InstallHub Campervan Conversions

Fully Loaded Campervans

If you are looking to purchase a fully loaded, luxurious campervan, whether it be for holidaying, racing or touring with a band, then look no further than Handsfree Group Leisure.

Utilising the state-of-the-art Installhub facility in York, the HF Leisure Division’s skilled FCS 1362 accredited FITAS engineers convert hundreds of Mercedes Sprinter and Volkswagen T5 vans per month into high spec campervans.  

With a choice of a “stock” conversion or working closely with the Leisure team to design a custom van, customers can have as much or as little input as they like.

 

The Installhub

Installhub’s primary role is providing specialist conversion and installation services to Handsfree Group’s impressive portfolio of transport, logistics and emergency service clients. Opened in 2016, it has successfully completed thousands of vehicle conversions and installations.

The ‘Hub’ allows the team to turn around fleet installations, pre-delivery vehicle fit outs and specialist conversions all in one state-of-the-art facility, which significantly reduces vehicle downtime for clients.

The ‘Hub’ works great for the HF Leisure team as it provides ample space to for the refit and manufacture of campervans from start to finish.  The facility allows the engineers, who are all trained to FCS1362 FITAS industry standards, to adapt existing equipment or manufacture their own designs, such as a steel tube fold out bed to fit an exact shape for a Sprinter design.  

 

Campervan Conversions

Given their vast experience in campervan conversions, the HF Leisure Division’s engineers know the Mercedes Sprinters and VW T5’s inside and out.  Each van type has a design template which can be adapted to suit an individual customer’s requirements or kept simple for “stock” vans ready to be driven away.  With access to a wide range of suppliers built up over the years, HF Leisure has access to all the latest cutting edge campervan equipment, such as the latest energy efficient solar panels.

Each van is designed and manufactured with care and precision.  If a customer is looking for something individual and unique, HF Leisure will work with them to make it happen.

HF Leisure like to place an individual stamp on each van to give the customers more than they were expecting. Recent examples of this include large embossed VW logos set into the lining of a camper roof and walls for an individual look, or your band logo set into the roof in colour changing fibre optics.

Handsfree Group Leisure and the Installhub offer the the ability to “customise and design your van the way you want it to fit your lifestyle requirements and budget”.

If you would like further information on this service or would like to arrange a demo, please contact us here.

Fleetwide Installation of Xplore Rugged Tablets

Handsfree Group installs the Xplore F5M rugged tablet to aid in Smart Meter Rollout

Identifying a Reliable Vehicle-Mounted Mobility Solution to Support Smart Meter Rollout

The UK Government implemented a Smart Meter roll-out program in 2011 with the aim for most households to have smart meters installed by their energy company by 2020. For utility companies to be able to deliver this to their customers efficiently, a need was identified for a vehicle mounted tablet to assist in the roll-out logistics.  

Specifically, the chosen tablet would need to prove that the Smart Meter installation had been completed and identified. Therefore, the ideal device would be able to take an image of the meter on site, enabling the field technician to submit a real-time digital installation report back to their depot on leaving the customer’s property.

The tablet also needed to be heavy duty, water resistant and able to withstand knocks, bumps, drops, dust and dirt.

 

Xplore F5 Rugged Tablet Provides Right Level of Secure Mobility, Information Access in the Field

The utility company chose to install the XPlore F5M rugged tablet solution throughout their entire fleet because of its proven durability and extreme workflow flexibility. The Xplore F5m enabled the utility company to manage field technician routing, customer details, installation details and other key field applications using a single computing system.

The Xplore F5m was put through a user committee to drive fast field technician acceptance, and all evaluators, ranging from age 20 to 50, loved it.

Built for demanding environments that require robust enterprise software compatibility, the Xplore F5m rugged tablet platform offers the durability and functionality needed to seamlessly go from the office, to the vehicle, to the field-all while staying connected and secure. It has a fixed handle, is nicely balanced and is easy to hold whilst working on foot. It also has a high-resolution View Anywhere® Display stacked with Corning® Gorilla® Glass, making it ideally suited for demanding outdoor environments where field technicians need to easily read detailed data.

