How to prepare your commercial fleet for winter

Prepare your fleet of commercial vehicles for the colder weather to keep them running efficiently through the winter months.

Treacherous wet, icy and windy weather can pose significant problems for drivers and fleet managers during the winter.

The key to keeping your fleet operating smoothly during this time is good preparation.

Service

Putting your fleet through a thorough inspection or service prior to the cold weather kicking in can help to pick up any problems or damage to the vehicles. Making sure your fleet is in tip-top condition and are all topped up with engine oil and wiper fluid can help to prevent accidents and costly down-time once the bad weather hits.

Inspect tyres

When inspecting your vehicles, be sure to pay careful attention to the condition of the tyres which need to be in excellent condition to manage wet and icy roads. Look out for signs of damage or excessive wear and make sure they are pumped up with enough air.

Winter tyres

Many fleet managers use winter tyres if their fleet are likely to be visiting remote areas frequently. Winter tyres have better grip and can help to reduce the risk of accidents and breakdowns in ice and snow.

Educate drivers

One of the best ways to keep your fleet safe during the winter is to educate your drivers in how to drive in poor weather conditions. Refreshing their knowledge of safe stopping distances and how to adjust their driving for snow and ice can help to minimise breakdowns and accidents.

Emergency packs

Always make sure that your fleet are kitted out with winter survival packs for when they’re out on the road. At minimum, all emergency kits should contain a blanket, de-icer, scraper, torch, high visibility jacket, and extra screen wash.

If you have concerns about the condition or efficiency of any vehicles in your fleet, then it can be a good idea to update them before the winter season. 

If you require financial help or advice with updating your commercial fleet, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance by giving us a call on 0113 288 3277. We provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset financeservices.

JCB’s fully electric compact digger wins prestigious award

JCB’s fully electric compact digger has won the construction industry’s prestigious Dewar Award for ‘Outstanding Technical Achievement in the British Automotive Industry’.

The one-ton digger is thought to be the world’s first ever fully electric compact digger and represents a breakthrough for the industry in combating emissions and climate change.

The RAC’s Dewar Award is only awarded during years where the committee believe there are worthy contenders. This is JCB’s second win, as they also received the trophy in 2006 for their diesel land speed record-breaking JCB Dieselmax car powered by two JCB engines.

John Wood MBE, chairman of the Dewar Technical Committee, said: “Awarding the 2019 trophy to JCB was a unanimous decision by the Dewar Technical Committee. It represents a bold commitment to the introduction of novel technology in the off-road sector.”

JCB’s 19C-1E electric digger is now in full production and has already sold over 200 units. The digger can do a full day’s work on a single charge, produces zero emissions and is five times quieter than its diesel equivalent.

The 19C-1E is ideal for using inside cities to reduce noise and air pollution and for building projects taking place indoors or in enclosed spaces.

As the impact and consequences of climate change become more severe worldwide, the construction industry is under increasing pressure to review the effects that their equipment, machinery and vehicles are having on the environment.

If you require help or advice with financing electric diggers, excavators, or commercial vehicles, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance. We provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset finance services to help you to grow your business. To discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

New Cat 326 excavator can boost efficiency by up to 45%

If you’re looking for ways to increase your construction team’s efficiency it could be time to upgrade to the new Cat 326 excavator.

Caterpillar’s new 26-tonne 326 excavator could boost efficiency by up to 45% when compared to older models. 

This high performance machine also boasts lower fuel and maintenance costs and meets stringent emissions standards.

Performance

The 326 excavator features a new hydraulic system for better control and efficiency, including a 12% improvement in swing torque and a SMART-mode which matches engine speed and hydraulic power.

Caterpillar’s innovative new Swing Assist feature will automatically stop the excavator swing at predefined points, reducing effort and fuel consumption.

Technology

The machine uses integrated simple-to-use technologies to make it easy to operate. Just some of the convenient technologies that it incorporates includes:

  • Remote start using a Bluetooth fob.
  • Operator-specific programming.
  • High-res touchscreen monitor.
  • A digital version of the operator’s manual.

