Have you thought to ask who built your chassis?
Our Managing Director Chris Ramsden explains why it matters
Availability of stock and production timelines are two key issues when buying a lodge or park home in the current market, but it still pays to keep an eye on what you’re buying and ask questions about who built your chassis, Chris Ramsden advises.
There are benchmark build standards for the park and leisure home industry; BS 3632 for park homes and lodges suitable for residential or leisure use at any time of year and EN 1647 for holiday homes designed for seasonal use (otherwise known as statics).
There’s an easy way to check if your park home, lodge or holiday home has met these standards, as NCC member manufacturers’ homes carry an approved badge to signify that the home complies with the correct standard through their Product Approval scheme and is eligible for a Gold Shield Ten Year Warranty.
There are often many hundreds of component parts making up your home or holiday home, and you’ll also be able to see and assess the quality of those first-hand via visits to the manufacturer or looking at the show home models on parks. However, few buyers could be expected to know what they’re looking at with a chassis though, so will need to rely on the skills, knowledge and reputation of the manufacturer to have confidence that the home is built on the firmest foundations possible.
Most manufacturers outsource chassis construction and supply, and there are advantages and disadvantages to that, but in terms of quality and capability, we believe the choice is clear.
For example, here at Gateway Chassis Solutions, we have invested heavily in plant and equipment streamlining our processes, reducing the difference in price for a galvanised chassis, making them more accessible for buyers in coastal locations who would benefit most from that upgrade. We invested in our own lasering facility in-house, and that not only saves us time in production and transport, streamlining our process considerably, but it’s meant that we are less reliant on outside sources and influences for these parts.
We have looked at every part of our own supply chain to ensure it is robust and put new measures into place to streamline it well ahead of the pandemic. We take pride and strive to ensure our chassis’ are accurate, well-built, delivered on time, offering the end buyer the best possible foundation for their home or holiday home within their budget.
In fact, our obsession with straight lines, quality and accuracy means manufacturing customers can be confident that our passion to consistently improve our chassis’ will be exactly as expected with no issues that would slow down their production either. Through our value-added engineering processes and the communication with our customers we ensure that strength is added strategically without adding unnecessary cost for the end buyer, and we work hand in hand with many of our manufacturing partners helping provide chassis solutions for innovative models before they are built.
We’re in at ground level in more ways than one, and that can be an invaluable source of support and expertise for our manufacturing partners to have on board. Those with in-house chassis production may have done that to avoid being subject to the chassis supplier’s fluctuating prices and priorities in terms of who they supply and on what timeline, and we understand that.
However, that argument can also be turned on its head as a dedicated out-of-house chassis supplier will have an expert team working hard and with a firm focus on helping to manage global challenges, and crucially will not want to lose a key customer in the manufacturer, working extremely hard to keep up with demand.
The chassis supplier could be their greatest asset in keeping production going, scaling up supply without adding risk for the manufacturer. And with decades of specialist experience on board, the quality and fit will be first class.
So, assuming the cost was the same, would you prefer your chassis built by an all-rounder or a specialist chassis manufacturer? We think we know the answer, and that’s exactly why you should ask the question.