 

Vehicle Installation

Xplore selected and appointed Handsfree Group to manage the installations due to their planning expertise, install experience and industry credentials, such as FITAS 1362 and Alcumus’ SafeContractor.

The countrywide installations have been a great success and has already seen  increased productivity, improved efficiency and increased customer satisfaction.

 

Quote

“Handsfree Group is well versed in the proper installation of rugged tablet solutions into large fleets spanning the country,” noted Sandy McCaskie, EMEA director of sales, Xplore. “To take a working vehicle off the road for a whole day for any reason costs businesses money.”

“So, when a company such as our client, one of the UK’s leading Utility Companies, needs to take a number of vehicles within their large fleet off the road for mobile solution installs, and across multiple operating locations, they need a partner with the specialised skills to complete the task within the shortest possible time.”

“Handsfree Group has proven to be more than capable of meeting their strict turnaround times to minimize each vehicle’s downtime.”

Innovation Advancement in Fleet Technology

Cutting Edge Technology is reshaping the Telematics Industry

Improving Performance

Fleet bosses across the UK are using innovative and state-of-the art telematics technology to stay ahead and improve the performance of their fleet.

Fleet technology is always changing and developing, meaning the next technological advancement is continually bombarding the sector. However, new technology always brings the potential for a meaningful impact on the fleet sector and therefore fleet managers.

Fleet managers need to onboard the latest telematics technology, to ensure their fleet is developing alongside their sectors benchmarking. From this, they can receive major benefits to their business and see first hand the fast improvements innovative technology can bring.

Improved Customer Service

Advanced vehicle telematics technology enables businesses to improve customer service. Telematics ensures Fleet managers will always know exactly where their fleet is, at all times, meaning faster response times for clients. Telematics also improves green credentials by reducing CO₂ emissions, provides companies with protection for their assets and increases productivity of an entire fleet.

Handsfree Group’s proprietary Datalive technology is a prime example of advanced telematics technology. The specialist Datalive team at Handsfree Group is continually evolving the design, development and release of their own fully customisable telematics solution. As a result Handsfree Group continues to be ahead of the curve in fleet technology.

Datalive 3G Vehicle CCTV System

Datalive’s exceptional 3G CCTV technology equips fleet managers with the ability to view activity in real time. This technology means, in the event of incident, vehicle footage can be remotely accessed immediately. Fleet managers can simply log in, select the vehicle and instantly view the live video, download or remote playback.

The Datalive 3G vehicle CCTV system provides fleet managers with a proactive approach in monitoring defects. Datalive telematics remotely monitors the health of the cameras and hard drive. The unit will send an automatic notification to their expert team if any defects have occurred within the camera or hard drive, ensuring exceptional standards are maintained for an entire fleet.

The Right Decision

Datalive’s 3G CCTV systems significantly benefit businesses. Their technology enables companies to mitigate road traffic accidents, improve driving standard by maximising duty of care and track and trace multiple vehicles simultaneously.  Their advanced CCTV systems reduce insurance claims by providing recorded footage; companies can therefore prevent fraud and disprove exaggerated claims with indisputable evidence.

Datalive advise and provide fleet owners with market leading fleet tracking, data and reports to run their fleets efficiently and reduce risks. Their specialised team have a wealth of experience in the comprehensive design and building of integrated Live CCTV systems and tracking solutions for vehicles, meaning you can find the right solution for your fleet today.

CLICK HERE to get in touch with the Datalive team and discuss your fleet requirements.

Peak Hire Vehicles Require Temporary Charging Cradles

Handsfree Group supply D.I.Y fit portable charging cradles and mounting plates to cover peak delivery season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Yes, you’ve got it, Christmas.  It is also one of the busiest times of the year for one of Handsfree Group’s most prestigious and valued customers. Being one of the UK’s leading delivery companies, Christmas is their peak season.  In order to meet customer demand, they employ thousands of peak delivery drivers UK wide, hire vehicles for each of those drivers and provide essential equipment to enable the drivers to make the deliveries efficiently, successfully and most importantly, in time for Christmas.  

