Prohire ‘Charters’ set a Benchmark in Customer Relations

Prohire Plc, the commercial vehicle hire and fleet management specialist, has issued two ‘Charters’ that describe in clear terms the company’s service pledge to its customers.

The two documents, the ‘Contract Hire and Repair and Maintenance Charter’ and the ‘Rental Charter,’ provide summaries of both the service and conduct Prohire’s customers can expect throughout their relationship with Prohire.

Dave Barlow, Prohire’s Group Commercial director, comments: “Prohire aim to have an open, honest and mutually beneficial relationship with all of its customers.

“By setting out our customer service pledge for our core Contract Hire, Repair and Maintenance and vehicle rental products within our business in our new ‘Charters,’ we feel we have given our customers and prospective customers, the peace of mind of knowing exactly what Prohire will deliver.

“The ‘Charters’ are, we believe, a benchmark in customer service excellence.”

Each of the documents contains a number of promises written in clear English, covering issues ranging from delivery and collection of a vehicle to contract confidentiality and KPI reporting.

“Our business is growing,” says Dave Barlow. “Our customers enjoy the excellent service levels and commitment that we bring to every contract. They also benefit from the fact that because we are independent, we are able to specify the precise vehicle make and model to satisfy our customers’ operational needs.

“Our new business charters have been prepared to let everyone know exactly what Prohire stands for.”

Prohire Plc is one of the UK’s fastest growing commercial vehicle hire and fleet management specialists.

Prohire Announce Further Significant Spot Rental Fleet Investment

One of the UK’s fastest growing commercial vehicle hire and fleet management specialists, Prohire Plc, has announced an investment approaching £1 million in its ‘spot rental’ fleet.

This is the second significant investment Midlands based Prohire has made in its ‘spot rental’ fleet in a matter of months and follows February’s news that the company had spent in excess of £2.5 million on new vehicles.

As part of this most recent investment Prohire has placed orders for around 35 vehicles, including: 7.5t Iveco Eurocargo trucks; 18t and 26t DAF Curtainsiders; Mercedes Axor tractor units; and 3.5t Mercedes Sprinter vans with refrigerated bodies.

“Spot rental has become an increasingly significant part of our business,” says Dan Stevenson, Prohire’s Rentals Manager.

Dan believes that the growing demand for ‘spot rental’ vehicles reflects the fact that some companies’ are treating news of the upturn in economic conditions with a degree of caution.

He comments: “Business is improving and companies are beginning to feel that they are coming out of recession, but, in a lot of cases – particularly among third party logistics services companies – there is a reluctance to overstretch by buying, for example, a new £70,000.00 tractor unit to service a new contract. So rental options are particularly attractive.”

Prohire now has close to 300 vehicles ranging from car derived vans to 44-tonne tractor units in its ‘spot rental’ fleet and vehicles can be rented for any amount of time – from one day to seven years!

New Appointment to Engineering Team

Commercial Vehicle Contract Hire and Fleet Management specialist, Prohire Plc, has announced the appointment of Duncan Turk as the company’s new National Fleet Engineer.

Duncan has spent over two decades within the commercial vehicle sector during which time he has held senior positions with TNT Logistics, Hitachi Capital and Amey – the highway infrastructure specialists – among others. Immediately prior to joining Prohire he had been based in Kenya overseeing G4S Security Services 750 strong vehicle fleet in the region.

While he will be located at Prohire’s Staffordshire headquarters, most of Duncan’s time will be spent on the road – meeting with Prohire’s suppliers and clients.

The position of National Fleet Engineer is a new role within Prohire and has been created to enable the company to improve still further the quality of service that it offers to its rapidly expanding customer base.

“I am very much looking forward to getting to know Prohire’s service and vehicle maintenance partners and clients around the country and discussing the ways we can work together to ensure that Prohire continues to offer market-leading levels of value and after-sales support,” Duncan Turk said.

In his leisure time, Duncan enjoys motorcycling – particularly off-road – with his 17-year old son.

Prohire is one of the UK’s fastest growing commercial vehicle hire specialists. In the last four years the company’s fleet of trucks and vans has more than doubled in size and now stands at over 3,000 vehicles.

Industry Focus: Euro 6

 

The introduction of the Euro 6 engine emissions standards will have a significant impact on the way commercial vehicles are acquired in the coming years. That is the view of Andrew Morley, Sales Director of Prohire Plc, one of the UK’s fastest growing commercial vehicle hire and fleet management specialists.

Euro 6 became mandatory for all new truck registrations from 31st December 2013. The standard is the latest stage in the legislative drive to reduce harmful vehicle emissions that started in 1993 with the introduction of Euro 1 and since that time emissions have been reduced by up to 97%.

Of course, in developing products that meet the emissions standards demanded by Euro 6, engine manufacturers have incurred hefty R&D costs.

