Accessible

miniplus June issue 31

accessible transport Koller attended the CV Show once again in 2017 42 | June 2017 | miniplus.co.uk The Transit Custom-based WAV conversion can take one or two wheelchair users with a short- or long-wheelbase GM COACHWORK LAUNCHES FORD TRANSIT CONVERSION Koller: ‘Best ever’ at 2017 CV Show Approved Crafter convertors named Small, accessible Transit offered in short- or long-wheelbase form with simple, ‘ramped’ conversion able to take one or two wheelchair users respectively; eight seats also possible Devon convertor GM Coachwork showed its small Ford Transit Custom-based wheelchairaccessible minibus conversion at the CV Show, held at the NEC Birmingham in April. All work on the new model is done in-house by GM and the Transit Custom conversion carries one wheelchair user in short-wheelbase form and two in longwheelbase layout. With no wheelchair users present, eight seated passengers including the driver are possible. Access for wheelchair users is provided via a fold-out ramp at the top-hinged rear door that leads to a low-floor area that extends from the rear of the minibus, between the rear wheels and almost to the front seats. “The whole idea of lowering the floor in the Transit Custom is to avoid having to make changes to the rear suspension,” says GM Coachwork Minibus Sales Specialist Jeff Caswell. He explains that without the lowfloor area, it would be necessary to revise Three convertors form part of VW’s scheme the suspension to allow it to be lowered. “When extended, the inboard ramp protrudes only a few inches further than the raised tailgate, meaning that the conversion requires minimal space to load wheelchairs.” Transit Custom base vehicles are purchased by GM Coachwork as vans and the low-floor section is added as a complete unit. “Everything from the cab rearwards is installed by ourselves, including the seats, the carpet, the floor unit and the ramp,” Jeff adds. The Transit Custom conversion fills a space between personal wheelchairaccessible vehicles (WAVs) and larger models such as the Fiat Ducato and Peugeot Boxer. The Transit Custom’s GVW is 3,100kg and it can be driven on a Category B (car) licence. “Larger Transits we find don’t lend themselves brilliantly to conversion to WAVs, but the smaller version is a good base for such a vehicle.” FOR MORE INFORMATION www.gmcoachwork.co.uk Koller Engineering has reported that its fifth visit to the CV Show was the best yet. The Yeovil-based specialist in the design and manufacture of wheelchair-accessible vehicle products successfully raised awareness of the importance of safety among visitors and it returned to Somerset with an impressive enquiry list. Volkswagen has named the three minibus manufacturers that make up its approved convertors list: GM Coachwork, Minibus Options and TBC. All three offer accessible minibuses on the Crafter base vehicle and VW says that adoption of an approved convertor strategy guarantees the quality of those products. The programme introduces a number of new quality and technical criteria to which convertors must adhere, and they will also undergo regular audits to ensure quality.


miniplus June issue 31
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