Handheld PDA

The essential equipment is, of course, the handheld PDA.  Then the question arises – how to keep those PDA’s charged and secure without installing a permanent cradle?  

Therefore, due to the vehicles being on hire, the need for 1500+ temporary charging cradles arose. The main requirement was that the cradles could be easily installed by the customer.  

The TECh

Handsfree Group’s solution was the TECh CN70 Charging Cradle and Zirkona windscreen suction mount.  

TECh CN70 Charging Cradle

A durable charging and securing solution for the drivers’ handheld PDA’s – the most important tool of the job. The CN70 charging cradle, designed and manufactured by TECh, was the ideal choice.  

The CN70 cradle boasts LED Power Indicator, so the driver is assured their PDA is charging, an internal voltage clamp which prevents over-voltage to the device and an internal voltage regulator which ensures consistent output voltages.

Each CN70 mounting screw fastens into a precision brass bolt and is fixed during injection moulding for maximum strength. The six locating bolts mount to the supplied backplate which then attaches securely to a steel chassis for a rigid and accurate fit.

A locating ’pin’ ensures the device cannot be inserted incorrectly and multiple security bolts provide added strength. The CN70 internal auto-reset switch prevents any risk of a short-circuit across pins and the tamper-proof screws, with anti-vibrate and shake-proof washers, ensure the device remains secure when the vehicle is in motion.

Zirkona Windscreen Suction Mount with Diamond Mounting Plate

Fulfilling the main requirement of a self-fit cradle, the Diamond Mounting Plate is simply fitted to the vehicle using a suction cup which attaches to the vehicle’s windscreen.

The CN70 charging cradle is securely fixed to the Diamond Mounting bracket using the backplate supplied with the cradle.

To discuss these products or any other requirements please contact us and speak to our expert team.

Extensive safety & communication vehicle upgrade for a valued customer

One Stop Shop

A valued and prestigious customer of Handsfree Group took delivery of 100 brand new Mercedes Sprinter vans, all on the same day, and they looked no further than the Handsfree Group’s Install Division when deciding how to kit them out with the necessary technology to run their new fleet.  

The install requirements were extensive, as they needed to ensure their fleet was efficient and safe so it made perfect sense for the Handsfree Group’s TECh team to supply the technology and the Install Hub to undertake the work.

Install Hub

Handsfree Group’s Install Division comprises of FITAS Accredited Engineers, Sales, Projects, Parts, Logistics and Customer Services staff, all working together to provide the best possible service.

Install Hub is Handsfree Groups 10,000ft² specialist vehicle conversion workshop in York, which enables quality offsite installations and full vehicle conversion fit outs for their clients.

Handsfree Groups dynamic Install division were able to complete the installations on all 100 Mercedes Sprinter vans, through Install Hub in record time.

TECh Technology

Each of the 100 vehicles were fitted with the following:

Electronic Cargo Lock

Ensuring the safety of the freight, the Electronic Cargo Lock eliminates the risk of freight theft by electronically deadlocking the doors upon closing which can only then be opened using an electronic key.  The electronic key is a quick and convenient way for the driver to access the vehicle.

TECh PT5 Cab phone

The PT5 is fixed to and powered by the vehicle which eliminates the need to use a mobile phone whilst driving and will never suffer that inconvenient flat battery, get lost, damaged due to being dropped, or left behind.  It also gives peace of mind to the driver by having safe access to emergency services at their fingertips.

Reverse Bleep

A white sound reversing bleeper is a must to the customer, ensuring the safety of the public by alerting them to the vehicle slow-speed movement.

Doppler Radar Reversing Sensor

This was the best option due to the stealthy installation and lack of physical sensors, eliminating the risk of damage to a traditional sensor while loading and unloading the van and from excessive jet washing, keeping the fleet gleaming with pride.  

