NHS Lothian proves two into one does go06 July 2012

NHS Lothian proves two into one does go

NHS Lothian has demonstrated its commitment to value for money by investing in a specially-adapted Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4x4 van.

When fitted with a snowplough blade and gritting hopper, the 5-tonne Sprinter crewcab can be employed to keep hospital and health centre car parks, access roads and ambulance bays clear of snow and ice.

But because both the blade and hopper are demountable, the vehicle does not have to stand idle when not required for winter maintenance duties.

Instead, it is used by NHS Lothian's estates management team to transport grass-cutting machinery and for general utility work.

Supplied by Central Belt dealer Western Commercial, the new Sprinter 516CDI has a factory-built seven-man crewcab which features three-point belts on all seats.
The vehicle is the subject of a lease agreement with public sector vehicle finance specialist Automotive Leasing, a division of LeasePlan and long-standing supplier to NHS Lothian.

The all-wheel-drive chassis cab's alloy tipping body is the work of George Newberry Coachbuilders, of Coatbridge, while the 2.3m EZ-Mount DrivePro snowplough and 1,500-litre Polyhawk hopper are by US manufacturer Meyer.

NHS Lothian estates operations officer Ian Strachan says: "We briefly considered another manufacturer's 4x4 chassis but it was too expensive, and too big for our purposes. However, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is just the right size.

"It is sufficiently compact to access tight areas but able to carry a decent payload, and the drivers love it – which is not entirely surprising given that our previous winter maintenance vehicles had old-fashioned leaf springs."

Briant Tinham

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