CHANDLER, Ariz. – How does an automaker evaluate in-house durability testing on a new commercial vehicle? For Nissan, the answer was to get it in the hands of a customer that is going to punish the van and let them go.
Above and Beyond Delivery in Chandler, Ariz. was the right partner. The company operates a fleet of about 20 Nissan NV 3500 cargo vans supporting the mining, pharmaceuticals and food services industries.
Above and Beyond began working with Nissan back in 2011 when an NV Cargo Van was lent to the company that would be put to the test on the company's most severe delivery route. In the heat of Arizona's Sonoran desert, the NV went into service traveling to a copper mine two times a day, 365 days a year.
The initial vehicle used by Above and Beyond accrued more than 550,000 miles on its odometer in 32 months with few repairs or downtime in the course of its service – the most major being an alternator replacement at 382,000 miles.
"Our drivers operate in the extreme weather of Arizona in challenging conditions, such as the Morenci Mine, which is one of the world's largest copper mines," said James Bowman, president, Above and Beyond Delivery. "Service failures are not an option for us."
Bowman says that if a vehicle is down, it is not making money, so the reliability of the Nissan NVs is a massive advantage.
Above and Beyond measured the operating costs of the NV and concluded that the vehicle delivers – so much so that they are transitioning to an all Nissan cargo van fleet.
"Our maintenance costs went way down," said Jorge Aguirre, operations manager for Above and Beyond Delivery. "It was the difference between night and day. If you don't take chances you never know, and this is a proven thing. If we hadn't have taken the chance, we would still be with our previous product. It wasn't just us – it was the truck that sold itself to us. It blew us away."
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