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Promoted | Volkswagen mobile servicing: the Van Centre that comes to you
Not every business can spare the time for vans to be off the road for simple servicing and repairs. So, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles re-thought the process...
Update (22nd June 2020): During the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is following the latest government advice to maintain the health and safety of its Van Centre teams and its customers, while continuing to support the hard-working businesses delivering vital services to their communities. Mobile Service technicians can complete all the required work at your preferred location while adhering to strict social distancing and cleanliness guidelines – which means your drivers will remain safe and well protected
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has made van servicing easier than ever, with a range of service options at its 97 Authorised Repairers around the UK that get your van back on the road and working for you as quickly as possible.
However, the busy nature of running a business means there’s often little spare time for vehicles to be off the road, or the time required to organise the logistics of moving vans to and from their local Van Centre – especially when it comes to simple tasks such as a full service, minor warranty work or easy electrical fixes that could potentially be done in the comfort of your own car park.
That’s why Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles – as part of its ‘Working With You’ commitment – has rethought how servicing is done, with Mobile Service vans that bring service technicians to you. They deliver the same expertise and quality workmanship you’d expect from a Volkswagen Van Centre, using Volkswagen Genuine Parts, but on your doorstep and at a time that’s convenient for your business.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ Mobile Service teams can also do regular vehicle health checks, helping you take a more preventative approach to spotting problems and fixing issues before they cost your business time and money. Because Mobile Service vans come to your choice of location, they can work through multiple vans in one appointment, cutting the time spent with individual drivers visiting Van Centres and sitting in waiting rooms.
The result: you spend less time worrying about scheduling services, while your vans spend more time on the road.
Dealer group Cordwallis was one of the first Van Centre networks to pioneer Mobile Service vans about three years ago, and Mobile Service Technician George Austin was one of the first to be accredited across the network. We joined him on an early-morning call to find out how the process works, and the benefit it offers you.
A full service – in a van
George is one of three Cordwallis Mobile Service Technicians – based in Oxford, Heathrow and Maidenhead – who cover the area around the M4 and M25 corridors.
Each of them drives a sleek Mobile Service Clinic-liveried Volkswagen Crafter, packed with heavy-duty boxes containing all the essential tools needed to keep the full range of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles models working – as well as trays of commonly used wear-and-tear Volkswagen Genuine Parts such as oil filters, brake pads and discs, wiper blades and bulbs, and essentials such as engine oil and AdBlue.
There’s advanced equipment for air-con servicing and coolant pressure tests and even a small angle grinder, while a portable extendable gazebo lets the Mobile Service Technicians protect themselves, their work – and your van – from the elements. “The whole point of a Mobile Service van is that it’s a garage on wheels,” George jokes. “The only thing we’re missing is the service ramp.” Even then, a powerful hydraulic jack lets George take a look under the vehicles he’s working on.
“We’re out in all weathers – snow and rain,” George explains. “A couple of days ago, I was on a building site, ankle-deep in mud. Equally, we can do some odd hours. We do work for a healthcare company, for example, which we complete overnight, because during the day those vehicles are delivering life-saving services. It’s definitely an interesting job. You really do go somewhere different every day.”
From the small jobs to the big ones
Today’s job sheet for George reflects the typical tasks that Volkswagen’s Mobile Service vans do every day of the year – including a basic service on a pair of Transporter passenger carriers for a west London chauffeur firm, one of which needs a headlight bulb replacement and has a suspected loss of coolant pressure.
“We have a real mix of customers,” George says. “From big fleets of 1,000 vehicles to small fleets of three vehicles or so. Equally, there’s a real mix of jobs and ages of vehicles that are still in-warranty and those that are out of warranty. The majority of tasks are basic interim services, visual health checks, services that don’t require the vehicle going on a ramp, MOT repairs and basic warranty work, and we bring all the common parts with us that we know can suffer from normal wear-and-tear.
“But we’re also here to look at the bigger problems and fix them on-site if we can. After all, we’re here to reduce the amount of downtime for vans – making sure they can spend more time on the road, working hard for the customer.”
Before tackling the service, George examines the suspected coolant leak first. “On a standard service, we can usually turn around things within a couple of hours and get the van back on the road quickly,” he explains. “But we always check the biggest parts of the job sheet first – because there’s no point doing a basic service if more comprehensive work is needed.”
Taking away the hassle
A Mobile Service team can do some pretty big tasks on-site. “I replaced a turbo once, which is a big job,” says George. “A cambelt replacement can be done in around four hours – that’s still quicker than sending a vehicle to a Van Centre if the vehicle needs to be back on the road and working quickly.
“If a vehicle really does need a big repair, we’ll liaise with Volkswagen Roadside Assistance to get the vehicle recovered back to the nearest Van Centre workshop. The service can also be done when the van is on the ramp. If we did it here, we’d just be wasting the customer’s time. We always keep the customer informed about what’s going on at every stage of the process.”