What were they thinking?
Many years ago, I was driving through town and I chanced upon a sign-written vehicle which was so totally not fit-for-purpose, I was almost moved to write a letter, expressing my opinion on the ridiculously inappropriate nature of the vehicle selection to an organisation that should have known better. Here was a Daewoo Lanos – an evil little hatchback, designed for Snow White’s seven little mining colleagues – or possibly Richard Hammond from Top Gear. Quite how the Lanos even made it into this fleet is beyond me. Here was a car that travelled beneath ANCAP’S galaxy of stars and quite well beneath it too, so someone was clearly trying to score Brownie points by purchasing on price alone. Be that as it may, someone had determined that all the organisation’s cars – including the ludicrous Lanos – were equipped with safety barriers between the rear and front seats. OK, good theory and good practice, except for one thing: the position of the safety barrier in the Lanos precluded any adjustment to the seats, the positions for which were clearly determined by a crash test dummy of about 5’2 inches. The occupant in this case was reminiscent of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character in The Expendables, who was required to use a SMART car as a getaway vehicle, making the wry comment that: “My shoe is bigger than this car!” This poor guy looked for all the world like Dino from the Flintstones, but in this case, there was only a slim chance of him putting his head through even the Lanos’ flimsily fabricated roof, but I reckon a decent outbreath would likely have blown the windows out. It was so stupendously absurd to put this guy into a car like a Lanos to begin with, but to further restrict his ability to even drive it comfortably in deference to OSH safety considerations was beyond the pale. This highlights the importance of having people who know about vehicles and what those vehicles will be doing as the people making vehicle purchasing decisions. And it’s not just an on-the-surface consideration either. For example: what happens when certain safety items are incorporated into the vehicle? Can the vehicles supposed to be used by anyone, be driven by everyone? What is going to be the perception of your organisation based on your signwritten vehicles? These are just some of things to be considered when it comes to vehicle acquisition.