In December 2009, Renault UK introduced the Pro+ concept to its network. Every Pro+ dealership was required to provide specialist business sales and aftersales advisers, demonstrators and displays of the manufacturer’s entire van range, including factory-build conversions and those by approved independents.
Like many of its van-making rivals, Renault recognised a market need for an off-the-shelf van or truck that would suit many SMEs’ specialised needs and save them the potential delay of having a bespoke conversion. The buyer also gets a four-year manufacturer warranty, plus four years’ servicing and roadside cover under Renault’s 4+ programme. Finance is also available.
The new Master Tipper was added to the range late last year, alongside box vans, dropside trucks and a minibus. This specialist workhorse proved simple and safe to operate when tasked with some tree clearance work during our week’s test. A turn of a battery isolation switch and pull of a tailboard release lever left the tipping bed ready for action via a wired remote from the cabin, so prospective customers will be impressed by its ease and speed of use.
With solid construction from high- strength, lightweight steel, and a hot-galvanised steel loading deck, it seems a durable vehicle with a payload of 1.35 tonnes in front-wheel drive form. This drops to 1.2 tonnes for the rear-wheel drive versions, although these can tow a braked trailer up to 3.5 tonnes. The tipping bed has plenty of eyelets for lashing down a load and a cab-protecting grid and ladder rack add security and functionality.
Inside the cab there is space for three adults to sit comfortably and plenty of storage spaces for paperwork and drinks, although some are extras, such as a clipboard holder (£70) and lidded dashboard compartment (£20). The basic specification does not include ESP on entry models. Extras on all models include air-con (£750) and cruise control (£250) and adding a CD player to the Bluetooth-enabled standard radio will cost a further £100.
Ideal for shifting sand, rubble or garden materials, it’s a practical vehicle particularly suited to a Renault dealer’s local SMEs involved in construction or landscaping.
Price £26,900-£31,200 (excl VAT)
Engine 2.3-litre diesel 125bhp
Performance 80mph top speed
Transmission 6sp man,
Efficiency 28.8-34.4mpg, 214-260g/km CO2
RV 3yr/30k N/A
Rivals Citroën Relay Tipper, Ford Transit Tipper