The Kent-headquartered Hydraquip Group has seen outstanding growth year-on-year since the turn of the century when it started with two mobile hose repair vans to now become the largest national independent fleet operator of mobile hose service vans with staff based in multiple locations nationwide.
The company has seen its fleet expand annually to more than 140 vehicles and the vast majority are vans driven by mobile engineers, who work out of Hydraquip’s 20 branches nationwide and from remote bases across the UK.
The current 93 mobile engineers’ vans, almost exclusively Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 313 CDI hi-roof models operated on three-year/120,000-mile contract hire with maintenance replacement cycles, are supplied by Ogilvie Fleet. The Hydraquip Group has now placed a rolling order for two new Sprinters each month throughout 2016.
When delivered the vans will be fully-equipped mobile workshops capable of manufacturing hydraulic hoses and fitting on-site reducing down time of customers’ plant and machinery operating across many different sectors.
Company founder and managing director Duncan MacBain said the vans – more could be ordered during 2016 if business growth demands – would both further expand the fleet and replace ageing vehicles to take the number of units operated to around 120.
The Hydraquip Group turned to Ogilvie Fleet two years ago having historically outright purchased all vehicles. This year, in a major departure, the new vans will be supplied kitted out with around £11,500 worth of specialist workshop equipment and racking.
Mr MacBain explained: “Previously Ogilvie Fleet has supplied the vans and we have then arranged for them to be kitted out to meet our own high requirements. However, Ogilvie Fleet’s no hassle approach to business and competitive pricing made it more attractive for us to take delivery of fully equipped vehicles.”
The remainder of the fleet is composed of 19 company cars and 28 branch-based delivery vans which the Hydraquip Group presently outright purchase.
The Hydraquip Group has expanded from one branch in Crawley, West Sussex, through a combination of organic growth and acquisition and 2016, said Mr MacBain, was expected to mark a further sea-change in the scale of the business with plans for a further four branches announced.
“We are on an aggressive recruitment drive in 2016 and that means further fleet expansion. Additionally, corporate image is critical for the Hydraquip Group so it is vital that we have a modern, smart vehicle fleet,” he said.
“We are standardising our mobile engineer fleet around the Sprinter because the model has proved itself to be very reliable, durability is superb and our employees find it an enjoyable vehicle to drive.”
Critically, Mercedes-Benz dealers used by the Hydraquip Group for service, maintenance and repair work offer through the night servicing with Mr MacBain explaining: “The Sprinter’s enduring reliability coupled with out-of-hours servicing availability means that vehicle downtime during the working day is kept to an absolute minimum, which aids our ability to offer top-notch customer service.”
Further helping drive business efficiency is that all vans are equipped with telematics, the company having switched to RAM Vehicle Tracking this year.
Mr MacBain said: “Vehicle reliability and real-time telemetry underpinned by excellent partners in Ogilvie Fleet and the Mercedes-Benz franchise network all contribute to the growth of the business and satisfied customers.”
Hydraquip Group originally came into contact with Ogilvie Fleet following the decision six years ago to add hydraulic engineers and a fleet of Sprinters from a collapsed business it acquired.
The Sprinters were leased from Ogilvie Fleet and Mr MacBain said: “I had never thought of leasing vehicles before, but quickly discovered the benefits particularly in relation to providing the company with monthly, fixed-costs, which aided budgeting, reducing our maintenance bills and improving vehicle downtime.”
He continued: “We continue to enjoy an excellent partnership with Ogilvie Fleet. The company makes life very easy for us with no fuss or dramas. I benchmark Ogilvie Fleet’s pricing annually and I find what it offers is very competitive in the market. We also benefit from a pooled mileage arrangement across the van fleet to limit the risk of penalty charges for breaking contracted mileage parameters.”
In a further efficiency drive, the Hydraquip Group has equipped each of its mobile engineers with an android app job manager that has removed laborious paper-based work schedules and job completion forms and revolutionised the back office processing meaning customers get critical information quickly and efficiently.
Mr MacBain concluded: “Year-on-year the business is growing and underpinning the company is a drive for efficiencies in everything we do, which includes a focus on utilising as much technology as possible as well as operating a modern and effective van fleet that meets the needs of the Hydraquip Group and our customers.”
Nick Hardy, sales and marketing director, Ogilvie Fleet, said: “Hydraquip Group realised the benefits that leasing offered, notably by fixing monthly fleet costs with no nasty maintenance bill surprises, particularly as vehicles age.
“The Hydraquip Group has expanded significantly in recent years and we are delighted that our business partnership continues to be enhanced, notably in 2016 with Ogilvie Fleet supplying new vehicles that are already fully equipped as mobile workshops.”
Ogilvie Fleet provides contract hire, leasing and fleet management solutions for UK and European companies operating vehicle fleets ranging from five to 2,000+ units. The fleet today totals almost 13,000 vehicles, making the company one of the largest independent contract hire and leasing specialists in the fleet sector.
Ogilvie Fleet’s reputation is built on an ability to deliver bespoke solutions and a consistently high quality of service, linked with competitive pricing and a ‘real world’ ability to work in partnership with clients. In essence, the organisation delivers the perfect combination of small company service ethos and large company buying power.
That philosophy has won Ogilvie Fleet a string of industry awards in recent years. They include: winning the Experteye Fleeteye CSI (customer satisfaction index) Award in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and Customer Innovation Award 2014; winning the 2012 Best Customer Service Award at the annual Fleet News Awards; the Leasing and Contract Hire category of the 2013, 2014 and 2015 BusinessCar Fleet Technology Awards; beating 49 other contract hire and leasing companies to win the ‘FN50’ Customer Service Award from Fleet News in 2012 and the FN50 Customer Service Team Award in 2013; and being named Fleet Service Company of the Year in the inaugural Business Eye Northern Ireland Fleet Industry Awards 2014 and Innovative Company of the Year in the 2015 Awards.
For further information contact: www.ogilvie-fleet.co.uk