The comprehensive line-up of specially converted light commercial vehicles that Citroen has made available in the UK still leaves the competition trailing in its wake and has once more propelled the manufacturer to the top in the One-Stop-Shop category of the What Van? Awards.
Despite the breadth of conversions already on offer, the manufacturer has this year further expanded its Ready to Run range with new, higher payload versions of the 3.5-tonne Relay-based Plant & Go low-loading, wheeled and tracked plant carriers.
The versatile new range is designed to meet the needs of the landscaping, ground maintenance, hire and construction sectors. Citroen Relay Plant & Go vehicles can also work as general purpose low-loading, flat bed cargo carriers.
Since Citroen added the Plant & Go body to Ready to Run last year, body builder KFS has increased maximum payload from 1600kg to 1680kg.
Priced from £19,460, the Plant & Go range includes a low-loading flat deck, which measures 1580mm between the wheel arches and comes with a choice of 3.0, 4.0 and 4.6m deck lengths, a low-loading beaver tail with a 3.2 or 3.7m flat deck section and a low-loading wide track, which is 1820mm between the wheel arches and available in flat deck or beaver tail configurations to suit the largest ride-on mowers.
The all-alloy Plant & Go body is based on a Relay 35 120hp or 160hp cab unit and built on a KFS-specification drop frame galvanised steel rear chassis, which facilitates an ultra-low main deck height of just 530mm.
This low-loading capability means it can replace trailers for many track/wheeled plant carriage applications – operating efficiently and safely both on the road and on site.
Buckstone Motor Bodies supplies Relay-based Luton vans to the Ready to Run scheme. Using long and extra-long wheelbase chassis, they offer load space of up to 20cu/m and cargo deck lengths of up to 4000mm.
Also employing a Relay chassis, Ingimex contributes a dropside body with alloy dropsides and a non-slip phenol resin ply floor with retractable load tie-down points.
A number of Ready to Run conversions are based on factory-produced vans. These include chilled fridge conversions for the Nemo and chilled and frozen adaptations for the Berlingo. Dispatch and Relay fridge vans are also available.
Nicholson Maclaren Engineering converts the Nemo, Berlingo First, Berlingo and Dispatch to run on LPG, which means until 2012 the vans can travel into central London without having to pay the congestion charge, if registered by the end of this year.
But Citroen is facing some stiff competition when it comes to conversions. Ford’s One Stop Shop scheme is increasingly making its presence felt in the sector and comes highly commended by What Van? This year, Ford introduced the Phase Five version of its Transit Tipper, with conversions carried out by Hampshire-based VFS.