A guide to the Ford Transit Connect

Ford Transit Connect

Ford Transit Connect

When it comes to commercial vans you will of course know that the Ford Transit is the world’s best selling and most popular model on the market. For those seeking a smaller yet just as reliable alternative, Ford developed the Ford Transit Connect, which has become a very popular choice for many companies and individuals.

The compact panel van has been in service since 2002 and since then has seen a growing increase in sales. It has won several awards and even won the truck of the year award in Northern American within its first year on the market.

The Ford Transit Connect was revamped last year and is now available as both short and long wheel base. For those that haven’t driven or tried out one of these fabulous vans one of the first things that you will notice is the sheer amount of shoulder and headroom available in the cab to both driver and passenger, making each journey as comfortable as possible. Storage space within the cab is also very good with not only internal shelves above the windscreen but also a large pocket for accessories and tools on the dashboard. With electric windows, electric/heated mirrors and windscreens you certainly get a great deal for the price tag.

The newest version of the Transit Connect is Bluetooth enabled and its CD /Radio controls are attached to the steering wheel for ease of use and safety. One thing to note is that there are plenty of extras you can order to go with your van such as manual air conditioning and passenger airbag, giving you endless options to explore.

So why not head to your local Ford Commercial dealers and take a test drive, we are sure you will be pleasantly surprised not only by its performance but its price!

The New Ford Ranger Wildtrak

The Ford Ranger Wildtrak was unveiled last month to the European consumer motor market at the annual Geneva Motor Show last month and has been hailed as having ‘21st century muscle and toughness’.

The Ranger model is already the flagship 4×4 from the Ford Motor group and the new improved ‘Wildtrak’ version features many improved features under the bonnet and around the interior/exterior. The engine incorporates a 2.2 litre turbo diesel four cylinder system that certainly gives it the punch that is needed to push its performance specs above of any other vehicles in its category. The Ranger Wildtrak also performs incredibly well when it comes to towing and payload carrying. Announced as being able to pull 7,730 pounds adequately and having a payload capacity of 2,930, it certainly is the vehicle for those in need of a heavyweight work vehicle.

The styling of the Wildtrak is also a major feature of its remodelling, on the outside the first thing you will notice will be its 18 inch alloy wheels, chrome roof rails and side steps. Inside the cab is just as alluring; the Wildtraks dashboard combines the Ranger’s already proven and trusted interior design with some added extras. Dashboard instruments include a display that shows the current off-road angles and even has extra options to include Bluetooth media streaming and ipod/iphone connectivity.

To take a look at the Ranger Wildtrak for yourself, head down to your local Ford Commercial dealer who will give you all of the advice and knowledge you will need when seeking a new 4×4 vehicle for work or play.

Van drivers steer clear of junk food

Many people have the image of a van or lorry driver travelling throughout the day up and down the motorway, making stops at greasy spoon cafes and tucking into fried breakfasts and burger and chips with plenty of tomato ketchup. These days’ lorry and Transit Van drivers are making a conscious change to become much healthier as a recent survey has found out. The survey was carried out by drivers from all around the country by everyone from Ford Van Dorset drivers to London commercial van drivers.

One of the most popular car and van insurers recently carried out a survey on over 1200 van drivers around the country and has found some great upward trends on the nations ‘White van man’s’ eating habits. Over 66% of van drivers surveyed had started to change their eating habits and cut down on their junk food intake.

Details of the surveys results are broken down as follows;

A whopping 72% of van drivers said that they only ate junk food once per working week.

16% of van drivers questioned ate junk food twice per week.

8% of commercial van drivers said that they ate either three or more portions of junk food per week

Only 2% of drivers regularly stayed clear of junk food and always had nutritional and healthy meal at all times possible,

Results from the survey also show that as an alternative to junk food van drivers were enjoying sandwiches, almost 50% of drivers had turned to sandwiches as a result of trying to enjoy a healthier and more nutritional working lifestyle. Next popular was pasta, salad and then fish at only 2% of the surveyed answers.

