D Smith Express Ltd – Lead by Example

D Smith Express Ltd – Lead by Example

D Smith Express is a family run business established in the early 1970’s and with over 40 years experience, there are few logistic challenges we have not conquered.From our base in Essex close to the M25, D Smith Express currently operates a versatile fleet of Euro 6, FORS Gold compliant crane lorries. These vehicles are fitted with lorry loaders (Hiabs) ranging from 36 – 82 Ton/Meter with a range of up to 25 meters. All are available on a spot hire or contract basis for the specialist transportation of containers, cabins, generators, plant and machinery throughout the United Kingdom and mainland Europe. Health & safety is of paramount importance to us, each of our drivers hold current certification of entitlement for the appropriate appliance within their field. Our driver/operators are fully conversant and capable of operating within all safety parameters and are regarded as some of the best in the industry explains Sian Smith our company Director.

We came across FORS when tendering for work across London. We found that FORS dovetails our business principles and ethics. When we looked at the requirements and benefits of joining the scheme, we saw that they fit perfectly with our ethos of improving safety whilst complementing our drive to improve fuel efficiency and reduce our environmental impact.

We achieved our Bronze, Silver and Gold Accreditation first time. FORS did help us by providing E-Learning training and tools that improved the policies and procedures like Collision Management Toolkit etc.

The performance management toolkit really helped us set our targets for reducing our carbon footprint and improving our MPG. FORS has helped us improve our filing systems and procedures.

Progression to Silver and then Gold was our aim from the outset as we wanted to be a leader in providing a safe and productive fleet operation. To hold the Gold standard is seen as very prestigious and showed our customers that our operation is managed at the highest level possible.

We have used the FORS performance management toolkit to set our targets and monitor our fuel usage. We also have all our drivers complete the FORS E-Learning modules. We have implemented the FORS Collisions Management toolkit as well.

“FORS has helped us set our targets on reducing wasted fuel and improve our MPG across the whole fleet.” – Stewart Smith Director and Transport Manager

“FORS has helped us manage our record control and forward planning of training.” – Sian Smith Director

In the past 12 months (January 2018 to December 2018) we have managed to reduce our accidents by 50% compared to the previous year (January 2017 to December 2017).

MPG Accidents

Number of PCNs

January 2016 to December 2016

7.26 2 0

January 2017 to December 2017

11.54 4 1
January 2018 to December 2018 7.20 2


Percentage improvement compared to January 2017 to December 2017 -37.61% 50%


We get all my drivers to complete a comprehensive Medical Declaration every 6 months even though the FORS Standard states once every 5 years. It’s also mentioned in the drivers handbook that if they at any point in time start suffering from a medical condition they need to notify the company ASAP as well as if they need to start taking medication prescribed by their GP or over the counter drugs. We will then investigate it to see if it’s still safe for the driver to be driving for the company and we may even ask the driver to get a letter from his doctor informing the company if he is still able to drive for the company. We will then start doing more driver assessments on the driver to make sure he isn’t a risk to the company or anyone on the road.

After a frustrating period of being unable to recruit HGV Drivers that possessed the desired level of both technical and personal competencies, in 2014 D Smith Express introduced its in-house HGV Apprentice Scheme. Having nearly 50 years’ transport experience we felt strongly that if the candidate naturally possessed the right personal competencies then the technical skills could be learnt. We also saw great benefit in taking a “blank canvas” and being able to immerse that individual in our Companies processes, procedures and products. Before we had the opportunity to formally advertise the initiative, we were inundated with applications from contacts of friends and business associates all keen to put forward young candidates for the opportunity, this has continued to be the case to the present day, where we currently hold a waiting list of candidates. Since 2014 we have had three Apprentices successfully complete the Scheme, all have been young individuals with no previous professional driving or transport experience.

We only have 1 Operators yard and its in a Industrial Estate in the countryside. We don’t carry out any work at our site, we only use this site for parking our Vehicles. Servicing is done by main dealers at their premises and as we are a hauler we go to a site, load there and then go drop it off at its destination. Very rarely would we bring a load back to our yard and if we do it would stay on the lorry which means there is also no added noise. All our vehicles are fitted with White Noise Reversing alarms.We have completed a Noise assessment at our site which is attached as evidence. The only noise is generated when we start our vehicles and do our defect checks, drivers then leave the yard and the only noise then is staff talking ion the office. We don’t have any gates or shutters we open that make noise either

As we are a haulier and we move all our clients products we can’t use alternative methods of transport as we don’t know what we are going to be asked to collect or deliver and where in the country we will be ask to go. We are replacing all our vehicles with Euro 6 lorries as and when they are due for replacement. We have looked at electric vehicles and because of the weight we carry and the distance we travel there isn’t an alternative method that we could use.


We will continue using what FORS has taught us to improve our MPG and reduce any wasted idling we might have and keep our Parking fines and Charges to as low as possible, until our drivers don’t receive any at all. We are replacing all our vehicles with Euro 6 lorries as and when they are due for replacement. All new lorries have the passenger lower door window fitted as well.

We sent all our supply chain and customers a letter informing them that we are currently FORS Gold accredited and that we are in the process of re-applying for our FORS Gold. We recommend they join FORS if they haven’t already. As a company we really proactively promote FORS to all companies that we come across, we believe in the scheme and know that it will save lives of all vulnerable road users across the country if all companies and individuals follow the scheme. We promote FORS on our vehicles, our website, our email signatures and clothing. We have also mentioned FORS in other case studies over the past few years.

Gaining FORS Gold Accreditation shows how dedicated we are as a company to improving road safety and the safety of all vulnerable road users in London as well as nationally. We will continuously use what FORS has taught us to help reduce our carbon footprint and make the roads so safer for everyone that uses them. We have also managed to make a significant saving by reducing our fuel usage and improving our MPG.

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