ManagementOpinionTourism

The vehicles driving accom performance

Moving people safely and speedily around a busy accom property can be the difference between a slick operation and a chaotic one.

Lightweight golf buggy-style vehicles can help your business run as smoothly as their battery-powered ride.

People movers can ensure a positive visitor experience before your guests even set foot in their accommodation, while utility vehicles transport staff and equipment around your property with optimum efficiency.

Need both? A carrier used for maintenance can be transformed into a people mover by snapping a seat module onto the back of the cargo bed, making it the ultimate multi-purpose vehicle.

People movers

Graham Janson, national sales manager for Augusta Golf Cars, told us: “Maximising customer experience has long been a goal for resort managers. In recent years the use of alternative, sustainable, electric transport options to enable effortless guest movement has increased in popularity.

“Many resorts now use 4-14 seat electric transport vehicles to transport guests and their luggage. These vehicles are multi-purpose, most featuring a rear seat that folds to form a luggage carry tray.

The multitude of model choices mean that there is a specific, fit-for-purpose vehicle to cater for all circumstances, including 4×4 electric vehicle options for the specialist resorts that may require a new exciting foray into guest transport.”

Leah Liddy, marketing assistant at EMC Electric Vehicles, says: “In terms of people movers, there are small resort-style vehicles that can have up to eight seated, and a range of shuttle buses that can take up to 29 seats.

“These can also come in a utility tray arrangement as well as providing wheelchair access. These are also ideal in airport situations and they have the capacity to fit luggage as well as providing passengers with a comfortable and safe ride – providing safety first as a stand-out necessity showing consideration for your customers.”

Guest safety and comfort is paramount when it comes to people movers.

Graham says: “As most vehicles are primarily used in pedestrian precincts, the safety features are considerable.

“Many include four wheel hydraulic brakes, the ability to speed restrict to match site requirements, automatic park brake systems, regenerative braking, head lights, tail and brake lights, turn indicators, horn, seat belts, rear view mirrors, brush guards, reverse beepers, rear view cameras and audible reverse proximity sensors.”

Utility vehicles

Utility vehicle with laundry fittings. Image supplied.

Aside from transferring guests, utility vehicles can make light work of most tasks around a property. They allow housekeepers and ground staff to work speedily and with less effort, helping to reduce both costs and work-related injuries.

They can be customised to suit most requirements: refrigerated compartments allow for easy transporting of hot or cold food and drinks, for example.

Leah says: “When considering a utility vehicle in terms of size and capability, our utility range, for example, can be offered in a two-seat or four-seat configuration of either a short or a long wheelbase option.

“The short wheelbase offers compact size with the short tray giving you enough to be functional and practical on smaller sites. However, with the long tray option, more activities can be completed in one load, so if your site is bigger and requires more maintenance, this would be the better choice.

“The laundry housekeeping unit gives you extra functionality and practicality in your workday. This clean and dirty work unit gives you storage capabilities for your equipment to maximise productivity.

The cabinet storage compartment in an extra-long wheelbase in particular helps you maximise efficiency giving you the flexibility of storage, usability and practicality all in one.”

Utility vehicles can include cargo beds with drop sides for the transport of heavy items, and they can be fitted with steel mesh sides to contain loads such as foliage during maintenance runs.

Waste collection is made infinitely easier with a tail lift modification to help with bin lifting or beach cleaning. And ladder racks, tow bars, snow blades and trailers can all enhance the vehicles’ capabilities.

Graham points out: “Sustainable electric vehicles provide cost effective, silent and unlimited access to all areas of resorts. There is no noise to disturb guests as vehicles pass by to perform maintenance, housekeeping and food delivery tasks.

“The vehicles are specifically built to cater for all jobs within a park or resort. Some feature heavy duty aluminium electric tipping trays for grounds maintenance others have water and dust proof compartments used as linen buggies for housekeeping, others have tow ratings up to 3629kg. With an average width of 1.2m the vehicles have an excellent turning circle and provide access to areas that a normal utility style vehicle cannot provide.”

Electric charge

Utility vehicle. Image supplied

While some operators prefer the go-all-day, off-road performance ability of petrol and diesel vehicles, particularly in rugged environs, electric options now dominate the market.

Graham says: “The petrol vs electric debate has been going on for many years. Most locations and uses will be best served by using an electric vehicle. However, in some cases, such as areas of extreme low temperature, a petrol vehicle would be preferred to an electric option. Our expert advice is available to clients so that the best available vehicle options, to suit their location and requirements, are made available.”

What is it that makes electric so popular? The answer is improved battery technology. Maintenance-free gel cell and lithium-powered batteries are responsible for vastly improved power and longevity performance in modern electric vehicles.

“Maintenance free gel batteries are standard on most resort vehicles and optional on others,” Graham says.

“We are now introducing lithium ion batteries to some of the high-end range, these batteries carry a five to eight-year warranty.”

The appeal of electric is multi-faceted, according to Leah.

 “Electric vehicles are great for the environment and have other advantages as well,” she says.

“A zero tailgate emission vehicle offers minimal noise pollution, lower maintenance costs and all day charging for you to go about your working day with ease.

“Overall it will reflect well on your brand to choose electric as sustainable practices in business show an effort for improving our environment.”

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Kate Jackson

Kate Jackson is the editor of Accomnews. You can reach her at any time with questions or submissions: [email protected]

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