Devon County Council chooses Iveco for new minibus fleet

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Devon County Council judges the vehicles to offer the best available value for money over their service lives

A fleet of 20 Iveco Dailys are converted by Courtside Conversions, part of the Iveco Busmaster programme

Devon County Council is updating its community transport fleet with the delivery of 20 new wheelchair accessible Euro 6 Iveco Daily minibuses.

Iveco Bus secured the contract following a competitive tender run through the YPO framework agreement. The deal saw Tiverton-based Courtside Conversions, part of the Iveco Busmaster advocate programme, selected to carry out the bespoke conversions. Each M2 category minibus will be built to the council’s precise specification – and follows the supply of six similar Daily minibuses via Courtside Conversions in 2016.

Daniela Pleiss, Senior Procurement Officer at Devon County Council, said: “We evaluated the full range of suppliers that submitted a bid, and it was Iveco Bus and converters Courtside Conversions which ticked all of the right boxes and could offer the exact specification we wanted.

“Their proposal also offered the best value, and we had confidence in the product to meet our requirements over a long life in service.”

Each of the new 17-seater Daily 50C15 minibuses has a gross vehicle weight of five tonnes and is fitted with tracking for up to six wheelchairs to be secured on board. Access is via a nearside passenger door featuring a cut-in triple step entrance with safety grab rails on both sides, or via an inboard tail-lift at the rear doors for wheelchair passengers.

Delivered by Hendy Van & Truck in Exeter, the minibuses have been built with ‘ultra-efficient’ on-board LED lighting which can be controlled by the driver, a glass emergency lift-up roof vent in the centre of the saloon and a fuel-burning heater to keep the passenger area warm in colder weather. Roller blinds are fitted to all side windows. Ancillary equipment includes a reversing bleeper with night-time ‘silent’ function, four audio speakers in the saloon and high-level rear lights.

Devon County Council will use the vehicles for school transport – with each minibus equipped with folding school bus signage at the front and rear.

The driver benefits from a leather steering wheel and multiple storage compartments.

Power is provided by a three litre Iveco diesel engine producing 146hp between 3,000 and 3,500 rev/min, and up to 350Nm of torque between 1,200 and 2,600 rev/min. This is driven through a six-speed manual gearbox.

Courtside Conversions joined the Iveco Busmaster programme during spring 2017 and has been performing conversions for customers across the UK since 1996. It is a family business which offers a fully tailored service, specialising in minibuses primarily for local authorities, schools and charities, as well as bespoke private commissions.