07/09/2020 - 08:18 am

TMHA is upgrading its service van fleet

Toyota Material Handling Australia’s (TMHA) customers will soon be seeing their technician arriving in a new vehicle. The new vans are more comfortable and ergonomic to drive and have a larger storage capacity so customers can expect their service or repair to be even more efficient.

Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) is progressively upgrading its 300 plus-strong fleet of service vans to Toyota’s newest-generation HiAce, providing multiple benefits for its service technicians, the business’ footprint and the same high degree of service and support for its customers, nationally.

TMHA general manager – Service, Mal Paterson, said the entire fleet of HiAce service vans will be replaced with the new model, which has been completely redesigned for the first time in 15 years.

Paterson said the idea to upgrade the national fleet of service vans was sparked by the new HiAce launch in 2019.

“We started a Steering Committee in mid-2019 after it was launched, which comprised service technicians, service management and workplace health and safety,” said Paterson. “We looked at the configuration, the racking and drawers and sliders. We considered parts storage, oil, batteries and safety equipment. We also changed it from pneumatic to electric compressors and power tools.

“We really valued the input from the service technicians that will be ultimately be using the van. Then we started testing it with our longstanding racking partner, Caddy Storage, which has been particularly helpful throughout the process.

“Caddy Storage is our exclusive partner and has a national presence but all the vans get fitted-out in Sydney.”

Paterson said the first new service van has already hit the road and a further 32 will follow it in the following weeks.

The new HiAces are a combination of long wheelbase (LWB) and super long wheelbase (SLWB) variants. Both models have turbodiesel engines and automatic transmissions. “They have slightly different configurations but generally they’re the same, “Paterson said. “Both models can service all TMHA brands and equipment types.”

Each model has a large cargo capacity of 6.2 cubic metres and 9.3 cubic metres and engine efficiency increases power output while saving fuel cost and reducing emissions.

Both models come with the latest suite of Toyota Safety Sense driver assistance features. These include a pre-collision safety system with pedestrian and daytime cyclist detection, lane departure alert with steering assist and auto high beam.

Designed to appeal to drivers who often spend long days behind the wheel, the new HiAce has a redesigned cabin with improved ergonomics for greater driver comfort and convenience.

The new cabin is easier to access, has a lower seating position, features height-adjustable driver’s seat, tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel with controls for the audio, infotainment and cruise control systems, manual air conditioning and extensive storage.

It also has a completely redesigned dash that provides significant ergonomic advantages.

With only one van presently on road for service, driver feedback has been limited, yet encouraging.

“So far, feedback has been positive. We’re hearing it drives really well – it’s nice to drive – and that it’s very comfortable. Also, about the improved access to tools and parts which boosts efficiencies for our customers, plus the abundant safety and convenience features,” Patterson concludes.

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