Reverse Brake Light Camera System

Using a brake light mounted camera gives a more factory fitted appearance and mounts the camera up high, giving the optimal view to the rear of the vehicle which not only protects the rear of the vehicle and objects in the biggest blind spot of a van/commercial vehicle, but also provides the perfect view for reversing into a busy loading bay.

TECh CN70 Charging Cradle

The customer also required a solution for their drivers’ handheld PDA’s – the most important tool of the job, containing all the information for the day ahead. The biggest issue with a portable device is battery life so a dash fitted docking station is the best way to keep the device charged and secure whilst the vehicle is in motion.  The installation of the cradle also reduced unnecessary and unsightly cables and chargers all over the dash and cab whilst also keeping it in reach of the driver. Having it dash mounted also removes the need to have another device stuck to the windscreen, therefore improving the driver’s view and keeping driver and public safety as the first priority.

If this sounds like the type of install your business needs then why not contact Handsfree Group now to discuss your requirements?

http://www.handsfree.co.uk/install/

30 Telematic Systems Into Specialist Vehicles

Handsfree Group Install Premium Telematic Into Winter Services Vehicles

EXPERIENCE WITH SPECIALIST VEHICLES

Handsfree Group UK embodies the importance of vehicle safety, precaution and awareness. They also strive for exceptional efficiency and quality care for both customers and the Handsfree Group team.

Every member of their team has a part to play in ensuring the best in vehicle technology installations nationwide. They also raise awareness on the importance of having the fleet best safety precautions when on the road, for drivers and public safety.

Their latest exceptional vehicle installation involved specialist vehicles. Handsfree Group have a vast experience on specialist vehicle technology installations, whether a single specialised installation is required or to a fleet of vehicles.

30 TELEMATIC INSTALLATIONS

Handsfree Group were asked to provide their award winning installation services for a premium telematic system into 30 specialist winter gritting service vehicles.

Gritters are specialist vehicles such as gritting lorries, salt spreaders and salt trucks. With similar components to other specialist vehicles, such as snowplows, they are vital in ensuring safety in harsh winter conditions.

Handsfree Group were able to provide a fully bespoke vehicle installation service into all 30 of the specialised vehicles. Their FITAS certified engineers were able to professionally and efficiently install the telematics technology, ensuring best practice can be achieved in the upcoming winter conditions.

FITAS CERTIFIED ENGINEERS

Handsfree Group are proud of their FITAS certification across all of their engineers. The quality assured accreditation reflects the high professional standards in which all their engineers uphold.

The quality certification highlights the excellence within Handsfree Group’s specialised team and outstanding installations at their state of the art workshop facilities provides.

Their workshop facilities, Installhub, located in the North of England are used for many of their professional installations whether for a single vehicle or a large fleet. The highly skilled Handsfree Group Install team also provide assured ‘off site’ options for all customers too.

TELEMATICS SYSTEMS EQUALS SAFETY

The latest 30 installs into these specialised gritter vehicles equals improved safety and advanced awareness for all involved. Vehicle Telematics is a easy way to ensure maximum safety and efficiency for one vehicle or your entire fleet.

Vehicle Telematics is a way of monitoring the location, movements, status and driving behaviour of one vehicle or a fleet of vehicles. It is a superior method of monitoring a vehicle by combining a GPS system and on-board diagnostics. You are able to record and map the location, speed and journey of a vehicle and cross reference how the vehicle’s driver is behaving.

With this data you can mitigate risk, increase road safety and road transportation efficiency dramatically. Fleet Managers can clearly understand the behaviour of their fleet and this can significantly improve road safety fast.

If you would like to find out more, please click here and start you telematics journey today.

British Transport Advisory Consortium Conference 2017

Handsfree Group attend the 2017 British Transport Advisory Consortium Conference

The Conference

There was an impressive turn out to what was a very informative conference, focussing on industry news, cost saving and best practise.

