Vans of the Year

Date: Tuesday, December 08, 2009



With an almost-bewildering variety of different specially converted light commercial vehicles now available in Britain, the breadth of Citroën’s Ready to Run line-up is frankly staggering. That’s one reason why the French manufacturer has won What Van?’s Ready to Go to Work conversion programme of the year award again.

Ready to Go to Work vehicles are delivered to dealerships ready-bodied rather than as bare chassis cabs. As a consequence the dealer does not have to arrange to get them bodied locally and the body is built and fitted to a recognised quality standard. The chassis and body are covered by a comprehensive warranty package too.

Buckstone Motor Bodies supplies Relay-based Luton vans to the Citroën scheme. Employing long and extra long wheelbase chassis, they offer load cubes of up to 20m3 and cargo deck lengths of up to 4,000mm. Again employing a Relay chassis, Ingimex contributes its usual high quality dropside body. It features alloy dropsides plus a non-slip phenol resin bonded one-piece ply floor with retractable load tie-down points.

Tipmaster produces a Relay tipper that represents phenomenally good value for money while KFS’s car transporter will move vehicles that weigh up to 1,600kg. Box bodies built to chilled and frozen specifications can be ordered for Relay too.

A number of the Ready to Run conversions on offer are based on factory-built vans. The line-up includes chilled fridge conversions for Nemo and chilled and frozen conversions for Berlingo. Dispatch and Relay fridge vans are available as well, as is a refrigerated Berlingo First.

Versions of Nemo, Berlingo First, Berlingo and Dispatch converted to run on liquefied petroleum gas (lpg) come courtesy of Nicholson McLaren Engineering (NME). Vans that have been worked on by NME can also be transformed to temperature controlled specifications by Somers. This means that they can deliver lunchtime sandwiches and other goodies to urban workers in an environmentally friendly manner. If they’re used in London the lpg conversions means that their operators won’t be clobbered by the iniquitous congestion tax.

Ready to Run also includes 12-, 15-, and 17-seater Relay minibuses converted by Advanced Vehicle Builders. With seat belts, seats, seat mountings and an under-frame all meeting M1 passenger car standards, one handy feature is the ability to whip out the three-seater rear bench quickly and easily. It’s a facility that can prove invaluable when you need to carry a pile of luggage, but fewer passengers.

Berlingo, Berlingo First, Dispatch and Relay can all be ordered as glass carriers converted by leading specialist Supertrucks. The conversion includes a side rack and two fixed internal racks, all complete with securing poles and an anodised aluminium roof rack.

Earlier this year Citroën gave the range a boost with the introduction of a selection of Relay tippers, dropsides and Lutons under the Specialist banner with higher specifications than the standard Ready to Run offerings.

Citroën is of course not the only light commercial manufacturer to run a Ready to Go to Work programme. Ford is one of several rivals who do and we’re happy to give its One-Stop scheme our Highly Commended award.


Error loading MacroEngine script (file: RelatedLinks.cshtml)

View The WhatVan Digital Edition