Comfort

As well as improving performance, the Cat 326 excavator will keep the operator feeling comfortable. Cab vibration is reduced by up to 50% when compared to other models and all models feature automatic climate control. The in-built radio also features Bluetooth connectivity, allowing operators to connect their own devices if required.

Maintenance

Fuel filters on the Cat 326 have a 1000 hour change interval and all maintenance tasks can be performed quickly from ground level. The machine also features improved hydraulic filter performance, reducing maintenance costs by 20% when compared to the Cat 326F.

If you require help or advice with financing a new excavator, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance by giving us a call on 0113 288 3277. We provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset finance services to help you to grow your business. 

Would your farm business benefit from a refrigeration trailer?

Investing in a refrigeration trailer can help farmers to safely transport fresh produce further afield.

Farming is going through a difficult time, facing challenges from all angles including political and economic instability, climate change and increased competition.

Farmers are being forced to diversify their businesses as much as possible and become resourceful with finding new income streams.

One affordable piece of equipment that can provide farmers with greater flexibility and freedom to get their produce in front of a larger audience is the refrigeration trailer.

A refrigeration trailer will provide your business with the practical means with which to transport produce further afield without any negative effect on quality or freshness.

Organic, artisan and speciality produce are popular with consumers, and every year hundreds of farmer’s fairs, markets and other events are held up and down the country for farmers to sell their produce at.

A refrigeration trailer provides the means to safely transport fresh produce further, allowing farmers to attend more of these events to boost their income and improve their brand’s visibility.

Why should farmers consider investing in a refrigeration trailer?

Benefits of investing in a refrigeration trailer for your farm business include:

  • Maintains the quality and freshness of your produce for longer for excellent customer satisfaction.
  • Prevents your produce from becoming contaminated.
  • Provides your business with more opportunities to make money by offering greater flexibility.
  • Environmentally-friendly and energy efficient.
  • Helps farmers to meet the guidelines set out by Environmental Health and Trading Standards.

For help financing the purchase of vehicles or agricultural equipment, speak to our team at Richmond Asset Finance on 0113 288 3277. We provide a variety of asset financevehicle finance and agricultural finance services to help your farm business to grow and develop. 

Signs that it’s time to replace or upgrade your overhead crane

Recognising when it’s time to upgrade your overhead crane can help your business to be more productive, save money, and meet safety standards.

Whilst investing in a new overhead crane may seem like a big expense, continuing to use an excessively worn or outdated model may be costing your business more than you realise.

Here are three common signs that it’s time to replace or upgrade your old overhead crane.

Parts are difficult to get hold of

If you’ve had your crane for some time, you may find that it becomes difficult and costly to source parts and components to repair it. This can happen for several reasons, including the OE manufacturer closing and the parts becoming obsolete because the model is no longer in production. This means it can become inconveniently long-winded, costly and complicated to source replacement parts when they become broken or worn. In this instance, it is often more cost-effective and efficient to simply upgrade your crane to a more modern model.

It frequently requires repairs

If your crane is constantly breaking down or in need of maintenance, regularly paying for new parts, labour and expensive production downtime will soon start adding up. When you take all the expenses, inconvenience and hassle into account, investing in a new crane may be the most sensible and cost-effective option.

Your requirements have changed

If your production requirements change, you may find that your existing crane can no longer keep up with, or is not capable of, your new demands. Whether that means lifting heavier loads, working faster, or with more precision, investing in a modern crane can help you to meet more advanced requirements and work more efficiently.

If you require help or advice with financing a new overhead crane, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance by giving us a call on 0113 288 3277. We provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset finance services to help you to grow your business. 

Should you invest in the new Claas Lexion combine harvester?

Farmers investing in the new Lexion combine can gain 10% more capacity whilst also saving time and money.

24 years on from the launch of the original game-changing Claas Lexion combine harvester, Claas have launched their new generation of Lexion Hybrid combine harvesters.

When the original Lexion was introduced it changed the way in which crops were harvested and now accounts for around 75% of all hybrid and rotary combines sold in the UK.

