Ford caps the price of servicing and maintenance for older vehicles

Ford has launched a new service called Motorcraft4+, aimed at capping the price of servicing and maintenance for Ford LCVs and cars that are over four years old. Motorcraft 4+ offers national maximum price service options – £119 for a minor service, and £189 for a major service – as well as a maximum MOT price of £35, reducing to £30 when combined with a Motorcraft Service. These prices include all required service parts, labour carried out by Ford-trained technicians and VAT. More than 550 Ford dealerships across the UK will offer the Motorcraft 4+ package, and customers can now book a service appointment online at any time, by visiting Ford’s Online Service Booking website and selecting their vehicle model. Vehicles serviced through the Motorcraft programme also receive free roadside assistance, Ford’s eCHECK 30-point visual inspection, and benefit from the Ford Accident Management service,…

New high-roof version of Ford Transit Custom Van

Ford’s new high-roof version of the Transit Custom (which has sold more than 6,000 units to date in the UK) is available to order now, for delivery later this year. The high-roof Transit offers 20% more volume than the equivalent low-roof model, resulting in a maximum load area of 8.3 cubic metres. Ford claims that the van’s all-steel roof will support a maximum load of 100kg, while the load-through hatch in the bulkhead enables loads up to 3.0m in length, such as pipes or ladders, to be safely carried inside the vehicle. The high-roof Transit comes fitted with a 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel with optional Auto-Start-Stop, which produces CO2 emissions of 178g/km. Advanced Ford vehicle technologies including SYNC with Emergency Assistance, Rear View Camera, Acceleration Control, Lane Keeping Alert and Driver Alert are available as options. Other features include easy-to-clean load floor lining and…

New FTA app aids driver walk-around checks

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has launched a new internet-based app which enables drivers to carry out their vehicle walk-around checks with the aid of an electronic device. Compatible with iPod, iPhone, iPad and a selected range of Android devices, the FTA says that the app cuts down on any errors or inefficiencies associated with paper inspections. It also complies with VOSA’s safety and maintenance guide and is available in formats for vans, trucks, coaches and buses. Quick reference bar codes are placed on a vehicle at key inspection points, allowing users to “scan, inspect, transmit and track” the vehicle with the FTA Drivers’ Walk Around Check app. These weather resistant label tags contain information about the driver, vehicle, inspection point and the components to be checked. If defects or advisories are found they can be selected from a pre-defined list within the system,…

Ford Transit Connect is “International Van of the Year 2014”

Ford’s new Transit Connect has scooped the “International Van of the Year 2014” title at the COMTRANS commercial vehicle exhibition in Moscow. The van scored a total of 130 points from a maximum 163, putting it ahead of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Renault Kangoo. The 24-strong jury of journalists praised the model for its fuel economy, design, driveability, load-carrying and safety. ‘The all-new Transit Connect impressed the jury on a number of fronts, and above all by the fact Ford has succeeded in building a light van with a strong accent on economics – the vehicle is a good answer to the needs of small operators as well as big fleets to reduce the cost of transport of goods,’ said Pieter Wieman, chairman of the “International Van of the Year” jury. ‘The loading space offers several innovative aspects such as a load-through hatch in…

Where would company van drivers be without sat-nav?

Satellite navigation is the most popular option fitted to new vans, according to research from the annual Nissan Van Report. The report found that 45% of van drivers, and 40% of fleet operators, felt that sat-nav is an essential feature on a new van, coming ahead of parking sensors, bluetooth and vehicle trackers. With the credit crunch still biting, both van drivers and fleet operators are striving to force efficiencies from their day to day operations. The result is the changing face of the van market which puts sat-nav ahead of driver comforts such as electric windows, heated mirrors and air conditioning; ensuring drivers arrive at their destination via the quickest and safest route. Modern day sat-nav systems will re-route the driver in order to avoid traffic jams, not only delivering time efficiencies but also fuel savings as a result. With over 80% of…

VOSA warns of ‘reality check ahead’ for van operators at FTA conference

VOSA has warned van operators that those not complying with regulations will be targeted by the authorities. Gordon Macdonald, who is VOSA’s head of enforcement policy, issued the warning during his keynote speech at the first Freight Transport Association Van Excellence Conference in Sheffield. He said that VOSA was determined to improve van operational standards and makes no secret of its intention to significantly ramp up the number of roadside inspections and other enforcement activity. He also praised the Van Excellence scheme, describing it as “an extremely good example of where the industry can take responsibility for itself”, adding that accredited operators of the Van Excellence scheme were recognised by VOSA for demonstrating good practice in the industry. He said: “Van Excellence contributes to improve road safety recognition, and is very beneficial in changing the public perception of the ‘white van man’. “The scheme…

Euro NCAP tests the safety of vans

// Euro NCAP has crash tested some of Europe’s best-selling business and family vans using protocols that are more true-to-life than the current legal tests for these van-based vehicles. The safety organisation is calling on manufacturers to offer these vehicles with higher levels of safety equipment and for legislators to review their lenient legal safety requirements. In the tests, the Ford Transit Custom was the only vehicle to score five stars. The Hyundai H1 scored three stars. The Fiat Scudo also scored three stars while the Renault Trafic scored two stars. Some of these vehicles are also rebadged and sold by other manufacturers. The Fiat Scudo is available as the Peugeot Expert and Citroën Jumpy. The Renault Trafic also sells as the Vauxhall/Opel Vivaro and Nissan Primastar. Dr Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP, said: “This time around Euro NCAP has focused…

You can rely on a Ford Transit…

The UK’s most popular van is also the most reliable. The Ford Transit came top of the FN50 van reliability survey while Ford’s small van, the Transit Connect, retained its second place from a year ago. Last year’s top performing model, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, took third place. Volkswagen’s most popular vans, the Transporter and the Caddy are fourth and fifth respectively, retaining top five positions. The survey asks FN50 companies to rank their best performing vehicles for reliability based on breakdowns and warranty claims. Mark Ovenden, managing director, Ford of Britain said: “Ford is extremely proud that the Ford Transit and Ford Transit Connect have taken the top two spots in this reliability survey which is based on hard facts. “This is a tribute to the passion and dedication of our designers and engineers at Dunton who make quality the highest priority, and which…

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