The supply of oxygen to retail customers for medical use requires a number of important criteria to be met from delivery vehicles, and for the industry leader in this field, Air Liquide Healthcare, the decision to go with IVECO Daily 35S13 models made perfect sense.
There are now nine new Dailys in the company’s fleet – stationed along the eastern seaboard and in Perth – which have gradually replaced vans of another European brand.
Air Liquide Healthcare, Director – Operations, Tony Kelly, said that when he entered the role several years ago, the fleet of 30 company vans comprised a single Daily among a swarm of others.
“The older Daily was so reliable and just outlasted everything else we had, which made us closely consider IVECO once it was time to start renewing the fleet,” Tony said.
According to Tony, the main priorities in selecting a van for the application were safety, efficiency, reliability, ease of use and the general dimensions of the vehicle.
Ultimately, Air Liquide Healthcare settled on the Daily 35S13 on a 3250mm wheelbase and with a volume of 12m³.
Powering the vans is IVECO’s entry level 2.3l turbodiesel engine producing 126hp and 320Nm, matched to the market-leading Hi-Matic, 8-speed full automatic transmission.
“As the vans are mainly involved in metro and suburban distribution, we didn’t need huge power output and instead opted for the efficiency that the 2.3 litre delivers,” Tony said.
“Additionally these vans will cover around 45,000 kilometres per year and be changed over at around the 200,000 kilometres – these are low kilometres by diesel engine standards so there was no need for the extra capacity from a longevity perspective.
“And we opted for the full automatic transmission because most of the driving is in city and urban areas and it’s just easier and more comfortable for the drivers.”
On the safety front, the Daily features disc brakes with ABS, Electronic Stability Program, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Anti-slip Regulator, Hill Holder, four airbags and a factory reversing camera using the Daily’s IVECONNECT multimedia system. To further aid safety, all vans are equipped with aftermarket dashcams.
IVECONNECT also features satellite navigation which is extremely useful given that every day the vans operate on varied routes to make deliveries to different customers, according to Tony.
“In Victoria for instance, we have around 5,000 unique customers who we deliver to, so having sat nav is very handy,” Tony said.
On the inside, the vans are equipped with compartments where a range of different sized oxygen cylinders can be safely stowed and restrained for transportation. The vans also feature racking to house related consumables such as tubing and masks.
Some of the vans that typically carry the larger cylinder sizes, are also equipped with internal half lift cranes for easier loading and unloading.
Tony said that the Daily vans were performing well to date and that driver acceptance had been good.
“The drivers like the Dailys – we didn’t actually tell them that these new models were coming but the transition to the new vehicles has gone smoothly,” he said.
“Our plan is to gradually replace our remaining vans with IVECO Daily models.”