2018 could be a key year for the van market for a variety of reasons, so paying attention to industry trends is more important than ever.
With economic uncertainty putting LCV sales into reverse last year, analysts are cautious about performance in the coming months. Here are five upfitting trends that may reshape fleets during this period.
Driver Comfort and Convenience
Operators are beginning to realise that productivity is tied into driver satisfaction. And if those who use vans on a daily basis are having to cope with obstacles that get in the way of their work, these need to be addressed.
This not only means adding more comfort-oriented features but also specifying things which make driving a van more convenient, including parking cameras, entry ladders and even improved mirrors.
Some fleets require identical van platforms to be kitted out in very different ways to suit different jobs. But this year more organisations are seeking to save money by blending specs where possible so that the overlap avoids unnecessary extra expenses.
Fuel costs are creeping ever upwards, so improving efficiency by reducing the weight of vans is essential. This can be achieved with conscientious upfitting using light Sortimo van racking, which you will find at sites such as http://www.vehicle-accessories.net/Interior/Van-Racking/Sortimo-Racking, rather than opting for bulkier alternatives.
The rise of vans which emulate designs seen on the continent means that expectations are changing in the UK. This is making custom shelving and storage solutions more appealing rather than opting for off-the-peg set-ups which might not be ideal in the face of different roof heights and wheelbase length configurations.
Harvesting data and analysing it using the latest telematics systems can help fleets to become more efficient and ensure that drivers are building up good habits behind the wheel while banishing bad behaviours. There may be some resistance to this, since constant monitoring of drivers sounds a little invasive, but the benefits to the organisation as a whole make any resistance worth bearing.
Improvements to van technologies are helping in various other areas, making LCVs smarter and safer than at any point in the past. Hopefully, this will help to keep registrations up in 2018 even if economic instability causes businesses to be cautious about buying new vans for their fleets.