Vehicle leasing and fleet management firm Arval is advising van fleets to upgrade their racking systems in order to increase safety, save maintenance costs and cut fuel economy.
The company issued the recent advice after seeing its fleet customers move away from wood and older steel systems and invest in modern racking solutions, including advanced steel designs, as well as alloys and even high-strength plastics.
“Many fleets tend to employ a racking specification that they have had in place for years, using wood as a base and seeing their vans as, essentially, mobile warehouses,” said Eddie Parker, commercial vehicle manager at Arval.
“But modern materials are much safer in the event of an accident; are lighter in use so don’t detract from payload weight, so you are likely to make savings in areas ranging from fuel to tyre wear; and are better designed, allowing a much more streamlined, job-centred approach and your vans to be more productive in use.”
Parker admitted that new racking represented a significant investment, but said it was likely to prove to be a good purchase over the operational life of the vehicle.
And he concluded by saying there was an additional benefit: “If you invest in good quality racking, it can very often be used in a ‘second life’ where it is transferred to a new vehicle after its original fitment is de-fleeted. We have fleets that successfully transfer racking to second and even third vehicles.”