The new, more powerful Lexion 8000-7000 series combines can help farm businesses to streamline harvesting to save time and money.

Blake McOllough, Product Manager of Claas America said: “The redesign brings together significant engineering advancements from Claas that deliver on the superior productivity that today’s ag business demands, offering the best return on investment and allowing the operator to get more done in less time.”

Key benefits of the new hybrid Claas Lexion combine harvester

Improved fuel efficiency – The new Lexion hybrid combines are fitted with a Dynamic Power Intelligent engine management system which automatically adjusts engine power output dependent on load to provide excellent fuel efficiency.

Improved belt life – The Lexion 8000-7000 models feature an improved clutch system to engage and tension the belts, resulting in improved belt life.

Increased harvesting capacity – The new APS threshing system features a threshing drum which is 26% larger than that of the current Lexion 780 and features ten rather than eight rasp bars. The new model threshes out 70% of grain and leaves just 30% for the secondary separation system. This allows the new Lexion models to deliver 10% more capacity than previous models.

Higher grain tank capacity – To cope with the higher output, the new Lexion also features a huge 18,000l grain tank.

Reduced maintenance – The new model’s dynamic cooling and central lubrication system mean maintenance time is cut by more than half.

More precise data – The new Lexion combine harvesters uses a pressure cell to collect data for more precise record keeping and yield mapping.

Soundproofing – Operators can enjoy a larger, soundproofed cab for a more comfortable ride.

If you require help or advice with financing a new combine harvester, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance. We provide a range of flexible agricultural finance and asset finance services to help you to grow your business. 

To discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

How to reduce the cost of your HGV fleet

Use these three ideas to cut the running costs of your business’ HGV fleet whilst also improving productivity and efficiency.

Many businesses that operate vehicles are currently facing challenges that mean they are under pressure to cut their fleet’s running costs.

Some of the key challenges facing transport operators today includes:

  • Rising fleet costs.
  • Driver shortages.
  • An unstable economic climate.
  • Market uncertainty.

In order to successfully cut costs, businesses must be creative and resourceful in how they operate. 

Here are three ideas for effectively reducing the cost of your HGV fleet.

Update your fleet

Spending money on new vehicles may sound a little counterintuitive, but old and inefficient vehicles can be a real drain on resources. Not only do old and tired vehicles need more regular repairs and maintenance, they can also eat up a lot more fuel than modern vehicles.

Modern HGVs are generally safer, more comfortable to drive, and considerably more fuel efficient. The money you safe on maintenance and fuel across your fleet will mean that your investment is likely to soon pay for itself.

Driver training

Your team of HGV drivers are largely responsible for many of the costs associated with running your fleet, their behaviour can have a significant impact on fuel consumption, repairs and maintenance, and insurance costs.

 Ensuring that all drivers receive adequate training, performance monitoring, and regular reviews can help to keep the cost of your fleet down.

Fleet management

Investing in fleet management software can help your fleet to become more organised, efficient, and cost-effective.

Fleet management software uses data and real-time information to monitor traffic and help your drivers to plan the fastest and most efficient routes, saving your business fuel, time and money. It will also track and log information about each of your drivers and their performance to use during training to help improve performance ongoing.

If you require financial help or advice with updating your HGV fleet, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance by giving us a call on 0113 288 3277. We provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset finance services.

What you need to know about JCB’s first ever fully electric diggers

The first of JCB’s fully electric diggers are rolling off the production line; here’s what you need to know about them.

JCB’s new 19C-1E electric digger can be used either indoors or outdoors but is expected to be particularly popular for indoor and inner-city projects where reducing noise and air pollution is especially important.

JCB Compact Products’ managing director Robert Winter said: “This is a historic moment for JCB and for JCB Compact Products.

“We are delighted to go into full production with the industry’s first fully electric mini excavator. The machine has a very promising future ahead of it.”

The first orders have already been delivered to customers across Europe and North America.