Driving Training for Van Drivers

Driver training is important for Transit van drivers, especially people driving vans for work. Not only for safety reasons, but these drivers are often the points of contact between customers and the company they represent. Van driving is often not given the credit it deserves for difficulty. It takes a great deal of skill to safely manoeuvre the vehicle, as the field of view is limited to just front windows and side mirrors normally. Delivery drivers have the added obstacles of parking in busy public areas.

Drivers also need to be courteous on and off the road.  A driver benefits from training because they learn how to drive without causing aggravation to other road users and smooth and safe driving with good perception of road conditions will also save fuel costs and excess repair bills. If drivers are driving more courteously and calmly less accidents are likely to happen reducing insurance costs.

Driver training is becoming more and more common as companies look at ways to create a safer, more efficient travelling/delivery system. Even knowledge of such things as how to evenly load a van can be of major benefit to drivers and vastly affect the vehicle handling. Drivers should also be trained in dealing with heavy lifting. A delivery company would benefit from these things for example, because a driver would be able to drive safely to the delivery point and safely unload the product and ensure it arrives without damage to the recipient. If a driver can get through the days work without causing aggravation, damaging the vehicle and leaving the customer happy, and the boss does not receive calls of complaints about the drivers road conduct, then commercial Van driver training has served its purpose.

Thought about a Van Driving Career?

There are many different types of jobs within countless industries that require you to drive a commercial van. For many people driving is a great enjoyment and to combine this with an occupation can be a great idea.

People that have not driven a van before really will be surprised at just how comfortable and easy they are to drive. Take for example the Ford Commercial Transit Van or its smaller panelled counterpart the Connect van, both of these vehicles have the manoeuvrability and the practical features of a new family car.

So now that we know that driving a van is comfortable and certainly as easy as driving a car, let’s looks at the skills and qualities you will need to get a van driving job. Since most of the time you will be on the road you will certainly need to understand driving law, road signs and hold a full driving license. The type of driving license you will need depends on the size and type of van you will be driving.

Working to deadlines is very important if you take a van driving job, people and companies will be relying on you to pick up and drop off items in a strict time frame. Depending on what you will be transporting you will need to be physically fit and able to move items with the slightest of help and assistance.

Many driving jobs will want you to have a good knowledge of the area you will be travelling to; this could easily be the local neighbourhood but could also cover the whole of the UK. GPS systems fitted in vans are of course a great help but common sense certainly can save the day in some instances.

The Must Have Van Safety items

As I am sure you will know that health and safety is very important, especially to van drivers. It is essential to be prepared for any kind of emergency or situation that presents itself and to have everything you will need to deal with it.

New gadgets and items are released frequently that really do incorporate great thinking to help you with any safety issues. As commercial van drivers spend much of their time either in vans or very close by, it can pay to have some of these items installed or at hand in case of emergency.

Roof Vents

Depending on what you will transport in your van you will need ventilation at some point, roof vents are available either as air driven or electric. They are very low profile and can be turned on whenever needed providing peace of mind. It is recommended for larger vehicles to have two roof vents to allow the air to circulate.

Load Restraints

When you are transporting items in your van it is essential to make sure that they are secure, this is not only for your own safety but also for the protection of the items! Load restraints can be fitted to commercial vans such as the Transit van or Ford Transit Connect to give more lashing points to secure goods.

First Aid kit

With van driving you can often find yourself in remote locations, so having a first aid kit can be a great help should you or someone else need medical attention. These kits can be wall mounted to conserve on space if needed.

The Ford Transit tops the reliability polls

Ford has this month been named in a poll as the most reliable van manufacturer in Britain. The survey was carried out by ‘Fleet News’ the largest company car and van newspaper in the UK. Fifty of the countries largest contract hire companies were involved in the poll; results were decided by rating 183,000 vans and counting breakdowns per 100 of each.

