Running a small commercial vehicle workshop designed to cater for vans brings a different set of issues to the usual workshop manager, Diesel Workshop talked to a busy workshop in central Melbourne handling Renault vans.
Essendon Renault is one of the biggest Renault dealers in Australia and the top seller of commercial vehicles for the French brand. As a result of the growth in van sales for the operation over the past ten years, the decision was made to set up a workshop dedicated to handling work for the commercial vehicles customers the company now had on its books.
The main dealership is based in Mooney Ponds, but the workshop site in North Melbourne is ideal for the operation and its customers, who come from all over the city. Diesel Workshop visited the site and talked to Nick Calvert, Essendon Renault After Sales Manager, who runs the workshop operation.
On arrival, the facility is surprisingly large. It is a large shed with enough room for a set of offices, reception, customer lounge, etc. plus a row of workshop bays down one side of the building and a massive amount of undercover storage for both vans and cars for the operation.
All of the commercial vehicle workshop jobs are done on site. Apart from servicing or repair of vans there is also a considerable amount of pre-delivery work done here, with vans getting the finishing touches before being handed over to the customer. Any bodies to be fitted on cab chassis are handled off-site, but anything else is handled in-house.
“All of our hoists here are rated to six tonnes, so they can handle anything we bring in here,” says Nick. “We can lift any type of Renault commercial vehicle, loaded too. We have a lot of refrigerated vehicles coming in, which are often fully loaded.
“There are also wash bays, a parts store and then we have our new van and car storage. The way we run our operation is any van or car has a three-day turnaround. It will spend three days with us from purchase to delivery. Then we have our own car carrier, which runs up to our dealership and shuttles them around as needed.
“With the carrier, we also do a lot of fleet pick-up and drop-off. It’s a brand-new truck sign-written as Renault Pro+ going in and out of every site. It helps us keep good control of the vehicles and workflow.”
One of the big van contracts Renault has landed is with Australia Post and in Melbourne the Essendon Renault car carrier will collect vans due for service from the depots and return them when serviced.