As is the way of the world, the vehicle manufacturers have had little option but to review their own pricing structures to recoup their investment costs.

As a result, commercial vehicle prices – from the lower end of commercial vehicles to top-end tractor units – have increased by up to 16 per cent since the turn of the year.

To beat the increases, many fleet operators were tempted to bring forward new vehicle orders prior to the end of 2013. Others, meanwhile, have delayed fleet replacements altogether.”

Critics of Euro 6 contend that the benefits to the environment that it will bring are minimal while the increase in vehicle costs that are the result of its introduction will be damaging to the stability of the road transport sector at a time when the economic recovery is showing signs of gathering pace.

There is also a belief that, thanks to Euro 6, vehicle payloads will be compromised and additional fuel costs incurred.

At Prohire it is our view that lower gross vehicle weight vehicles that operate in urban areas will gain little from the introduction of Euro 6: their operating costs will increase and any environmental benefits will be negligible. Meanwhile, for some tractor units, there is an argument that suggests that the increase in up-front capital costs can be off-set by fuel savings over time.

What is undeniable however is that across the board, fleet operators can minimize their exposure to the upsurge in commercial vehicle capital costs that Euro 6 has precipitated by moving away from purchasing vehicles outright and embracing some form of long term hire agreement when the time comes to add new vehicles to their fleets.

There are several reasons why, with the advent of Euro 6, long term hire makes sound commercial sense that; these being that the increased capital cost isn’t born by the operator in one hit and as the funding is ‘off balance sheet’ then this frees the operator up to use their working capital in other areas of the business.

Whatever the benefits, or lack of benefits, Euro 6 is now a reality.

Contract Hire and Fleet Management companies such as Prohire, will be able to guide you through the acquisition methods open to you to ensure that you make the right choice for your business.

 

New Vehicles won’t be a Drain on Coopers’ Resources

Cooper Drainage has been supplying solutions in water management systems for more than 25 years.

The company operates three depots – in Gloucester, Ammanford and Stoke-on-Trent – from which it distributes an extensive range of plastic pipes and fittings to the UK’s building, agricultural and civil engineering markets.

Cooper has recently upgraded the vehicle fleet at its Stoke-on-Trent and Gloucester sites with the introduction of two DAF FA LF45 vehicles supplied by commercial vehicle hire and fleet management specialist, Prohire Plc.

The vehicles were supplied on a five-year, fixed-price contract with maintenance.

The vehicles were modified in a number of ways to meet Cooper’s particular needs. For example, in both cases, the customer’s requirement was to increase the body length in the new build by one metre to allow the extra long cargo of pipes to be accommodated.

In addition, a rear step was incorporated into the build for improved access to the rear body section, while the toolbox was removed. The introduction of the rear step gives Cooper’s staff three points of contact to the rear of the vehicle – an important health and safety consideration – while dispensing with the toolbox allowed costs to be trimmed.

Also, the vehicles’ traditional mesh bulk head was replaced with a solid fronted version, which is expected to give improved fuel consumption and load security was enhanced with the introduction of additional load security poles along the length of each vehicle.

Cosmetically, the vehicles have also been upgraded with an improved livery and the introduction of full address details of the respective locations from which each new vehicle will operate added to the cab doors. Both the vehicle enhancements and livery design changes were handled by Prohire at no extra cost to Cooper Drainage.

Steve Skipp, a Cooper Drainage director, commented: “This is a new relationship with Prohire and they have impressed us with their proactive professionalism. Our Stoke-on-Trent facility is very close to Prohire’s head office, so we had no hesitation in turning to them for advice on the specifications of the vehicles and ultimately placing the business with them.

“Prohire listened carefully to our requirements and configured the DAF vehicles to exactly match the needs of our business.”

Ray Stephens, Prohire’s business development manager, comments: “We like to take a consultative approach to our client relationships and by doing so we are able to share best practice from a wide range of industry sectors.”

Nigel’s Night at the Museum

Prohire’s Non-Executive Director, Nigel Stead, was runner up in the Non-Executive Director of the Year category at the prestigious Grant Thornton Quoted Company Awards, http://www.quotedcompanyawards.com/GTQCA/index.html which took place recently at the National History Museum in London.

Hosted by the BBC’s Naga Munchetty, the Awards is intended to reward excellence across the business world and attracts an audience of over 700 guests.

Nigel, who was shortlisted for his work with Vertu Motors, commented: “I have no idea who put my name forward, but it was a privilege to be a part of such a high profile event. The room at the museum was stunning and everyone had a great night.” Nigel Stead, Non Executive Director, Prohire Plc

David Barlow, Chairman and CEO of Prohire, commented: “Nigel has been a fundamental advisor to the Prohire Board since July 2011 and he has made a significant contribution to shaping our strategy and building our success. We are fortunate to be able to call upon the services of someone of Nigel’s pedigree.”

Nigel finished runner-up to Mark Laurence of Dart Group.

