Specially converted Volkswagen Tiguan 4×4 BlueMotion 2.0 TDI models

When Wilson James, one of the UK’s leading managed security and logistics providers, needed specialist security vehicles to fulfil part of a new security contract with a major petrochemical client, it turned to its fleet management supplier, CLM, to meet its requirements.

CLM has been managing the Wilson James fleet on an outsourced basis since last year when the company was appointed to increase value, cost-effectiveness and efficiency on the fleet of 100-plus outright purchase vehicles.

With a workforce of 2,500 employees, Wilson James operates across various industry sectors, including construction and aviation, where health and safety considerations are imperative.

But the new security contract required specialist security vehicles with specialist capabilities that were not only fit for purpose but which had no chance of jeopardising the integrity of the client’s petrochemical installations.

In a highly combustible environment, safety is of paramount importance and the new security vehicles had to be specially adapted to meet client requirements, as well as being sensitively converted so that their future residual values were not compromised when the specialist equipment was removed at the end of the contract.

This posed a challenge for CLM and required out-of-the box thinking.

The Solution

The solution was three specially converted Volkswagen Tiguan 4×4 BlueMotion 2.0 TDI models, two for installations in the Shetland Isles and one for a facility in the Firth of Forth.

To ensure that the security vehicles complied with site safety regulations and could not create a spark with catastrophic effects, they were each fitted with spark suppressant technology in both the exhaust systems and the engine bay.

This comprised a spark arrester on the vehicle’s exhaust system, and a Chalwyn valve – an automatic air intake shut-off valve for diesel engines – on the engine induction system to prevent the engine running-on when switched off and causing an involuntary spark.

The two security vehicles for the Shetlands were fitted with roof-mounted flashing red and blue lights to the customer specification, while the other was equipped with heavy duty spotlights.

However, all the extra fittings were added in an ingenious way that used existing fitments, greater care and longer wiring but which did not require any extra holes to be drilled in either roof or dash.

This approach ensured that when the contract expires and the security vehicles are ready for remarketing, their value, especially as they will be low-mileage vehicles due to the on-site nature of their working lives, will not be affected. Any additional security equipment can be simply unbolted without marking the vehicles and any future buyers will be none the wiser.

security vehicles
All three vehicles were fitted with conspicuous blue and yellow ‘batternburg’ decals and the words ‘security’ down the side of the vehicle above the running board.

When the conversion process was completed, using a local specialist, CLM’s next challenge was to transport the vehicles up to Scotland,

with the vehicles bound for the Shetlands up against a tight deadline to meet the go-live date of the new contract.

This involved a near-500 mile drive north to the port of Aberdeen, to catch the last ferry to the Shetlands that would take the vehicles across in time for the start of the contract – a challenge CLM met with several hours to spare.

The Feedback

Business Performance Director, Darren Ward, who has responsibility for the Wilson James fleet, praised CLM’s ability to rise to the challenge of sourcing and converting the new security vehicles in time for the start of the contract.

“We threw this at them at short notice, but CLM handled and co-ordinated the sourcing and conversion process very well in what was a new challenge for them, and ensured we were on time for the start of an important new contract for us,” he said.