One of Australia’s leading automotive aftermarket and equipment brands, Repco  has launched a new  are a one-stop-shop for hand and power tools, with a mobile tool stores concept, providing new levels of convenience for time-poor buyers and has apparently turned to Iveco to  enable the mobile tool store operation using its versatile Daily vans.

According to Repco, mechanics swear by the merits of having high quality tools, but for many of them finding time to visit the local tool shop is a major hinderance in keeping their toolboxes stocked and up to date,  which is where Repco’s mobile tool store initiative  apparently offers a solution.

David Forsyth, Repco’s  national mobile tool store manager, played an important role in bringing the initiative to life, drawing on more than ten years experience in the industry.

“Our prospective customers can work long hours and have extremely busy schedules, so getting to a retail outlet particularly during business hours can become a challenge for them,” Forsyth explained.

“Mobile tool stores are not a new concept, but having worked in this field for many years including as a franchisee for another company, I was able to see what worked and identify areas where the service could be improved,” he said.

“Once of the major benefits of Repco’s mobile tool stores is that we’re faster to service customers. In most cases if buyers want equipment that’s not on board, we can have it to them either the same day, or the next working day; it won’t take days or weeks,” he added.

Repco’s mobile tool store fleet at this stage consists of four Daily 50C vans that operate throughout Melbourne, with a fifth van to shortly begin work in Geelong and by next year, Repco says it aims to scale up the program into other states around the country.

Each van is aligned with a store and services customers within the general area, but can also travel further afield to meet requests. Forsyth said that the uptake of the mobile tool service had been strong.

“Depending on customer needs, we schedule weekly or fortnightly visits but can also do ‘one-offs’. We deal with a huge range of businesses as well, it’s just not automotive, we work with commercial vehicle workshops, motorcycle outlets, the marine, construction and agricultural industries and access equipment outlets, anything that’s mechanically based really. And all buyers are treated as trade customers, so will always purchase at competitive rates,” he said.

Repco’s Daily vans have a volume capacity of 18 cubic metres and were purchased with the 180hp / 430Nm engine and eight-speed automatic transmission configuration, and  feature ‘Hi-Comfort’ packs.

Forsyth said that the Daily was an ideal fit for the application for many reasons.

“The Daily range gave us a generous carrying capacity while still being able to be driven on a car licence, meaning it was easier to allocate drivers to each van,” he explained.

“We also wanted vans that were rear-wheel drive to provide better balance on the road, and that had strong structural underpinnings (the Daily range features a full-length steel C-Section chassis), to accommodate the interior fit out we wanted. Safety features were also important – there aren’t too many vans out there that could give us what the Daily offered.”

Inside the cargo bay, the van is lined with shelving and display areas and also has bench space – even the ceiling has been used with tools neatly secured overhead. The area provides sufficient room for up to four people, allowing them to touch and interact with the equipment, while the 2100mm ceiling height comfortably caters for even the tallest mechanics.

Other touches include interior LED strip lighting and transaction facilities allowing customers to purchase directly from the van. On the outside a dropdown electric step provides easy ingress and egress while the package is completed with a bright red wrap. Future vans will be delivered to Repco already painted red from the manufacturing facility, saving the company time and money.

David said the Dailys had performed exceptionally well since entering service.

“The vans are so comfortable and easy to drive especially compared to some of the light trucks I’ve used,” he said.

“Our team really enjoys using the Dailys and are pleased with the very pleasant work environment they give us; they handle the job with ease as well. It doesn’t even feel like they’re loaded,” Forsyth concluded.