-warranty represents a commitment that we value highly. It’s reassuring to know that the manufacturer is prepared to stand by its products and processes to such an extent.”
City Plumbing also relies on Bevan Group’s Aftercare Response division to provide planned and round-the-clock emergency back-up for all of its vehicle bodies, as well as ancillary equipment such as tail-lifts – the new Lutons are equipped with 500kg Dhollandia column lifts, with integral safety rails.
A consultative design process between customer, bodybuilder and dealer ensured that the latest vehicles are perfectly specified for their role. Bevan’s relatively high bodies have low floors and, crucially, the 2.4-metre rear apertures needed for loading and unloading pre-plumbed hot water cylinders, which cannot be laid down or tilted during transportation.
Wellingborough dealer Intercounty Truck & Van supplied heavy-duty Sprinter chassis cabs that meet Euro VI emissions regulations, rather than Euro 6 versions on which the requisite height would not have been permissible.
All are rear-wheel drive long L3 variants, with the sole exception of a medium-length L2 with front-wheel drive, which is now working from City Plumbing’s depot in Oban on Scotland’s west coast.
Craig recalled: “Sales Director Roy Shelton and his colleagues were confident they would get our builds so they saved us some production slots, and the vehicles were ready when we needed them. The fact that this was achieved against the backdrop of the pandemic reflects the quality of the relationships between our two companies.”