Grahame Neagus, Head of LCV Renault Trucks UK & Ireland: Tighter schedules, more deliveries, growing congestion. No wonder drivers are under more pressure than ever, with many feeling that they need to prioritise schedules over safety.
Yet often, the driver is the only physical touchpoint a customer has with your business. The right drivers, with the right attitude who get the on-time delivery right is vital to the overall customer experience; creating a positive impression every time increases customer satisfaction, drives positive reviews and achieves customer loyalty. Happy drivers equal happy customers.
And it’s a formula many companies are waking up to. They know it pays to look after their drivers – keeping these front-line ambassadors happy in their jobs means increased staff retention and improved performance. Beyond pay and conditions, looking after your drivers is about creating the right working environment, ensuring they are properly trained and giving them the right tools for the job.
For the less regulated world of light commercial vehicles which run without tachographs, drivers can keep on driving. Tiredness is a real problem; according to the road safety charity, Brake, four in ten fatigue-related accidents involve someone driving a commercial vehicle.
Within the HGV fraternity, sleeper cabs are specified for many applications, even if the driver doesn’t stay out overnight often – or at all. They’re used for rest breaks, and are invaluable for early arrivals or when the customer is delayed in accepting the delivery. For long haul, the more spacious, comfortable living area is a real home from home.
At Renault Trucks, our long haul truck cabs are designed around the driver’s working and living requirements for a comfortable life on the road. As more of our Renault Trucks Master vans are being used for longer haul operations, clocking up more than 90,000 miles per annum, we realised that long haul LCV drivers need a little TLC too. Taking inspiration from our heavy truck range, the Renault Trucks Master High is a concept vehicle purpose-designed to meet the needs of long distance operations, combining the flexibility of nights out and optimum driver comfort with the environmental and efficiency benefits of an LCV for urban deliveries.
The 3.5 tonne Master High features a full sleeper cab with over 2 metres standing height, more than 200 litres of storage space, plus table, TV, night heater and a full size bunk for a good night’s rest.
Coupled with a traditional six pallet curtainsider body offering payloads just over 1,000kgs at 3,500kgs GVW, the versatile Master High maximises productivity whilst looking after the driver. The first Master High is going to a logistics operator in Scotland, providing a tailored, high specification solution for their application – and very happy driver.
All too often, the public perception of both light and heavy goods vehicles can be fairly negative. But the real truth is that, day in, day out, pretty much everything we eat, drink, wear, every gift we give, every product we use will be safely delivered by a truck or a van. All drivers need a sense of pride in their role and know the value of their work. Your drivers are one of your biggest assets, give them the tools they need to be #proudprofessionals and they’ll want to go the extra mile.