The RAC has started rolling out a redeveloped version of its Isuzu D-Max Heavy Duty Patrol Van, designed to cope with the increasing number of larger, heavier vehicles that need assistance in hard-to-reach locations.
An evolution of the original Isuzu D-Max Heavy Duty Patrol Van that’s seen service since April 2019, the RAC worked with Strongs in Tamworth to create a lowered rear body that enables a wider range of vehicles – including pickups, 4x4s, small vans, hybrids and full electric vehicles – to be attended and recovered from more difficult-to-access locations such as car parks, shopping centres and airports.
All these patrol vans are fitted with the RAC’s All-Wheels-Up recovery capability. This system brings flatbed recovery capability to patrol vans, able to fully lift all four wheels of broken-down vehicles allowing movement of pickups, 4x4s, and even electric cars that would normally require separate recovery. The system also makes it easy to recover vehicles with faults that make towing impossible, like multiple punctures or transmission failures.
“As more and more larger vehicles, particularly SUVs, appear on our roads, we’ve been investing in upgrading our breakdown fleet to ensure our customers continue to receive the highest standards of roadside assistance from the RAC, wherever they are,” explained RAC head of technical innovation, James Gibson.
“This update to the successful customisation of the Isuzu D-Max which we first put into service last year means our patrols can now get to vehicles that are in harder-to-reach spots such as under-cover supermarket or airport car parks like those at Heathrow much more easily.
“The new vehicles, alongside our existing low-roof fleet, mean we’ll be the first breakdown company that can access almost any car park to complete a fix or, if needed, tow a vehicle to a garage. It’s a solution that saves drivers both time and hassle.
“Working with our partners at Strongs, the new model has a completely redesigned rear body but carries all the same market-leading breakdown assistance technology that our patrols use to such great effect – including our leading ‘all-wheels-up’ system for recovering cars that can’t be fixed.”
The RAC’s fleet of customised Isuzu D-Max trucks has doubled this year and should number more than 100 by the end of 2020, increasing the number of broken-down vehicles that can be rescued without the need to wait for an additional flatbed recovery vehicle.
All RAC patrols covering London Heathrow airport now have Heavy Duty Patrol Vans and the roll-out will see more appearing in locations including Birmingham and Manchester.