Contract hire offers flexible solution

Local authorities, who are responsible for a wide range of transportation-dependent services and local facilities, from refuse collection and street cleansing to mobile libraries and social services transport, can call upon an extensive range of options in purchase, hire or leasing.

West Berkshire, for example, in a case study of contract hire and fleet management, cited by Ryder, approached the specialist vehicle rental group to assess whether transport services could be provided more economically by outsourcing the entire operation, including supply of the appropriate vehicle for each task, plus maintenance and vehicle management.

Andrew Deacon, West Berkshire Council Services Manager, explained why this was such a significant move. “As a department we facilitate a range of transport needs for the whole of West Berkshire Council through our Vehicle Management Contract. Partnership with Ryder has assisted us in providing an effective service to all other Council Service Units.”

Ryder now supplies 38 vehicles to West Berkshire Council under the initial five-year full service contract hire and fleet management agreement set up in June 1998, with extra back-up vehicles supplied as required on an ad hoc basis through Ryder’s Swindon depot.

The vehicles, a mixture of Mercedes, Ford, Renaults and Dafs, are used by several departments within the authority, and include people carriers, specially adapted to take wheel chairs, more of which are to be added to the fleet.

Ryder has also adapted Mercedes, and Leyland Daf chassis for use as two mobile libraries and has supplied emergency vehicles with power tools, cranes and generators.

The contract gives West Berkshire the flexibility to extend the agreement for up to 11 years in total, if the council wishes. It also covers provision of fuel and fuel credit management, including the use of LPG gas for some vehicles. Ryder gets a grant for each vehicle it converts to run on an alternative fuel, which it passes on to the council so that more vehicles can be converted at no further cost.

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