The unprecedented, extended period of inactivity for bus operators’ vehicles due to the pandemic is now allowing some companies the opportunity to extend the length of time they plan on keeping a vehicle.
With this trend continuing, AD24 has revealed it has already seen a ‘significant’ increase in refurbishment work through its sites in Harlow, Essex and Anston, Yorkshire. It is finding that a combination of increased vehicle lifespan, a delay in government funding for new vehicles and a wait to see what happens with alternative fuelled vehicles is all driving the need to further maintain existing fleets.
Ian Wallace, Customer Service Director at Alexander Dennis, said: “London is an anomaly in that tenders and high passenger numbers mean five to seven years is still the average time in service before a refurb. However, in other areas of the country we are seeing the age of a vehicle extending to ten years, and in some cases even 15 years.
“There are multiple benefits to doing this, with the most obvious being cost-effectiveness. With ageing fleets however comes a need for increased refurbishments both for quality control for customer experience and regulation.”
Alexander Dennis is now eyeing further growth in this area of its aftermarket services as increased need for refurbishment capabilities continues, alongside its accident repair and conversions.
Whilst refurbishments are completely tailored to each vehicle, the most common works carried out are panel works, paintwork, localised floor repairs, seat repairs, interior lighting and changes to cab area for driver protection.
Ian said: “Ultimately in a refurbishment, it’s a facelift for a vehicle to give it a second life. Or in some cases even, a third life. We can rid it of inevitable historic damage and a large part of the refurb process is cleaning. After all the aesthetic and any regulatory changes required are carried out, it often undergoes extensive cleaning to take it back to being a new bus for as far as a passenger is concerned when they step on.”
Improved vehicles will enhance passenger experience which will support a much-needed increase in passenger numbers in towns and cities across the UK.
Ian added: “Thanks to our specialised team of technicians, who are the most highly skilled in the industry, AD24 can refurbish, repair and convert any make and model of bus or coach. We’re not limited to only Alexander Dennis vehicles.”
AD24 encompasses all of the Alexander Dennis aftermarket offer to customers, including spare parts, mobile technicians, service centres and expert training.