Kent-based supplies firm KCS – a wholly owned business of Kent County Council – has taken delivery of 13 new IVECO Daily 70C18A8 7-Tonne panel vans, replacing a fleet of three-year-old vehicles on their distribution fleet.
The latest 13 vehicles arrived as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and the UK was placed into lockdown. However, they have since been kept busy, as KCS adopted a new strategy dubbed KCS Connect. This move was in aid of supporting the parents who suddenly found themselves having to educate their children from home, following the total closure of schools.
By offering home-delivery of national curriculum teaching resources and equipment directly to the region’s temporary educators, one of the latest batches have already managed to clock up nearly 13,000 miles in four months.
The vehicles are also used to transport PPE equipment as well as cleaning supplies to the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, care homes, schools and local councils across the South of England, and together with KCS have provided a valuable service to the area during the pandemic.
Due to the weight of paper and the need to carry multiple 20-litre containers of cleaning products, the company needs to maximise the load carrying capacity of their vehicles. At this time of year, the vans are running with up to 3,700kg every day.
This is where the IVECO Daily excels by offering an impressive payload of up to 4,023kg, almost an extra 1,000kg over its competitors in the medium truck market.
KCS’s IVECO Daily vans are leased through Days Fleet and replaced on rotation every three years. “As our local IVECO dealer, we worked with Haynes Trucks in Maidstone to supply and maintain our vans,” commented Jenny Ware, Framework Manager at KCS Professional Services.
“We have a long-established relationship now. They are very knowledgeable about the product and their customer service is second-to-none. They’ll do anything for their customers.”
Most of KCS’s delivery locations are in busy urban areas and schools where there are hazards aplenty. “We take the safety aspect very seriously,” said KCS Professional Services Marketing Business Partner, Kirsty Bridgland, “We must maintain a duty of care over our drivers and the customers we are delivering to”.
With that in mind, the new vehicles are equipped with a reversing camera with external audible warning, built-in 7” HI-CONNECT infotainment system featuring DAB radio, Bluetooth, Voice Control, truck-friendly navigation with Android Auto™ & Apple CarPlay compatibility, Connectivity Box and Business+ Pack.
The Connectivity Box enables several key features for any business user. This connects vehicles to the IVECO Customer Centre who can monitor the vehicles’ health and book proactive/optimised maintenance appointments and manage remote diagnostics with over-the-air software update capability. Customers can also access personalised maintenance plans and vehicle data management through the MYDAILY app and web-portal, minimising vehicle downtime while helping to promote and increase efficiency.
The Business+ Pack ensures a comfortable and safe workplace for the driver, consisting of Air Conditioning, Cruise Control, electrically adjustable & heated door mirrors, driver’s lumbar support, front fog lights and the new Full-LED headlamps. These not only enhance the visual appeal of the vehicle, but are longer-lasting and throw a whiter, sharper beam of light further, increasing visibility and obstacle perception by 15%.
Haynes Trucks in Maidstone take care of the vehicles throughout their working life. Each vehicle is attached to a comprehensive Elements 3XL Repair & Maintenance (R&M) Package, assisting in the clear management of costs. 3XL covers the MAINTENANCE (standard vehicle servicing), DRIVE LINE (engine, injection, gearbox, axles), EXTRA DRIVE LINE (electrical systems) as well as WEAR (brakes).
KCS’s IVECO Daily vans are powered by the powerful, Euro VI-D compliant heavy-duty 3.0-litre F1C turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine producing 180-horsepower and 430 Nm of torque. Power is distributed to the rear wheels via the clever 8-speed HI-MATIC automatic transmission which can swap ratios in under 200 milliseconds, optimising power and fuel efficiency.
KCS was originally set up by Kent County Council in 1930, born out of a need to deliver educational resources such as exercise books and stationery to the county’s schools. Over time, the business grew, branching out in the 1990s to offer next-day delivery and an extended range of supplies to institutes across the south of England. As it stands today, KCS has become a leading UK supplier of corporate and educational supplies and furniture amongst other specialist services. Alongside this business, KCS Professional Services specialises in OJEU-compliant frameworks created specifically for public sector organisations, ranging from electric vehicle charging points to software and IT services.