Logistics are often the last thing on your mind when planning a campaign. After all, beyond getting from location to location, what more is there to know? Well…a lot. First we should properly define what we mean when we use the term logistics.
Promotional vehicle logistics encompasses all planning and management required to get your vehicle to your event, whilst complying with all applicable rules and regulations. Again, it may not sound like much, but trust us, there is a lot to know.
The success or failure of a campaign hinges on having the small but crucial logistical details worked out ahead of time. In this article we will break down some of the logistical needs of an average campaign, what you should do to satisfy them, and how our services can support you.
Beyond the logistical basics
What are your bare bones logistical obligations? You need to get your vehicle from A to B on time. That is the overarching goal. But within that there are number of other requirements to satisfy.
Is your timesheet realistic?
What is a timesheet? A timesheet or log sheet represents your logistical plan during your campaign. It comprises information such as how long it will take to travel between events, how long it might take to setup and close down, and how long it takes to get to your accommodation each night.
This might be relatively simple to organise in the case of a mostly static campaign, but it is worth mentioning: most people underestimate how long everything takes. If you have planned your routes using Google maps for example, remember you are only looking at estimations of time. Build in extra time, especially if you are travelling at rush hour or through built up areas.
It is also important to note that many venues have specific access times. This means that you may only be able to bring your vehicle in during a certain time of day. You will need to budget in extra time to accommodate this, the last thing you want is to be refused entry right before your big day!
Don’t forget about you!
This is the second thing people underestimate, themselves. It’s tempting to put your needs on the backburner in service of campaign success, but try to be realistic. You aren’t a robot, so don’t plan like one. This is why you absolutely should add rest days if you are planning an extended campaign across multiple locations.
It will cost you more in terms of accommodation fees but it is worth it, extended campaigns are hard work and you will need more R&R then you are used to. When it comes to maximising your impact each activation day, you will want to be at your very best.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when it comes to route planning. Firstly, don’t forget about route related charges, think congestion or emission zones, toll roads, certain bridges, tunnels etc. This may be something to consider when planning routes and selecting locations as it all adds up, even the mileage!
Secondly, know your vehicle! Whilst Google maps may be sufficient for many types of vehicles, larger or older ones will have different requirements. If you wanted to hire a large double decker for example, you need to plan with their limitations in mind, i.e. low bridges and heavy vehicle regulations.
Speed is another issue, older and larger vehicles just aren’t fast. This is one of the reasons we offer managed logistical services, transporting your vehicle of choice from location to location if required.
All our vehicles are ‘social media ready’, meaning they are drivable around your location(s) of choice, but we divide them into two range based logistics packages, standard and full logistics. Both packages are included in the base price of vehicle hire.
We supply professional drivers for all our vehicles, as many of them (particularly if they are older) require an expert touch and more than a little patience! This takes the hassle out, allowing you to focus on your brand activation.
Some of our older vehicles aren’t up to the challenge of long distance travel, so they travel in style aboard our dedicated transporter. Once on location the vehicle and professional driver are at your disposal.
Vehicles in this category:
Most of our vehicles are far more drivable, and more than capable of some long distance driving. Again, we recommend a professional driver; it will save you stress in the long run and allow you to focus on your campaign. There are times however, where if a vehicle is particularly slow, we may transport it to a far off venue - at no extra cost to you.
Vehicles in this category:
Logistics and venues
Most venues come with rules and regulations that must be satisfied in order to access your allocated spot. We can supply you with venue professionals if necessary, to fulfil any requirements.
We touched on this earlier, but it cannot be overstated: knowing your access times is critical to campaign success; there will be no brand activation if you arrive at the wrong time!
Access restrictions affect when you can bring in your vehicle. This might mean you can only bring in a vehicle between midnight and 2am, so you have to factor in the additional hours worked by the people involved. The logistical problems of getting workers home in the middle of the night can be costly, so budget accordingly.
Health and Safety
It is important to be aware of the health and safety regulations of your chosen venue, failure to comply with any regulations costs you money, and you may be denied access to your venue.
RAMS or Risk Assessment Methods Statement, is the most common document venues will ask for. This is something we take care of for you, completing RAMS when and where necessary as part of our logistical services.
Some venues will want you to extract fuel from vehicles and even put down drip trays to capture any leaking fuel. Some may require a 0 fire rating, meaning in the event of fire materials cannot combust in under 20 minutes. This particular stipulation means that certain older vehicles cannot be used, as they only conform to the regulations of their time.
Venues will sometimes require you to have a Banksman – someone to oversee the process of moving a vehicle into its allotted position. We can supply one for you, so if you need one, please note this in your brief.
Most venues will disclose documents detailing their requirements to you, which you can forward on to us as necessary. If they don't, you must chase them for information, or risk being barred from your venue.
Do you have power arrangements in place? Some venues will require you to use their own power supply for an additional fee, whilst others allow generators or other external power sources. If you have complex requirements we can provide an electrician at extra cost.
If you have a long time to wait between event days, you need to plan where you will store your vehicle. Depending on your design choices and vehicle type, you may need specialist storage services, something we are happy to provide.
What are my next steps?
You should now have a better understanding of promotional vehicle logistics, but for more information on planning your campaign logistics refer to our logistics and routing guide. To learn more about the whole process, why not check out Design, Delivery and Beyond, our overview of the whole promotional vehicle hire process.
Want to get into the nitty gritty on any other campaign services? Head to our pricing page and scroll to additional services. Whilst your there why not try out the budget calculator, it’s a great way to ballpark your expenses in only a couple of clicks. For the full breakdown though, we recommend reading our cost and services explained guide.
If you’re getting ready to submit your brief, or want to know how to get the best from our services, the Promohire brief checklist is for you.