In addition to providing a mis-fuelling recovery service and coming to the aid of drivers who have run out of fuel, the dedicated patrols will assist on callouts for flat batteries and wheel changes. The patrols are also able to carry replacement batteries and the RAC’s universal spare wheel.
The RAC said that the increase in payload over the previous Fuel Patrol vehicles was instrumental in the selection of the Master. With a payload up to 1,684kg, the Master ensures the Fuel Patrols no longer face the challenge of not being able to accommodate everything they require. By having additional room for diagnostic equipment and spare parts, the Master allows the patrols to attend non-fuel related breakdowns at quieter times, improving the efficiency and efficacy of these specialist vehicles within the RAC fleet.
The RAC opted for the front-wheel-drive, short-wheelbase, low-roof Master panel van. All 26 vans feature the Business level of trim and are powered by the 2.3-litre dCi 125 turbo diesel engine. As part of the conversion into Fuel Patrol vehicles, each Master van has been fitted with a bespoke fuel cell and custom-manufactured fuel draining equipment that can only be accessed through the back doors – ensuring there are no issues with fuel fumes and meaning that there is more space in the body of the van.
Each Master Fuel Patrol vehicle will cover on average 25,000 miles a year with the Business specification providing the patrol with a high level of comfort and convenience. Included in the Business specification are such features as DAB radio, Bluetooth, ESC with Hill Start Assist and Grip Xtend, electric front windows and electric door mirrors.
All of the vehicles were supplied via Renault Birmingham, and leased through the RAC’s leasing partner, Hitachi. As with all other Renault LCV models, the Master comes complete with a four-year/100,000-mile warranty.
Commenting on the delivery, RAC fleet operations manager Timothy Hartles, said: “With the payload that the Master offers, it really is the right vehicle for the job, while we’ve also noticed that the vans are significantly more economical than our previous fuel patrol vehicles, by as much as around 15 per cent, which will help to lower our running costs.
“Feedback from the patrols has been very good, our drivers are saying that they are well equipped, comfortable and, with the increased space, much easier to work inside than our previous vehicles.”
The Renault Master is available £21,120 ex VAT in five different engine choices, three bodystyles, plus numerous conversion offerings in two trim levels. Conversions start from £23,300 ex VAT, available directly from the factory straight to the dealer.