Squadron Owned Vehicles

Thread opened for discussion etc etc etc.

Ford Transit (17 seat) owned here, acquired via MOD discount scheme (it works!), drivers on sqn have gone through Leconfield for D1 entitlement as all are post 97 licence holders. Due to be serviced through Ford main Dealer via service package - at least until warranty expires.

We were looking a buying one through the scheme ourselves, but HQAC have said they are not accepting new orders now until April 2019 at the earliest. :frowning:

Was a rationale given? I guess either the offer has been pulled from higher than HQAC or HQAC aren’t engaging until that which is mentioned in the update is addressed.

It’s because Ford aren’t making any more as they have to close the factory to recalibrate some tools in preparation for a new automatic breaking system being introduced which will be mandatory.

Might that mean they’ll require Transits in the field to be retro fitted? Do you ave the source doc by chance, i am interested to read up :slight_smile:

No, it’s apparently some legal requirement going forward. I don’t have any other details, that came from one of Ford’s sales team because of an issue I have with them.

17 seat Tranny, old style so less than 3.5 tonnes on the plate got a Permit 19 and can be driven on a B licence.

In light of the recent consultation - what would you consider a suitable maintenance schedule for SOV’s that could be made policy and wouldn’t place undue financial or administrative burden on Sqn’s or CFAV’s, as I far as I can see:

  1. Annual MOT from Year 1 (as per class 5 vehicle requirements - Private passenger vehicles and ambulances (13 to 16 passenger seats).
  2. Annual Service
  3. Pre departure vehicle checks.
  4. Reactive maintenance wrt issues found on inspection / displayed by the vehicle’s management system (if applicable), highlighted at service.

I think part 4 would need to be on a sliding scale, if it’s not safety related it could wait until the annual service of its safety it needs doing straight away.

that is what I would hopeall SOVs are getting as a minimum and would expect that to be suitably adequate for a expectation.

I know one local Unit has a “MT Officer” as a former MT Regular its very much his bag. Included in their (his) schedule is a monthly check of “wear and tear” items. fluids and pressures mainly, but he also take the vehicle out “on a run” if it hasn’t moved in a while and makes sure it is washed monthly.
its nice as he has an interest and passion to do it, but he has the time also.

There’s been a bit of discussion on our Sqn about replacing our recently scrapped minibus. Quite a few of us are of the opinion that even a newish van would be a bit of a money pit by the time you’ve factored in depreciation & servicing so suggestions have been that it might be more cost effective to just hire one for the few (once a month on average) occasions that we need one.

Back when we had a minibus it was an excellent resource to have if we needed to use it at short notice.
How many things are done on a whim these days?

We have been without a minibus for over 10 years and haven’t really missed it. We have private cars and we have a trailer and that covers the task of the old minibus. If we need a minibus we can either get a white-fleet one or hire one, depending on the activity.


Wouldn’t it be prudent to do an annual service at the same time as the MOT?
Mind you, you should be able to do filter changes, oil and plugs at the squadron and save the labour and parts cost.

A piece of advice from my mechanic mate, unless the light that comes on stops the car working properly leave it and find someone to cancel it, like he does for me. About the only thing you’d find from an inspection is problems with tyres or lights. Tyres you can’t do much with, but lights are or should be straightforward to do and along with filters, oil and plugs good lessons for cadets.

Indeed, we usually know our minibus requirement way in advance and have relied on the Wing vehicle for well over a year now.

From what I’ve read over the last few days, in order to be compliant with P19 rules, I would introduce the following:

  1. Annual MOT
  2. 12 Month/10,000 mile service
  3. 6 Monthly Safety inspections (scheduled so as the MOT can count as a safety inspection)*
  4. Daily Checks/First Parade**
  5. Reactive maintenance

*With a more frequent regime introduced if faults are found routinely (WExO to be the final arbitrator)
**Each day the minibus is used, or every month if it hasn’t been used for a month.

However, I can’t help but feel that the above will start to start to price squadrons out of the SOV game, unless the MOD uses it’s position to negotiate deals with garages on the cadet forces behalf.

Servicing schedules aren’t necessarily time dependent. It depends on mileage and usage - the new Transit minibuses analyses the oil, and tells you when it needs to be changed.

A family member in the trade has also told me the same. Red = Stop, yellow is just an advisory. Mind you, in the event of a accident whilst a warning light is displayed, I wouldn’t fancy trying to justify why I didn’t get the bus checked out by a professional - even if it wasn’t related to the accident!

The engineer in me agrees with you, but for my CFAV side, the risk of a cadet under/over tightening plugs or filters is enough to convince me a professional garage is the way forward.

Depends on the age of the vehicle as for servicing. I’ve often wondered if there hasn’t been a conspiracy building for years between car makers and garages, so make it seem more complicated and we’re forced into taking it to the garage, rather than lifting the bonnet.

If you have an accident I’m pretty certain the light would come on anyway.

I’d still go with cadets helping out. Not much can go wrong setting plug gaps, or changing the oil and air and oil filters. Lights might be a different matter though, as I’ve had to effectively take the front of the car off to change a headlight. One of our neighbours’ thinks I’m mad, but the bulbs cost enough, so paying labour charges on top grates. Mind you I remember setting my points and changing all the bits as well.

The fault logs are retained in the vehicles ECU (even after canceling), which can be removed, and forensically examined in the event of a serious accident. Say an ABS light is illuminated, and the bus creams into the back of a HGV, killing a cadet. I wouldn’t want to be the one stood in the dock explaining why I didn’t get it looked at, even if it wasn’t anything to do with the accident.

I’d have no problems letting cadets lose on an engineering project such as an engine rebuild, or rebuilding a vehicle, but allowing them to do maintenance on a high cost asset, which the lives of 17 people rely on it being in a safe and well maintained condition… I wouldn’t chance it.

I’ve witnessed the results of some pretty slapdash amateur spannering by people who should know better - Spark plugs sheared off due to over tightening, threads stripped on sump plugs due to cross threading, and a lose filter dumping oil all over the floor about 5 miles after the oil change was done are some of my personal favorites!

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I don’t see how that will price someone out - the only extra will be a service which most people will be doing anyway.