Leeds-based auto engineering and vehicle safety specialist SM UK has won a contract to fit out and modernise a five-strong fleet of service engineering vans for the coach sales arm of Arriva.
Based in Cleckheaton, Arriva Bus and Coach provides coaches for travel operators and other clients across the UK. Its fleet of service vans enable its field technicians to carry out essential maintenance work at Arriva customers’ own premises across the country.
The fit-out, completed on three of the five vehicles so far at SM UK’s new £2m vehicle conversion centre in Leeds, has seen state-of-the-art storage racking systems installed on the Arriva vans, as well as high-tech work stations and new lighting systems that enable engineers to work on vehicles in low-light conditions.
Nigel Clarke, head of aftersales and operations at Arriva Bus and Coach, said the fit out of the vans had hugely improved the effectiveness of the firm’s mobile technician team. “The storage systems and technology that SM UK have installed for us have been a game changer. The entire system is bespoke to us and it means that parts and equipment are easily accessible, do not get mixed up and are stored safely, all of which increases efficiency.”
He added: “We carry air conditioning maintenance kit, which has to be stored safely, and that now has its own purpose-built secure carrier within the new system. Perhaps most important though is the boost the newly fitted-out vans have given to team morale. Our field technicians now have clean, dry and well-lit conditions in which to work, and they can see that Arriva are investing in them. Ultimately, we aim to offer a premier service to our clients, and the guys working at the coal face now have premier equipment to carry out their job.”
SM UK managing director Steve MacDonald, who started the £6m turnover auto-engineering business in 2000, said: “Modern high-tech storage systems for vans are proving really transformative for our clients across a wide range of sector, creating safe, efficient storage and much safer and more ergonomic working conditions for operators.
“The systems, which we fit from our large and well equipped Leeds vehicle conversion centre, are currently in high demand as firms look to update and improve the safety and efficiency of their fleets.”
SM UK employs 62 people at its Leeds headquarters and across a nationwide fleet of mobile engineers.