Here is the key information and standout stats about JCB’s first fully electric excavator:

  • They are five times quieter than JCB’s diesel diggers.
  • They can be fully charged for a day’s work in under 2 hours.
  • Charging costs are expected to be 50% cheaper than running a diesel model.
  • Servicing costs are expected to be up to 70% cheaper than a diesel model.

As evidence of the severe and rapid effects of climate change mount, businesses are coming under increasing pressure to become more sustainable and reduce their Co2 emissions. 

Switching to electric vehicles can massively reduce your business’ carbon footprint, helping you to meet your corporate social and environmental responsibilities.

If you require help or advice with financing electric diggers, excavators, or commercial vehicles, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance. We provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset finance services to help you to grow your business. 

To discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

To plough or not to plough?

Humans have been ploughing the earth to grow food since the beginning of time, so why are some farmers now choosing to turn their back on this traditional technique? 

Some farmers are now embracing new ways of working as they believe ploughing to be bad for the environment. 

Ploughing and the environment

It is thought that dragging a plough through the earth several times a year disturbs the soil and the living organisms within it, which then has a negative effect on soil quality.

What’s the alternative to ploughing?

“No till” farming is a method of farming which eliminates ploughing and minimises soil disturbance. Instead, farmers ensure that soil is never left bare. As soon as one crop is removed, “cover crops” are planted to protect the soil and keep pumping nutrients into it.

This method also prevents earthworms and other important organisms from being disturbed, so that their numbers can grow, resulting in more nutrient-rich soil with improved structure and drainage.

Benefits of no-till farming

No-till farming can benefit both the environment and the farmer, here are just some of the benefits:

  • Reduces soil erosion.
  • Improves soil quality.
  • Builds soil organic matter.
  • Saves time on ploughing.
  • Reduces cost of labour and fuel.
  • Improves water absorption.
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Natural weed control.
  • Healthier crops due to nutrient-rich soil.

What machinery is required?

Farmers undertaking no-till farming use a piece of machinery called a cross slot drill which drills seeds directly into the unploughed ground. Although the initial cost of the equipment is similar to that of tillage machinery, the operating costs are far less.

For help financing the purchase of agricultural equipment, speak to our team at Richmond Asset Finance on 0113 288 3277. We provide a variety of asset finance and agricultural finance services to help your farm business to grow and develop. 

Financial incentives for switching to electric commercial vehicles

Did you know that there are financial incentives available to help your business make the switch to cost-effective and environmentally friendly electric vehicles?

There is no time like the present to begin doing your part in looking after our planet and helping to tackle climate change.

There are many changes that businesses can make to become more socially and environmentally responsible. But for businesses that operate commercial vehicles, switching from petrol or diesel to electric vehicles is a good place to start.

Electric vehicles are virtually silent and emit zero emissions, so making the switch will go a long way in reducing your business’ carbon footprint.

Aside from the environmental benefits, there are also plenty of financial incentives out there to reward businesses that decide to make the switch, so what’s not to like?

Low running and maintenance costs

As well as looking after our environment, operating electric vehicles can help to look after your business’ finances too. Whilst electric vehicles can be more expensive to buy, this cost is offset by their comparatively low running and maintenance costs, making them a cost-effective option in the long term.

Tax incentives

Here are a few of the tax benefits that your business may be able to benefit from if it uses electric vehicles.

  • Enhanced capital allowance benefits– Claim the entire cost of the vehicle against taxable profits.
  • Exemptionsfrom the following:
  • fuel duty
  • vehicle excise duty
  • company car tax

Government grants

When purchasing an eligible electric vehicle for your business, you may be able to claim a discount using the government’s plug-in car grant.

Despite the grant’s name, it provides discounts for business’ purchasing electric cars, vans, motorcycles, mopeds, taxis and trucks, providing they are on the eligible vehicles list.

The grant is worth 35% of the vehicle price for electric cars (up to a maximum of £3,500) and 20% of the vehicle price for electric vans (up to a maximum of £8,000).

Finance

Need further help financing one or more commercial electric vehicles? Here at Richmond Asset Finance we provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset finance services to help you grow your business. 

