ADT Security Services, an electronic security provider, recently purchased 1,500 Ford Transit Connect models and intends to double that number within the next six months.

With plans to order a total of 3,000 Transit Connects, ADT, a Tyco International company based in Boca Raton, Fla., will replace nearly half of its North American fleet with Ford's new compact van.

ADT tested the Transit Connect in a pilot program with its technicians.

"The Transit Connect seems to work well for ADT residential and small business installers and service technicians - especially those in congested, urban areas," said David Wade, ADT supply chain and fleet group director. "It is much easier to maneuver and park than a larger commercial van, and it offers ample cargo-carrying capacity for supplying our residential and small business customers."

Jerry Augustine, an ADT small business installer in Arizona, was one of 35 technicians who took part in the five-week pilot program, designed to gauge drivers' opinions of the Transit Connect. He likes the ease of retrieving parts and equipment from inside the Transit Connect. "Everything is very accessible through the side and rear doors," he said.

Augustine said he was initially concerned about the size of the vehicle. "I was afraid it wouldn't hold all of the equipment I need to carry," he said. "But after using the Transit Connect for a while, I found that it was actually very convenient."

According to Wade, the old commercial vans ADT was using, which represented 95 percent of ADT's total fleet, resulted in an annual fuel cost of $30 million. With the new Transit Connect models, the company expects to save about $5.3 million per year.