Rothwell Plumbing Services began leasing Mercedes-Benz vans one year ago, and has continued to add more to its fleet since then. HVP finds out more.
So pleased has Rothwell Plumbing Services been with the 53 Mercedes-Benz vans it commissioned a year ago that it has since added several more. The arrival of the latest clutch in May means the three-pointed star now accounts for 85% of the Wigan-based company’s 70-strong fleet.
The Mercedes-Benz vehicles are the subject of a flexible rental agreement with vehicle rental and leasing specialist Fleet Dynamic, under which the operator can increase or reduce the size of its fleet to reflect fluctuations in customer demand.
All of the vans are fitted with roof racks to carry ladders and other equipment, and are tracked and speed-limited. Most are Citans. The smallest model in the Mercedes-Benz Vans family, the Citan incorporates BlueEFFICIENCY measures such as the ECO start/stop function, low rolling resistance tyres, and optimised alternator and battery management systems, which contribute to its fuel economy.
The long-bodied 109 CDI variant specified by Rothwell Plumbing Services is powered by a 90hp engine, which returns up to 65.7mpg in the combined cycle, while CO2 emissions are as low as 112g/km. Its cargo area, meanwhile, offers a 3.1m3 capacity, and a maximum load length of 1,753mm.
The lineup also includes a number of mid-sized Vito 109 CDIs, which are powered by 88hp 1.6l engines that drive the front wheels – other variants of the same model feature rear-wheel drive.
Rothwell Plumbing Services allocated the Vito Longs to jobs where there is not a lockable storage container on-site, and teams need to carry more tools and materials.
Founded in 1997 by former sole trader Bill Rothwell, Rothwell Plumbing Services now employs in excess of 150 plumbers and electricians, and provides services for major newbuild residential housebuilders, commercial construction companies, local authorities, and housing associations.
While growth of the business was founded on a proven track record for delivering high-quality upgrades to bathroom, kitchens, central heating systems, and micro-renewable energy systems, much of its turnover now comes from the newbuild market, and its work for local and national housebuilders.
Managing Director Joe Pearson said: “We’ve rented vehicles from Fleet Dynamic in the past and received a very good service. This positive experience gave us the confidence to work with them on our new fleet.
“The sector for housebuilding and refurbishments is very competitive at the moment, and quite volatile. We may need to take on two or three vans at short notice, but likewise, if things go quiet, we don’t want to be paying for vehicles that sit in the yard doing nothing. Fleet Dynamic’s flexible solution allows us to adjust the size of the fleet to meet the needs of our business.”
Mr Pearson continued: “We’re delighted with our Mercedes-Benz vans, which explains why we’ve continued to add more over the last 12 months.
“They have been very well received by our colleagues on the ‘frontline’ – the fact that the lads have a bit more pride in their vans means they’re taking more care to look after them. The vehicles have also been living up to the manufacturer’s reputation for reliability, fuel-efficiency, and safety.”
Fleet Dynamic Managing Director Peter Rimmer commented: “We felt the Citan and Vito were ideally suited to Rothwell Plumbing Services’ operation. As well as enhancing our customer’s brand image, these vehicles benefit from the Mercedes-Benz Dealer Network’s highly professional, 24-hour back-up.”
Like all Mercedes-Benz vans, Rothwell Plumbing Services are covered by three-year, unlimited mileage manufacturer’s warranties, and come with MobiloVan cover, which includes free, round-the-clock emergency roadside assistance.