In the same poll Ford scooped another victory by having its flagship van the Ford Transit be named the most reliable van in the UK for the forth year in a row.

The Transit van is no stranger to awards; just this year alone it has amassed a huge amount of awards such as:

Best Security Panel Van 2010 – What Van? Magazine for the 6th consecutive year in a row

Best Minibus 2010, – What Van? Magazine, for the 4th consecutive year in a row.

Most highly commended Small Panel Van of the Year 2010 – What Van? Magazine

The latest models of Ford Transit van include many fantastic features such as hill launch assist (HLA), facia mounted gear stick and its own innovative stowage. With all of these features as standard and its great price tag it surely is set to receive many more awards for years to come.

Owing to the success of the Transit van, Ford have used their knowledge and experience to create many other commercial van models such as their compact panel van the Ford Transit Connect and their pick up the Ford Ranger Wildtrack.

Mirror Sat Navs introduced by Ford

For those who drive a Transit Van regularly and haven’t got an integrated sat nav it can be an aggravation to have to fit one to your windscreen each time you make a journey. This also leads to rather obvious signs that a sat nav has been used for any car thief walking past that sees the suction cup marks and hazards a guess that the sat nav is probably stored in the passenger glove box.

For those fortunate to drive a Ford Commercial or Ford Car then there is now an option to have a sat nav unit fitted alongside the rear view mirror in an extended holder. It replaces the old rear view mirror and works in perfect unison with people checking their rear view mirror to see what’s going on behind.

Fitted within an hour by any reputable Ford Dealer, it sits without any visible wires or damage caused. What’s more, it is fitted with anti theft security and comes with a battery charged connection. Called the ‘MirrorNavi’ it has been designed to have tinted and mirrored glass and is made by two leading sat nav companies. It has a 3.5 inch touch screen colour display with internal memory and a card slot.

The MirrorNavi is an affordable £299 plus any local Ford Dealer’s fitting charges. A good price for anyvan driver making deliveries day in day out. The MirrorNavi comes with 2D and 3D map display, EcoRoute, destination memory and maps and voice response for more than 70 countries and languages.

Ford Transit: The Backbone of Britain

The video below epitomises the diversity and appeal of the famous Ford Transit and its place it has in Britain. From roadside relay to aiding in fixing vital communications right through to delivering fresh bread to bakeries and taking the school class to their football match. The Ford Transit has worked its way in to the hearts of millions of Brits and has become an icon and the backbone of the business world. As people still look for Transit for Sale and it continues to grow in popularity only time will tell if we are still celebrating this iconic van in another forty years. My guess is we will be.

The most common causes of accidents

It’s something that everyone will wince at. The thought of a car accident. But with so many more vehicles on the road than ever before and people wanting to get from a to b faster and easier its no wonder the rate of accidents is on the rise.

People who spend more time on the road doing higher mileage, like delivery drivers in Transit Vans, are unfortunately at a higher risk than most. This is due to the increased chance an accident may happen.

Stats show that the four most common reasons for a motorist accident to occur are in the following order:

  1. Equipment Failure
  2. Roadway Design
  3. Poor Roadway Maintenance
  4. Driver Behaviour

However, over 95% of all accidents involve some degree of driver behaviour. Primarily involving excess speeding or aggressive behaviour. Both of these aspects of driving tend to occur in people that are on the road more and are therefore more prone to get annoyed with other drivers.

Aggressive tailgating, flashing lights, beeping, rude gestures or even verbal abuse are all common forms of aggressive behaviour and it seems that we are all prone to behave aggressively with stats saying it is young, middle aged and old people alike who have all displayed these traits.

Whilst we commonly attribute aggressive behaviour to the New Commercial Van drivers of this world we would be wrong. In recent surveys almost every qualified driver that was questioned has admitted to risky driving behaviour, mainly speeding.

Next time you take to the roads, bear in mind the high factor of driver behaviour traits that cause accidents and stay extra vigilant.