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Feature: Van storage update

SFS rackingSpecialist Fleet Services

Northampton contract hire and fleet management company Specialist Fleet Services (SFS) and racking provider TEVO have created more than 30 racking and storage specifications for Caerphilly County Borough Council. SFS was awarded a contract to consolidate and replace the council’s fleet, starting with 100 LCVs used by the council’s housing operations team.

“Caerphilly services and maintains its housing provision in-house, employing a wide range of multi trade operatives including surveyors, various wet trades, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and glaziers,” said Graham Wright, technical procurement manager at SFS.

“The existing vehicle storage solutions were inadequate and made it difficult for the council to monitor stock levels, creating unnecessary trips to and from builders’ merchants. We needed to create a fit for purpose fleet to enable the housing operations team to carry out their duties more efficiently and safely.”

SFS called upon TEVO to provide a range of solutions to meet the individual needs of the various trades. The vans are all equipped with tool safes, hand washing facilities, lighting and non-slip flooring. Many of the vans have also been equipped with charging facilities to allow the trades to charge tools, tablets and mobile phones.

“Material stocks are well organised within the new racking systems, with material items being electronically updated in our ordering system once an item is used to ensure that stock levels are maintained,” said Alun Isaac, general foreman at Caerphilly County Borough Council Housing Operations.

“Trips to the builder’s merchant are kept to a minimum, where replenishment of material stocks is reduced to once a week. Regular inventory checks and usage reports are also carried out to ensure that all vehicles are maintaining the correct levels of stock throughout the year.”

The fleet includes vans with a tool safe and a charging inverter, right through to more specialist racking solutions for glaziers, with glass-cutting benches. Carpenters’ vans are racked to carry lengths of timber and sheet materials, while electricians and plumbers have more sophisticated storage solutions. Teams that handle asbestos removal have even more specialist vehicles, with ‘safe pods’, while those that handle house clearance have been internally coated to make it possible to power wash the interior.


Modul System has developed an extendable base frame for heavy equipment
Modul System has developed an extendable base frame for heavy equipment

Modul updates base frame

Swedish racking manufacturer Modul-System has announced an extendable base frame for heavy equipment. The platform can handle up to 250kg and has been designed to accommodate generators, compressors and other heavy equipment that might be based within a van. The frame’s support structure has been produced from ultra-high strength steel, with handles and front assemblies made from aluminium to keep weight to a minimum. The frame is available in a range of sizes to suit varying loads and van shapes.

“In addition to increasing the load capacity, we have managed to reduce the weight by 25%,” said Thomas Johansson, vice president of Modul-System.

“With a lightweight conversion, you leave more room for tools and additional equipment, without exceeding the vehicle’s payload.

A load platform can be mounted on the base frame. The Modul-System platform has an aluminium top that can be used to mount drawer units for easy access to tools and equipment.


Torus opts for Bott

North West housing provider Torus has replaced 250 vans, with the help of conversion specialist Bott. Torus, which is made up of Helena Homes and Golden Gates Housing Trust, owns and manages 22,000 homes in the mid-Mersey area, with its maintenance teams carrying out more than 30,000 repairs a year.

“Bott has been a great partner that has not only helped create a memorable look, that reflects our group corporate identity, but a product that allows us to increase stocks via a sophisticated racking system,” said Paul Williams, Torus’ fleet manager.

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Written by Dan Gilkes

Dan has been a commercial vehicle and construction equipment journalist for almost 30 years. An automotive engineer and former fleet manager, he has driven almost every van, pickup and truck that has been launched in Europe over that time. As editor of VFW, his aim is to keep readers up to date with the latest developments in the light commercial world.

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