For more information about our services, or to discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

4 benefits of switching to electric commercial vehicles

Switching from petrol or diesel commercial vehicles to electric vehicles is not only a practical change, but a cost-effective one too.

As concerns about climate change and the environment mount, businesses are under increasing pressure to make more environmentally conscious decisions.

Electric vehicle technology is rapidly evolving, and electric vehicles are now becoming a more practical, attractive and accessible option for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Many businesses are put off making the change because the initial outlay for electric vehicles may seem high when compared to comparable petrol or diesel models. However, the low running cost of electric vehicles offsets the initial expense and makes it a cost-effective decision in the long-term.

It is also an extremely worthwhile investment when you consider the difference in will make to your business’ carbon footprint.

Here are the 4 top reasons your business should consider switching to electric commercial vehicles.

Low running costs– Generally, the cost of running an electric vehicle is cheaper than the cost of running a petrol or diesel vehicle because electricity is cheaper per mile than fuel.

Reduced maintenance costs – Electric vehicles are functionally simpler and have fewer moving parts than their non-electric counterparts, making them considerably cheaper to maintain.

Environmentally friendly – Investing in electric vehicles will help your business to meet its environmental and social responsibility. As well as producing no CO2 or harmful greenhouse gasses, electric vehicles reduce air and noise pollution. Making the switch will help your businesses to reduce its carbon footprint and become more sustainable.

Employee satisfaction – Electric vehicles, particularly when used primarily for short trips around the city, are convenient and comfortable to drive. As well as using state-of-the-art technology, electric vehicles are smooth-running, emit zero fumes, and are virtually silent, providing the driver with a relaxing and pleasurable ride.

Need some help financing one or more commercial electric vehicles? Here at Richmond Asset Finance we provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset finance services to help you to grow your business. 

For more information about our services, or to discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

What are the benefits of using hire purchase?

Need to purchase an asset, but don’t have the money to buy it upfront? Take out a hire purchase agreement to receive the asset now and pay for it in affordable instalments. 

Hire purchase is a popular type of asset finance popularly used by businesses to buy vehicles, machinery and equipment.

Whilst you are still paying for the asset, the creditor is the legal owner, but once you’ve finished your payment plan it’s all yours.

Here are just a few of the benefits of buying an asset using a hire purchase agreement:

No need to pay a large sum of money upfront– Whilst you may be required to put down a small deposit, the cost will be nothing like paying for the asset upfront. This is particularly useful if it’s a large and unexpected cost, like a vehicle or key piece of machinery breaks down.

Flexible and affordable payments– Hire purchase allows you to spread the cost of the asset over a set period, so you’re paying off a small, affordable sum each month.

Protect your cashflow – Spreading the cost helps you to look after your business’ cashflow. Healthy cashflow is essential for developing and growing your business.

Own the item at the end of the payment plan – At the end of the payment plan, the asset is yours to keep!

Immediate use of the item – You can start using the asset immediately, meaning no expensive downtime whilst you save up the funds.

High quality asset– Many businesses find that they are able to afford vehicles and equipment of a much higher quality and specification through hire purchase than they would have if they were paying upfront. 

Fixed interest rates– Hire purchase interest rates are fixed, meaning no uncertainty on costs, helping you to keep your cashflow stable.

 No VAT on monthly repayments– VAT is paid upfront by you along with any deposit required. You will then re-claim the VAT in your regular payments.

For more information about our hire purchase agreements, or to discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team here at Richmond Asset Finance a call on 0113 288 3277.

More property investors using bridging loans

Recent statistics show that the demand for bridging loans is continuing to grow, particularly in the property investment market.

Whilst property investors may be shunning commercial properties amidst Brexit uncertainty, the market for residential property investment in the UK is still booming.

Recent figures show that investment in UK residential property rose by a huge 150% in 2018.

Tighter mortgage lending criteria has created a higher demand for rental properties. The high demand has caused a shortage of rental properties, allowing landlords to charge higher rent. These factors combined with a slight decrease in property value have made residential buy-to-let properties a valuable investment.

As more property investors seek opportunities to buy properties in the residential sector, the demand for bridging loans has also increased.

