A trio of Toyota Hiace vans is proving the perfect transport for a team of Midlands dog wardens. Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council has taken delivery of the specially adapted Toyota Hiace 280 GS models from the Pinkstones Toyota dealership in neighbouring Stoke-on-Trent.
The authority undertook careful market research when the time came to replace its existing fleet and found that Toyota came out on top in terms of design, performance and cost. It brings the council back to Toyota, having run Liteace vans for its wardens in the early 1990s.
"When we test drove the Hiace we were impressed by its manoeuvrability, the good all-round vision for the driver and the fact there is more cab space, with room for two passengers," said council spokesman David Beardmore.
"It is also larger than the vehicles we were using previously and that helps us be visible in the community and make people aware of the work we are doing."
The standard wheelbase Hiace 280 GS models selected by the council are equipped with an 88bhp version of Toyota’s 2.5-litre D-4D diesel engine. The standard specification includes driver’s airbag, seatbelts with pretensioners, tilt-adjustable steering column, mudflaps and a heated rear screen.
The extra load space offered by the Hiace means there is room for two main kennels and a storage area for the wardens’ equipment which can be accessed separately via a side door. This space can also be used as a third kennel.