22 HPM 1213

HPM December 2013

Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com BUSINESSVANS Accident claims in jeopardy Research data reveals a lack of proper van maintenance could mean at least a four-fold increase in accident levels. HPM’s Alex Willis reveals more in his monthly round-up of vans news... AXA Business Insurance, which provides cover for more than 130,000 vans in the UK, has gathered data from van drivers which shows a direct relationship between servicing and accidents. The numbers suggest that while 90% of van owners get their vehicles serviced at least once a year there are six per cent who never get their vans serviced. And, among that six per cent, nine out of ten have had five or more accidents in the last five years against an average of less than one in five (17%) who have had a similar volume of prangs. A company spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, there are some who do not take their safety or the safety of others seriously. This could be because they simply forget about maintenance or they are worried about the costs. As an insurer, we do know that a number of accidents are caused because a vehicle has not been maintained properly and is, therefore, not roadworthy." Drivers involved in accidents where the cause is found to be attributable to their lack of vehicle maintenance may well find that any claim they make is turned down. AXA is also concerned that among those who fail to maintain their vans, there is a similar lack of responsibility taken in relation to MOT testing. This, in turn, implies a lack of insurance. Of those who service their vans less than once a year, only just over half (56%) are confident that their MOT is up-to-date. In contrast, among those who get a regular service, more than 90% are confident that their MOT is valid. The insurer is keen to point out that while regular servicing is key, ongoing maintenance is also vitally important to the roadworthiness and safety of the vehicle. Over half of all van owners WWW.HPMMAG.COM admitted to having chips in their windscreens and around a quarter to having unrepaired damage to exhausts, bumpers or mirrors - all of which can lead to the vehicle becoming dangerous and un-roadworthy. AXA warns that some common problems that can cause accidents include bald tyres, worn brakes, or a damaged chassis, all of which can manifest in the vehicle becoming out of control. Meanwhile, the Highway Code recommends that core maintenance, such as checking tyre pressure and fluid levels, is carried out on a weekly basis. DEDICATED TO TRANSIT By the end of 2014 Ford will have 100 Transit Centres across the UK providing the launch-pad for Transit24, the after-sales programme aimed at minimising vehicle downtime and reducing whole life costs for commercial vehicle operators. Each Transit Centre site employs a sales team, as well as Ford trained technicians and offers specialised workshop equipment, tools and training and can manage all service, maintenance and warranty work. Transit24 will offer while-you-wait servicing to suit the customer, including regular late night appointments, and will respond within 20 minutes to online service booking requests. Collection and delivery of vehicles can also be arranged and every vehicle leaves the dealership washed and ready for work. WHITE VAN MAN SAFER Commercial vehicle drivers are racking up lower accident costs than their company car (perk) counterparts, according to new research from LeasePlan, which says that it’s the latter who need the most help when it comes to improving their behaviour on the roads. LeasePlan’s analysis of over 28,000 drivers found that commercial vehicle drivers racked up an average of £182 per head in accident costs each year, significantly lower than the £291 accrued by perk drivers. The findings were similar for out-of-contract maintenance costs, where the average commercial vehicle driver accumulated £98 in maintenance costs annually, compared to a perk driver at £145. This is despite the two groups averaging a similar number of miles driven each year: 25,795 and 23,309 respectively. However, one area in which the commercial vehicle drivers did attract higher costs was in traffic violations and fines, averaging £29 per year. Perk drivers were less likely to incur fines, with the average for this group standing at £22. Across the drivers analysed, LeasePlan found that the worst 20% of all drivers accounted for 76% of the total costs incurred, amounting to £8.5 million in unforeseen fleet costs. This figure suggests there are significant potential savings to be made if driver behaviour can be addressed. BLUEMOTION CADDY Added to Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ Caddy range is a BlueMotion, offering a low fuel consumption of 62.8mpg. At the heart of the new model is the familiar 1.6 litre TDI with common rail direct injection. The vehicle’s low fuel consumption values were made possible by a combination of aerodynamic and engineering measures such as an engine stop-start function, low rolling resistance tyres, recovery of braking energy (battery regeneration), ride height lowered by 27mm and efficient engine control. Demon Drivers experience For your chance to win this prize, simply enquire to answer A or B in response to this question: What colour are the Letter Days? A: Red B: Blue Courtesy of Vokèra, you have the opportunity to win a Red Letter Days Demon Drivers’ experience gift voucher, providing you with a choice of over 20 turbo-charged experiences, including thrilling laps in a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin or a Nissan GT-R Thrill, junior rally racing and scrambling over fields and splashing through puddles on an off road Range Rover adventure. Depending on the experience you choose, dates and location availability will vary. The winner will receive the voucher and instructions on how to book the chosen experience. T&Cs apply to the voucher, which can be redeemed against other Red Letter Days. PRIZE 6 Answer A 125 REMEMBER: enter all 12 competitions, and you could win the grand prize - the lot! Answer B 126 HPM’s Festive giveaway PRIZE 6 22 DECEMBER 2013 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY


HPM December 2013
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