In fact, the latest ‘Bridging Trends’ report found that for the second consecutive quarter the commonest use of bridging finance was to buy investment property.

According to the report, 25% of bridging loans were taken out to fund the purchase of investment property, that’s up from 22% in the first quarter. 

Bridging finance is the ideal solution for property investors looking to grow their portfolio as it allows them to move on a purchase quickly whilst the price is low. Without access to a bridging loan it is easy to miss opportunities whilst trying to raise funds.

Here at Richmond Asset Finance we provide flexible commercial bridging loanssuitable for property investment, buy-to-let, and land purchase and development.

For more information about our commercial bridging loans, or to discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team of experts a call on 0113 288 3277 and we’ll be happy to help.

Could investing in agroforestry increase your farm’s income?

An agroforestry system could help your farm to become both more productive and more sustainable.

As we begin to feel the effects of climate change, farmers are under pressure to make their business’ more sustainable.

Combined with the impending changes the industry may face as result of Brexit, these are uncertain times for farmers.

new handbook published in collaboration with the Farm Woodland Forum and the Soil Association, has hailed agroforestry as a solution for both increasing farm productivity and making farms more sustainable. 

We’ve looked at what agroforestry is and how it can benefit your farm and the wider environment.

What is agroforestry?

Agroforestry is the process of growing trees or shrubs within or around farmland.

Incorporating trees into farmland has numerous benefits for both the environment and the farmer.

Environmental benefits of agroforestry

  • Helps to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Habitat for wildlife.
  • Improves biodiversity.
  • Improves soil quality.

Benefits of agroforestry for the farmer

  • Improves welfare of livestock.
  • Improves soil quality.
  • Creates a microclimate for crops.
  • Additional income from fruits and nuts from trees.
  • Additional income from timber later down the line.
  • Replace imports with homegrown products (e.g. mulch, fuel wood, animal bedding, timber posts)

Increasing your farm’s income with agroforestry

According to the new handbook, improving animal welfare with trees can boost farm productivity, resulting in a 17% increase in milk production and a 50% reduction in lamb mortality. It finds that agroforestry systems are often 30% more productive than monocultural systems.

Financing agroforestry

Here at Richmond Asset Finance, we offer a variety of agricultural finance products to help your agricultural business grow. We can provide effective farm finance strategies for various sized projects.

To find out more about our farm finance options, or to discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

Agroecological farming methods and how to finance them

Agroecological farming methods can increase productivity and help farms to become sustainable.

The farming industry is under increasing pressure to become more sustainable to help tackle the UK’s climate crisis.

Environmental issues that farms contribute to include deforestation, wildlife loss, soil degradation and pollution.

An independent RSA report by the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission has said that the UK must completely transition to a sustainable food system and agroecological farming methods by 2030 or face further climate breakdown and the continued rise in diet-related ill-health.

Agroecology is the science of sustainable farming. Agroecological farming using farming methods that work with and enhance natural and social systems. 

These natural methods can produce healthier, more nutritious food, increase farm productivity, and make agriculture more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Examples of agroecological farming methods include:

Organic farming– An environmentally friendly method of farming that uses ecological pest control and biological fertilisers instead of chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilisers.

Agroforestry – The planting of trees in and around farmland to look after the environment and improve a farm’s productivity.

Pasture-fed livestock– Livestock that roams freely and eats a primarily foraged diet rather than being fed foods like cereal and soya.

Conservation agriculture– Using farming practices such as crop rotation, cropping system diversity, soil covers, and minimum soil disturbance to manage and protect the soil.

Biological pest control–This agroecological farming practice uses natural enemies including predators and pathogenic nematodes to control pests.

Financing the transition to agroecological farming methods

Within the report, the commission warned that farmers will struggle to completely transition without “stable” policy, regulation, advice and access to finance and innovation.

Here at Richmond Asset Finance we understand the unique financial challenges that farmers face today. We help farmers grow their business by providing flexible agricultural finance and effective farm finance strategies for various sized projects.

To discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

« Older posts