From alternative fuels and electric driving to the DVSA introducing an earned recognition scheme, the conference was packed full of a wide variety of useful insights for all attendees to take away.

Handsfree Group UK Sales Director, Chris Baines, attended the conference and these were his 4 biggest takeaway points from the day.

Takeaway Point 1

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fuel is revolutionary, not only saving cost on fuel but protecting the environment at the same time. Waitrose are leading the way with Bio-Metheyne (Bio CNG) Alternative Fuel powered vehicles by making the switch already.

A great deal was discussed about CNG (methane stored at high pressure) – a fuel which can be used in place of gasoline (petrol), Diesel fuel and propane/LPG. CNG combustion produces fewer undesirable gases than the traditional vehicle fuels.

CNG Fuels are the company supplying the gas pumps to Waitrose, their vision is as follows:

  • “To develop a Bio-CNG refuelling network with the capability to service all of the UK’s major trucking routes.”
  • “To build a network that is so reliable and dispenses CNG at such a low cost, that Bio-CNG is the only sensible choice for fleet operators.”
  • “To see HGV fleets in the UK catch up with international peers by running predominantly on low-emissions, low-cost biomethane.”

An average HGV does 200K KM per year and averages an MPG of 9-10 miles per gallon. At current prices (£1.19 per litre) it can cost £68’800 per annum in diesel per vehicle. Switching to CNG alternatives can see savings of up to 43%.

When you consider that the average logistics operator is running at around 3% – 4% margin, with the biggest costs being fuel, switching makes sense and could boost operator margin to 8%.

Take Away Point 2

A conference exclusive… Tesla to launch electric HGV.  This was a very exciting part of the conference, as we could see electric HGV take to the road very soon.  

Tesla’s truck could have a range of 200-300 miles which is impressive for what the company are calling the “small-range” model. They are looking to expand into long-distance models capable of 1000 miles on a single charge.

The news has now broken mainstream with reports of Tesla’s Elon Musk describing the commercial vehicle as a “beast” and confirming the company’s all-electric truck reveal date of 26th October 2017.

Take Away Point 3

We have all heard a few murmurings in the press about future Diesel engine production stopping and now it is becoming a reality – Volvo are to stop producing Diesel engines for its car division from 2019, switching to fully electric or hybrid only.  They will be launching five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021 – three Volvos and two from Polestar, their high performance division.  

The rising costs of running a Diesel vehicle (cost of Diesel, threat of extra taxes, extra parking charges and increased congestion charges in London to name a few) and increased demand for electrified vehicles has all contributed towards Volvo’s decision which marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car.

Take Away Point 4

The DVSA are introducing a revolutionary earned recognition scheme that makes vehicle safety related information accessible.

Once a vehicle is audited and compliant, a VOSA Highway Patrol car will be able to remotely check its maintenance records to ensure everything is in order.

Applications are officially now open for the new scheme and it could become mandatory for fleets, in a similar way to how ELD (Electronic Logging Device) has done in the U.S.

Tomorrows World

Vehicles have developed a lot in the past 40 years, however the feeling from the conference is that the next 40 could be just as big, if not bigger.

Successful car manufacturers of the future will be software driven, so players like Google and Apple are likely to be those manufacturers, not the typical OE manufacturers of today.

In contrast, with computer giant Apple making $70’000 profit every 60 seconds it could buy Mercedes, BMW and Volkswagen, while still having enough change to buy McDonalds.

 

Were you at the British Transport Advisory Consortium Conference this year and what did you think?

 

#dontdrinkanddrive

Handsfree Group experience increased demand for Alcolock®GB

Tragedy

The news of the fatal M1 crash on August Bank Holiday weekend involving a Minibus and two HGVs, where eight people sadly lost their lives, was tragic.

The whole incident became preventable when news broke that the two HGV drivers involved had been charged with causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving, especially as one of the HGV drivers also faces charges relating to drink-driving and had been asleep for 12-and-a-half minutes!

