WINTER is a hard time for vans, the workhorses of the road that have to keep going come what may.
And with the rush periods of Christmas and Black Friday deliveries the problems of keeping them on the road are compounded.
As the cold weather hits the UK properly for the first time this winter, Mercedes-Benz Vans is launching its ‘Winter Means Business' focus - a campaign designed to support the drivers during potentially harsh motoring conditions, and the businesses that operate the vans during an exceptionally busy, but vital trading period.
In this massive spending onslaught, some 250,000 Mercedes-Benz vans will be on the roads ensuring shops stay stocked, online orders get fulfilled, and cash points remain full.
To ensure that businesses are prepared, Mercedes-Benz Vans is running free' visual health' checks that enable any Sprinter, Vito, or Citan van owner to pop in to their local approved dealer for a free, no-obligation check by a highly trained Mercedes-Benz specialist.
The service includes interior and exterior inspections including lights and glass). an under bonnet and under vehicle inspection and a brake check.
During the winter period, more than a third of Mercedes-Benz Vans dealers will be working round the clock, 24-hours, with the rest of the company's network operating extended opening hours in to the evenings and weekends to ensure that the vans stay on the road.
There will also be more than 700 technicians on hand in over 1,100 workshop bays and a fleet of MobiloVan free roadside assistance vans across the UK to keep businesses moving.
The company is also issuing its popular Driver Safety Guide, which is available from any site across the dealer network, or free to download online.
The guide offers tips on winter maintenance that includes best practice advice from UK fleets about how they manage during this challenging period and comes with a handy wallet-sized card to keep with a reminder of the MobiloVan free roadside assistance contact numbers in the event of a breakdown or accident.
Steve Bridge, managing director of Mercedes-Benz Vans, said: "Winter Means Business really sums it up for us - it means business for the income surges generated during this period, but also means business thanks to the often harsh weather we experience in the UK.
"We know that this is our customers' busiest time of year and are committed to keeping their businesses moving during the challenging winter months. This isn't a sales exercise - it's about our business helping to keep their business moving. That is our role as Mercedes-Benz Vans.
"There is a reason that all of the major courier and express parcel (CEP) delivery companies use Mercedes-Benz as their vehicle of choice - keeping vehicles on the road and operating under challenging conditions is our unrelenting focus. We understand that on average, the door opens and closes on some Sprinter vans more than 150 times a day in the CEP sector, which really highlights why we are so dominant in this sector.
"Our Winter Means Business campaign will remain active during the next few months, with a variety of free resources available to support businesses of all sizes, and I'd encourage all van drivers, not just Mercedes-Benz Vans customers, to take advantage of the products and services on offer."
As part of the campaign, a series of industry reports will be released to give businesses insight on a variety of key issues over the winter months, including managing driver behaviour, with best practice advice from some of the UK's major fleets.