Why Richards Funeral Services Chose Bespoke Removal Vehicle Over Self-Build
Busy Welsh funeral firm Richards Funeral Services Ltd serves a large area of the Cynon Valley. So their fleet needs to be reliable, with a professional look that honours this deeply-rooted community and give the families they serve the service they deserve.
James Richards, Director and Owner at Richards Funeral Services explains why he made a big decision when it was time to purchase a replacement removal vehicle.
“Our existing removal vehicle was getting a bit tired, so we were looking to replace this workhorse,” James explained. “The removal vehicle we were using was a van on which we’d carried out our own conversion. It was good, and had suited our purposes for many years, but I knew an upgrade would benefit our staff, our business and the families.”
The lifting system on Richard FS’s self-build van conversion was solid but basic. James had a look at some other vehicles including the Ford Transit, which had great reviews, but decided to approach Superior UK to discuss a Mercedes-Benz Vito.
“I really felt we needed something a step up from a standard van,” he said. “We already run a Mercedes-Benz fleet of a hearse and two, so the obvious starting point was to look at a Mercedes-Benz removal vehicle. I’d dealt with the Smith family at Superior regarding our cars, so I gave Kevin a call and he paid us a visit to talk about the Vito.”
James’s key requirements were: exacting Health and Safety standards, an improved lifting mechanism for the vehicle’s top deck, and a professional look which matched his existing Mercedes-Benz fleet. After Kevin Smith of Superior UK had visited Richards Funeral services in Aberdare, James made the trip to Reading to see a selection of vehicles and view the workshop.
“Kevin was able to listen to my requirements and turn them into a practical set of specifications which would work very well in everyday life,” he explained. “It was great to be able to see the workshop and workmanship in action. The Vito is not just a van. It has an executive look, and an incredible level of design and finish. It’s built specifically for the job.”
Richards Funeral Services took delivery of their new Vito removal vehicle at the beginning of October and it was put to work immediately, covering hundreds of miles in its first month. “The staff here are delighted with it,” said James. “It’s a comfortable ride, runs well, and has given us no problems. The details of the finish are great, with excellent coverage on the paintwork unlike previous Mercedes vans we’ve had. The Rise&Fall lifting mechanism Superior built and installed is a step up from anything we’ve had before, and really makes our life easier.”
As the third-generation of this established family business, James knows that reputation and trust are key to longevity.
“The new Vito, and its lifting system, also looks a lot more professional when families see us doing a removal. And that’s what it’s all about,” he said. “We are here to serve the public as best we can, and the families are paramount to the success of our firm.
“Ultimately, the Vito is a better-equipped and more professional looking vehicle than anything we could have achieved ourselves, and I’m glad we went to Superior UK for their help.”