Blakedale’s fleet upgrade puts safety first

Leading self-drive hire specialist, Blakedale’s commitment to road safety has driven a seven-figure investment in a rolling fleet renewal programme.

The multi-million pound business hires out its Impact Protection Vehicles to local authorities and roadwork operators for traffic management and highway maintenance purposes. Since purchasing its first hire vehicle in 2002, Blakedale’s fleet has grown to over 200. Many of the company’s earlier Impact Protection Vehicles (also known as Crash Cushion Vehicles) have been on continuous hire to its loyal customers over this time.

During the last 18 months, Blakedale has invested over £2m in replacing these older vehicles with new ones that are fully equipped with the latest safety features. This investment will continue into 2016 and beyond to ensure Blakedale’s vehicles remain the safest and most reliable available.

Joint managing director, Richard Smith, comments: “As a family business with first hand experience of the dangers of working on the roads, our number one priority is safety.

“The entire Blakedale fleet is equipped with safety features designed to protect road workers and the public, many of which exceed current industry standards.”

Examples include the eight additional strobe lights installed on all vehicles to increase visibility. Blakedale also fits side-scan CCTV cameras as standard, when currently these are only legally required on vehicles working in TFL (Transport for London) areas.

Richard adds: “We are constantly evolving and improving the safety features of our new build vehicles and we want our loyal hire customers to benefit from the same state-of-the-art technology.

“Listening to feedback and understanding the challenges our customers face on a daily basis is a vital part of Blakedale’s new build development process. Our Operations Manager and technicians welcome new ideas and are always happy to work with customers to create bespoke solutions tailored to their exact requirements.”

The hire vehicles being replaced as part of Blakedale’s rolling renewal programme will be serviced and advertised for sale on the company’s website.

In addition to offering a full range of Impact Protection, Traffic Management and Support Vehicles for sale and hire, Blakedale also operates a successful marker posts division. The team of 15 office, operations and engineering staff operate from their Mill Lane head office in Chorley.