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A fleet of upgraded roadside assistance Toyota HiAce vans has won a WorkCover Safety Award in South Australia for its design and fit-out.

The new RAA vans are now attracting the attention of other Australian motoring roadside assistance organisations. The RAA is providing the award-winning HiAce van to the Royal Automobile club of Tasmania.

The RAA in South Australia has 615,000 members and takes more than 500,000 calls for roadside assistance a year.

The RAA fleet of 125 patrol vans is gradually being replaced with the HiAce standard-wheel base petrol models, with dual air bags and ABS brakes, in both manual and automatic transmission.

The RAA has already fitted out 30 vans to new specifications requested by the RAA patrol drivers, following extensive field testing of a range of makes and models.

Announcing the annual Safe Design Award, WorkCover chief executive Keith Brown said the RAA had responded innovatively to the changing requirements of patrol vans. They were now safer and more efficient.

RAA Road Services Manager Rob Ackland said patrol van drivers had contributed ideas to ensure the new vans were more comfortable, with better seating and driving position.

The drivers provided feedback regularly on fit-out for RAA specifications, making it easier to carry and have access to fuel, batteries, and spare parts.

“Changes in our service delivery requirements motivated us to find a replacement van that could carry sufficient equipment and parts to service increasing member demands,” Mr Ackland said.

“The vehicle still had to be agile enough to fit into the many awkward locations our drivers have to attend at times,” he said.

The van had to be much more conspicuous in all working conditions, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in all seasons and locations.

The driving compartment and work area ergonomics had to cater for taller drivers and improve day and night operation of functions such as the mobile data terminal.

Toyota’s SA Fleet and Government Manager, Adam McCallum said the RAA had been looking for a strong and reliable vehicle, which was still agile.

“The HiAce was the answer,” he said.

Toyota offers a comprehensive HiAce range, with the choice of semi-bonneted van or forward-control body styles, three engines and standard or long wheelbase. It also offers an extra-long wheelbase HiAce Commuter bus.

HiAce’s engine choice includes an LPG-compatible 2.4-litre engine for van models that can be matched to Toyota’s fully approved LPG kit.


A fleet of upgraded RAA roadside assistance Toyota HiAce vans has won a WorkCover Safety Award in South Australia for its design and fit-out.