As a brand that has built its name in ‘value’, easyStorage needed a fleet of dependable vehicles to deliver a large-capacity, highly functional transport solution that maximised efficiency, both operationally and in total cost of ownership. Having trialled options in different shapes and sizes, the IVECO Daily 7-Tonne range has proven to provide the basis for that winning formula. Wrapped in the trademark bright orange, there is no mistaking 3.8-meter high and 8.7-meter-long vehicles out on the road.
Supplied by A M Philip Trucktech in Glasgow, Scotland, easyStorage now runs a 100% IVECO fleet with 27 7.2T GVW Daily currently in operation. Additionally, another 12 are in build with a further eight on order. The pioneering vehicles recently saw the company take home both the Delivery sector and overall awards at the inaugural IVECO Daily Mission Awards in November 2021. The company was nominated for its clear demonstration of Daily 7-Tonne’s unique skillset and for its work with the Princes Trust and additional support within the local community at the height of the COVID crisis.
Like most other businesses, easyStorage too battened down the hatches for lockdown. However, the then 12-strong Daily fleet were made available for use with Fresh Food for the Front Line, a charity co-founded by CEO, Tim Slesinger. The charity worked with local farmers and producers to curate food boxes representing a single person’s weekly shop which were then delivered to over-worked staff in hospitals and care homes across London, Slough and Swindon. From March to July 2020, staff dedicated 512 hours to the project while the vehicles helped to successfully transport around 3,500 weekly shops, up to 200 each at a time.
A chance meeting with Glasgow-based dealer A M Phillip while launching a local operations base saw introduction to commercial bodybuilding specialist, Tekbo. The easyStorage-patented design uses the class-exclusive 7.2T IVECO Daily 72C18HA8P chassis cab used to carry a huge box body with kerbside loading doors to accept three ‘easyPod’ packing crates. Additional doors to the rear to unveil a bulkhead that serves as a toolbox for all the equipment the 3-man teams need to safely lift and pack customers’ belongings.
The box body also houses a variety of pull-out platforms, ramps and supports that the operators can use to assist in the safe loading and unloading from the vehicle. Two vehicles were ordered initially and since 2018, the fleet continues to grow with minor tweaks to ensure optimum usability. Each vehicle is expected to cover 30,000 miles per year on a 5-year replacement cycle.
Growing rapidly, now with 45 locations across the United Kingdom and headquartered in London, easyStorage hails the vehicles as the key to its success. “When proving the concept for the van, it was clear that accessibility was crucial. Using a truck would have given us plenty of carrying capacity, but made things more difficult in all other aspects”, said easyStorage CEO, Tim Slesinger.
“Our easyPods weigh around one tonne when loaded and the majority of our jobs cover two or more, so we knew we wanted to leverage load capacity with fewer journeys so the ability to carry a trio in one go was going to be best.”
The rest of the vehicle specification has been carefully curated into a framework, from which the franchise operators can order, and that the company believes optimises efficiency, total cost of ownership and passenger comfort. With pneumatic rear suspension and using the Business trimline (inc. air conditioning, front fog lights, cruise control with speed limiter and electrically heated/adjustable door mirrors) as a basis, the extra-long armed mirrors are added for maximum rearward visibility beyond the wide body. A 360-degree suite of cameras with an in-cab display ensure the highest levels of operational safety and security. Internally, the vehicles include the 7” touch-screen HI-CONNECT infotainment system with Bluetooth, smartphone mirroring DAB and TomTomLIVE navigation set up to take the vehicles’ size and weight into consideration for safe and time-saving route planning.
“We’ve built a great relationship across all parties and are enjoy the willingness of IVECO, A M Phillip and Tekbo to collaborate in continual innovation. The drivers appreciate the vehicles and they have proved themselves against the brief, providing us with the look and feel, running costs and manoeuvrability of a van, but with all the guts of a truck. We look forward to taking this to the next level when the e-Daily is launched”, added Mr Slesinger.
The Daily 7-Tonne range is built upon a high-strength steel ladder frame chassis designed for heavy duty missions, presenting a huge maximum payload of 4,900kg. It’s class-topping turning circle enables extreme adjustability in urban areas while it’s lower and more car-like cab puts vulnerable road-users within clear sight of the driver. easyStorage have selected the 180hp 3.0F1C diesel for power, providing a very useful 430Nm of torque through the 8-speed HI-MATIC gearbox. The ability to shift between ratios in 200 milliseconds helps the engine run at its most efficient, always selecting the right gear for the situation. It also affords a smooth driving experience to passengers and fragile cargo alike, helping mitigate the strain on the driver when parking on tight residential streets.
“Continuing almost 45-years of experience redefining the expectations on flexibility and strength, Daily once again proves itself as a pioneer. The level of thought and detail that easyStorage has put into these vehicles lays testament to the belief in our product, and clearly demonstrates a myriad of benefits it can offer operators over a traditional cabover truck,” commented IVECO Light Business-line Director, Mike Cutts.