City Plumbing taps into Bevan Group builds for new Luton van fleet26 January 2021

City Plumbing has returned to bodybuilder Bevan Group for the first vehicles to wear its new livery.

Key to the heating and plumbing specialist’s decision to place its order for 51 bespoke Luton bodies with Bevan Group was the well-proven durability of the manufacturer’s products, as well as its five-year warranty and competitive pricing.

The latest aerodynamically profiled additions to the City Plumbing fleet are based on 3.5-tonne Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis supplied by Intercounty Truck & Van. The same model accounts for the overwhelming majority of its 500-plus Lutons and panel vans.

Part of the Travis Perkins Group, City Plumbing operates from headquarters in Northampton and operates a network of more than 350 branches throughout the UK, which serve the trade and DIY markets with a product range that includes everything from boilers and copper tubing, to bathroom suites, towel rails and electrical parts.

The new vehicles are working from locations nationwide, and make the majority of deliveries directly to residential locations at which plumbers, heating engineers, bathroom fitters and other tradespeople are working.

Although it has used Bevan Group in the past, for the last four years City Plumbing has purchased its Luton bodies from another company. Fleet operations interface manager Craig Kenyon explains why he came back: “We depreciate our vehicles over seven years, so we need a body that can withstand rigorous use over that entire lifespan. We still have Lutons on the fleet that left the Bevan Group factory 10 years ago and look great to this day.”

Kenyon continued: “Bevan’s five year-warranty represents a commitment that we value highly. It's reassuring to know that the manufacturer is prepared to stand by its products and processes to such an extent.”

City Plumbing also relies on Bevan Group’s aftercare response division to provide planned and round-the-clock emergency back-up for all of its vehicle bodies, as well as ancillary equipment such as tail-lifts – the new Lutons are equipped with 500kg Dhollandia column lifts, with integral safety rails.

A consultative design process between customer, bodybuilder and dealer ensured that the latest vehicles were specified for their role. Bevan’s relatively high bodies have low floors and, crucially, a 2.4-metre rear aperture needed for loading and unloading pre-plumbed hot water cylinders, which cannot be laid down or tilted during transportation.

Wellingborough dealer Intercounty Truck & Van supplied heavy-duty Sprinter chassis cabs that meet Euro VI emissions regulations, rather than Euro 6 versions on which the requisite height would not have been permissible.

City Plumbing’s first full vinyl wrap liveries were applied by Elliott Signs, of Castle Donington. The Sprinter 314 CDIs are powered by 2.1-litre engines that produce 141bhp and 330Nm of torque.

All are rear-wheel drive long L3 variants, with the sole exception of a medium-length L2 with front-wheel drive, which is now working from City Plumbing’s depot in Oban, on Scotland’s west coast. As this vehicle is less than 6m long, deliveries to the Hebrides are economically viable, because the ferry operator charges for crossings at the light goods vehicle rate; if it exceeded this length, the much higher commercial vehicle rate would apply.

Transport Engineer

Related Companies
Bevan Group Bodies Ltd
Dhollandia UK Ltd

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