The Facts

The crash, near Newport Pagnell, resulted in the death of eight out of the twelve minibus passengers after the vehicle collided with two HGVs.

AIM Logistics driver Ryszard Masierak was accused of having 55 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath after the crash (the legal limit is 35 micrograms). He has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving and death by careless driving.

FedEx driver David Wagstaff, from Stoke-on-Trent, was charged with causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving.

The Impact

Following the crash, Alcolock®GB and Handsfree group have found enquiries from hauliers for the Alcolock DS10 breathalyser have increased.

The life-saving device connects to a vehicle’s immobiliser and disables the vehicle if the driver is over the limit, which is recorded by the driver providing a breath sample prior to Alcolock®GB DS10 enabling the vehicles ignition system.

Alcolock®GB operational director Diane Whittock commented: “We had a spike in enquiries from hauliers following the crash – mainly from firms that have shown an interest and are now going to order it. We find that happens a lot – people tend to bury their heads in the sand and when something like this happens they decide it is money well spent.” Whittock said sales to hauliers have increased by 25% over the past 12 months, but added: “That’s not enough. Only 10% of our customers are from the haulage sector, and those that do fit our device tend to be the larger hauliers. But you can’t put a price on reputation.”

Further to these comments from operations director Whittock, insurers have also commented that using breathalysers could help firms in the event of an accident, which mitigates risk and could result in lower insurance premiums.

The Questions

Like with most new technology, there are always questions, questions about the safety, the durability, does it work?  With the Alcolock®GB comes some slightly different questions:  

– “What if a driver over the limit got someone else to blow into the device?”

– “Using the device could surely affect staff morale?”

– “Could Installing these devices raise issues of trust?”

One question could be: “Would you ask these questions to the family of a deceased drink drive victim?”…Cure Before Kill…

September Industry Exhibitions

Handsfree Group set to attend the latest exhibitions

Bringing Industries Together

Exhibitions are great platforms for an industry to showcase new products and reach out to new clientele. They provide an amazing opportunity for businesses within the industry to converse and learn from each other, as well as enabling a place for marketing and promotion.

Handsfree Group are always excited about industry changes and are eager to learn from exhibition opportunities which is why they are delighted to be attending two great trade  September industry exhibitions.

RWM Exhibition

The next RWM exhibition will be taking place at The NEC, Birmingham between the 12th and 14th September 2017. Each year over 500 exhibitors and more than 11,000 visitors from the Waste, Energy, Water, Renewables and Recycling industries attend the event to network, learn from experts and to source the latest solutions for their businesses.

RWN organise their popular exhibitions to play a part in One Planet Living and aim to connect technology innovators and influencers with businesses, public sector bodies and governments that are both environmentally sound and business efficient.

Visitors can expect to see varying transport industries coming together and learn how businesses can challenge communities and policy makers to stay focused on creating a resource efficient future.

Handsfree Group are especially interested in meeting current and future clients at the RWM exhibition to discuss new innovative ways to transport, collect and handle materials, improving the efficiency and safety of businesses on the road.

TCS & D Exhibition

The latest TCS & D exhibition will start on the 13th September 2017 for two days in Ricoh Arena, Coventry. Attendees can expect to meet over 100 exhibitors in the only dedicated event for frozen and chilled food professionals and will be able to seek advice on implementing new transportation regulations.

TCS & D hope attendees will learn the latest trends and issues. Plus, by having the leading companies within the industry available, attendees will be able to build strong new and existing relationships.

During the anticipated exhibition you can expect to see innovation, creativity and new technology. Opportunities will also include a free-to-attend seminar programme with presentations from leading industry professionals.

Meet Up With Handsfree Group

Handsfree Group will be attending both of these popular exhibitions and hope many of the industry contributors will too, we look forward to seeing lots of familiar faces.

Please feel free to contact the Handsfree Group sales team to arrange a meeting to discuss any requirements that you have.