Royal Mail Group Fleet – Air Conditioning:
Air conditioning is a system within a vehicle that allows the driver to cool the interior air of the vehicle in hot weather, providing for a cooler and more comfortable environment for the driver and occupants.
Because the UK has had a temperate climate in the past, many fleet operators have thought that air-conditioning in their vans and trucks would be a rarely-used luxury and not worth any extra costs. But climate change and the recent very hot summers, including this week’s record-breaking heatwave reaching 40C/104F means the benefits of air conditioning are now generally accepted and appreciated.
The safety aspect of air conditioning is often overlooked but is very important. Air conditioning provides efficient cool air in the summer and in winter it can provide warm, dehumidified air – quickly helping demist steamed-up windows. Also the cleaner, fresher air (with lower humidity) can enhance driver awareness and help prevent drowsiness.
As well as filtering out pollutants and airborne particles, air conditioning keeps the atmosphere in the vehicle cleaner and can also help alleviate the seasonal symptoms of hay fever and not forgetting – air conditioning can provide a more pleasant and odour-free environment for both driver and passengers.
Discussions have taken place this week with Royal Mail Group Fleet regarding the air conditioning systems in the RMG Fleet and the present position is as follows:
- All 17t vehicles and above, including MU’s, etc., have air conditioning fitted as standard.
- All new electric vehicles have air conditioning fitted.
- All older small diesel light commercial vehicles (vans) do not have air conditioning (there may be the odd exception).
- All 7.5t distribution fleet vehicles do not have air conditioning (there may be the odd exception).
Royal Mail Fleet have agreed that the move to electric vehicles will now see air conditioning as standard on most of the small fleet and RMG Fleet will now amend the procurement specification to also include air conditioning in the standard specification when purchasing all vehicles, if it isn’t a standard specification on the models concerned.
RMG Fleet will amend the standard specification for all 7.5t distribution fleet vehicles to have air conditioning going forward.
- Confirmation letter from Paul Fletcher Head of Fleet Engineering, Supply & Lifecycle dated 18 July 2022
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer