Its only in recent years that Vehicle manufacturers have finally woken up to getting the specification of vans to match the needs of the buyers..but there is the rub, is it the company buyer or the driver that has to live with the vehicle that counts. Buyers specify vehicles on a balance of meeting a business requirement, the costs and perhaps more so now the drivers needs also.
At a recent event, the Anglia Tool Centre show, we surveyed just over 100 visitors and asked them a few questions about arguably the most important tool they have, their everyday van. As most of the visitors were general builders, carpenters and roofers the most important elements was getting the right space and a reliable van..but after that, the top 6 were:
- Air-conditioning – 23%
- Blue-tooth – 16%
- Sat- Nav – 13%
- A DAB Radio – 10%
- Parking Sensors – 6.5%
- Cruise Control – 6%
Interestingly builders wanted parking sensors, where carpenters did not,but carpenters almost universally however could not live without the Sat Nav. So do the stats suggest builders can’t park and carpenters have no sense of direction. I wouldn’t be so bold, the good news is that nearly all makes come with these features to ensure carpenters can get to the right address and builders stop backing into things.
The second question was about what they currently drive as a work vehicle and if money was no object what would they have. Overall they were happy with the vehicles they currently use, but Ford Transit was a clear favourite with VW Transporter a real favourite with Carpenters. Although not part of the survey, it was interesting that anecdotally (as we had a Ranger on display) the double cab pickups were very appealing to sole traders that could combine a work vehicle and a car for family use, thus saving on running another vehicle. The stats showed:-
- 32% already used a Ford Transit, but 38% would choose a Transit if they could.
- 12% run a VW model but 24% would choose a VW if possible
- People choosing a VW were coming out of vans other than a Ford Transit
- People in a Ford Transit or VW Transporter would not change
Although this fun survey was pretty unscientific it really did create some great conversations with the people at the sharp end of using vehicles as a tool of the trade. Reliability, overall specification to meet the business requirement and cost were of course critically important, but anyone specifying a vehicle should also place a high level of importance on making sure the tradesmen and women of the world get their needs looked after as well. Keep them cool, keep them connected and most of all keep them getting to the right address.