IF you or your employees had to operate in inhospitable areas far away from all amenities, what would you do when it was time for a break? This is the problem faced by Llantrisant-based Voltcom Group, whose electrical engineers work on power lines in some of the UK’s most remote areas.
The company’s answer was to provide its workers with ‘refuge’ vans, based on specially-adapted Mercedes-Benz Sprinters.
Voltcom recently bought 10 Medium-Length Sprinter 313 CDIs from Sussex and Surrey Dealer Rossetts Commercials. The vans have been converted by Bodybuilder Cardiff Truck & Bus for use as ‘Welfare Vans’.
In addition to the three front seats, the Sprinters are fitted with a further five seats and a table in the rear. There’s also a galley with a sink with hot and cold water, a microwave oven and a hot drinks dispenser. A separate compartment at the rear incorporates a second sink unit, a drying area for wet clothes and an electric flush toilet.
Voltcom Group Director John Nash told Business Vans: “We chose the Sprinter because of its reputation for reliability, durability and competitive running costs, and because it is an ideal base chassis for our conversion.
“These vehicles are used on site by operatives who often find themselves working in very inhospitable areas far away from any recognised amenities. The Welfare Van gives them a base for breaks, as well as serving as a meeting point for staff working in different areas.”
He said the company’s operatives appreciated having somewhere warm and comfortable to clean up, relax for a while and have something to eat and drink before going back out to work.
The Sprinters rear doors carry Chapter 8 high-visibility chevrons and comply to health and safety regulations, making them ideally suited to highways maintenance applications as well.
The concept has been so successful that Voltcom is now offering Welfare Vans to third-party customers through its Voltcom Fleet Solutions vehicle rental division.
Voltcom provides a range of maintenance and refurbishment support for low- and high-voltage power lines, as well as training and other services to electrical transmission and distribution network companies, and major utilities contractors.