Thompsons of Crews Hill Ltd – Looking to the Future

Thompsons of Crews Hill Ltd – Looking to the Future

This business has been in the Thompson family for three generations. My Grandfather, Roderick E. Thompson, bought the site in 1949 and worked it with my father, Colin, growing commercial glasshouse crops in an acre of glass (salad & flowers) and supplied them to London & the Home Counties. We grew in natural soil, adding organic fertilizers and manure. During this period we learned a great deal about plant nutrition and soil conditioning, and how and where to source the purest and most fertile growing materials. We still adhere to those high standards today when buying soil. We only purchase green field loams. My Father and Mother took over the business from my Grandfather in 1975. I began to work for them after school and in the holidays, and joined the firm full time in 1977. During the 1980’s most of the businesses in Crews Hill changed from nurseries to garden centres and in this time of transition our role here at Thompsons also changed. In 1982 we commenced selling soil and soil conditioners. We progressed to stock most types of soil, fertilisers, mulches, composts, and anything, in fact, connected with soil. We began a delivery service and started to stock turf. In 1990 we ceased commercial growing and changed the whole site to the garden supply business embracing rockery stone, cobbles, pebbles, chippings, aggregates, sleepers, etc. We have invested in a modern screening plant and have updated our well kept fleet of lorries with another Mercedes, in-keeping with the current emissions laws. I took over the business in June 2009, together with my family and loyal staff, we will endeavor to continue to provide you with an unrivalled service. Says Rod Thompson – Managing Director ‘

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

We take compliance and safety very seriously so we achieved our Bronze and Silver Accreditation first time. FORS did help us by providing training and tools that improved the policies and procedures’

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

‘FORS has helped us achieve compliance and safety’ – David Hatton – Transport Manager

All our drivers have completed their Safe Urban Driving course which was funded by the Transport for London. We have also invested heavily in vehicle safety systems cameras, nearside proximity sensors and audible alarms for all our vehicles. All our drivers have also completed FORS E-Learning modules.’

‘We have Improved our MPG across the fleet by 1% since the previous year’ – David Hatton Transport Manager

  • We have managed to keep our accidents/ collisions down to zero for the past 4 years. We achieved this by making sure we always selected the best route possible to all our sites and we plan ahead before leaving the yard. Our MPG has slightly increased since the previous year by1%. We have replaced 4 of our (4 wheeler) lorries with (8 wheelers) because they are all rear steer axles (Tridem) now so its easier to manoeuvre in London (reducing the risk to vulnerable road users) and it has double our carrying capacity and in return that has reduced the amount of trips we do into high pedestrian areas.



MPG Incidents Parking Fines and Charges
Aug 16-Jul 2017 9.54 0 2
Aug 17-Jul 2018 7.77 0 4
Aug 18-Jul 2019 7.85 0 5
Percentage improvement 1% increase since the previous year 0% 25% increase since the previous year

*No incidents/ Collisions for the past 4 years.

  • We get all my drivers to complete a comprehensive Medical Declaration on a annually basis 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.
  • We have adopted a recruitment policy to try and help us recruit young drivers into the Transport industry. Since we implemented this we have put 3 of our own drivers through their HGV Drivers Licences and taken on 1 new HGV Driver.
  • We only use the Operating centre loading our lorries with all our landscaping products from paving slabs to compost. All my lorries have white noise reversing alarms fitted.
  • We carry hard landscaping products i.e paving slabs, railway sleepers down to aggregates, soils and compost to and from construction sites down to residential homes across the South East of the United Kingdom. We never know where we are going until our customers place an order. Therefore we can’t afford to try and move anything via barge or train as we collect all the equipment from building sites and there is no other method than using a lorry and we then asked to deliver anywhere in the country. Using a Lorry is the most cost effective way of moving our goods. We are replacing all our lorries with Euro 6 engines as and when they are due for replacement. We have looked at electric vehicles and because of the weights we carry and the fact that our lorries have specialist equipment fitted (Cranes) no manufacture has produced an alternative fuelled vehicle that can carry the weight we do and go over the same terrain we do.

We will continue using what FORS has taught us to help improve our Idling and reduce the amount of Parking fines and Charges we receive’

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.

*Please note: All published FORS Gold case studies have been submitted by the accredited company named above and transcribed verbatim