Prohire Announce Significant ‘Spot Rental’ Fleet Investment

Midlands based Prohire Plc, one of the UK’s fastest growing commercial vehicle hire and fleet management specialists, has announced a major investment in its ‘spot rental’ fleet.

The company has recently placed orders worth in excess of £2.5 million for some 40 new Euro 5 vehicles – including 20 Renault tractor units and a number of Iveco 7.5 tonne Rigids and Euro 6 DAF 18-26t rigids.

The investment means that Prohire now has more than 200 vehicles – ranging from car derived vans to 44-tonne tractor units – on its ‘spot rental’ fleet.

Prohire sees ‘spot rental’ as an increasingly significant part of its business and the fleet expansion follows the company’s acquisition, in Autumn last year, of RH Rentals.

Dan Stevenson, Prohire’s Rentals Manager, commented: “As the economy continues to move out of recession we anticipate greater take-up of ‘rental’ options across a range of industry sectors and we are well prepared to meet the increase in demand.”

Vehicles in Prohire’s rental fleet can be rented for any amount of time – from one day to seven years!

New Board Level Appointment at Prohire Plc

Commercial Vehicle Contract Hire and Fleet Management specialist, Prohire Plc, has announced the appointment of David Barlow as its new Group Commercial Director (effective March 3rd, 2014).

David is well known in the commercial vehicle sector having held senior management positions with companies such as Hill Hire Plc, Transamerica Leasing Inc and Trailerent in a career spanning more than three decades.

In his new role, David will be responsible for Prohire’s new vehicle procurement and all aspects of the company’s supply chain management through to contract implementation.

To avoid confusion with Prohire’s Chairman and CEO – who is also called David Barlow – David will be known to his new Prohire colleagues as Dave!

Commenting on the new appointment, the Prohire Chairman and CEO said: “We are delighted that Dave has decided to join us. As a member of the Board he will contribute to the future growth strategy of our business and help to build on the significant successes we have already achieved.”

David (‘Dave’) Barlow said: “Prohire is a company that I’ve watched with great interest over the past 10 years. The business is seen as a ‘rising star’ within our industry and I am very pleased to have the opportunity to play a role in the next stage of its development.”

David is married with two grown-up children and lists golf and motorsport among his leisure activities.

New Appointment to Customer Care Team

PRESS RELEASE

Commercial vehicle contract hire and fleet management specialist, Prohire Plc, has appointed Sarah Degg to its customer relationship management team.

Sarah will work out of Prohire’s Staffordshire headquarters and her role involves a broad range of business to business tasks.

Michelle Miles-Brown, Prohire’s customer relations manager, comments: “Good customer service is the bedrock on which Prohire’s business is built and Sarah’s appointment has allowed us to free up other members of our customer relations team and this, in turn, will ensure that we continue to deliver the highest levels of customer satisfaction.”

As part of its ongoing commitment to customer relations, Prohire undertakes telephone questionnaires with customers every time they take delivery of a new vehicle to ensure that every vehicle enters service right first time.

“We believe that monitoring customer feedback to our range of commercial vehicle hire and maintenance services helps us to sustain the industry-leading performance standards that we strive for throughout our business,” says Michelle Miles-Brown.

Prohire is one of the UK’s fastest growing commercial vehicle hire specialists. In the last four years the company’s fleet of trucks and vans has more than doubled in size and now stands at over 3,000 vehicles.

Media Contacts: Company Contact:
Lloyd Arkill Andrew Morley
Arkill Matthews Allen Ltd Prohire Plc
Tel: +44 (0)1923 777897 Tel: +44 (0) 8432 909 089
Mobile: +44 (0) 7903 809127 Mobile: + 44 (0) 7850 493646
Email: info@am–pr.net Email: andrewmorley@prohire.plc.uk

End of the Traditional Dray?

The haulage companies that deliver drinks to customers are not the only area of the transport industry experiencing changes. Vehicle Contract Hire and Fleet Management firm Prohire has noted a shift in the type of vehicles operators are choosing as the rise in off-trade volumes continues.

“We have seen a move away from the type of traditional heavy dray transport that was predominately used to handle kegs towards vehicles with a reduced GVW and a more compact body, while tail-lifts are increasingly seen as a better option than vehicles with a low chassis height,” says Sales and Marketing Director Andrew Morley.

He adds that the emergence of more convenience stores in recent years has also affected the industry and led to the demand for more frequent deliveries of smaller loads.

Manchester-based Prohire client, LWC Drinks Wholesale Service, which makes same-day deliveries to around 6,000 customers nationwide, says it has had to change its fleet as drinking habits have evolved.

“We have now less need for 26-tonne lorries, so Prohire provides us with more 7.5 to 11-tonne trucks,” says Ebrahim Mukadam. “The latest additions to our fleets were 14-tonne vehicles with tail-lifts to allow easy loading and unloading.”