Allied Plant Ltd – Investing in Gold

Allied Plant Ltd is a family owned business operating in West Yorkshire and the surrounding counties offering 21 Euro 6 compliant vehicles including Tippers, Tipper Grabs & an Articulated Bulker moving a range of materials including aggregates, waste & snow!! We also run a licenced aggregate recycling facility and an excavation service. The author Phil Wood, the company operations manager explains how we have improved our business through investing in the FORS program and have seen financial, safety and environmental improvements as we have progressed from Bronze to Gold. We have also through training & vehicle safety standards seen improvements in driver skills, reduced accidents and complaints.

“As a transport business you cannot afford not to invest in the FORS ethics.”

Like many companies we had heard of the FORS accreditation system but operating outside London the benefits didn’t seem apparent. In early 2018 as a company we were invited to tender the National Grid / Skanska Humber Pipeline Crossing “Goxhill Pipe-Line” but the requirement was FORS Silver.

Not having Silver we partnered with West Coast Haulage Ltd, a FORS Gold haulier on the condition we worked towards Silver during the contract period.

March 2018 we successfully passed the Bronze audit first time and in doing so were sufficiently accredited to start the works in May of that year. The benefits quickly became apparent, the workforce was more focused and felt valued, the accident & complaint rates fell and the more formal approach to operations gave us tangible results that we could focus our expenditure and operational improvements on. FORS Silver was awarded later in that year after significant but worthwhile investment in the vehicle fleet.

Allied Plant have been Bronze & Silver accredited for 2 years, we passed the initial and subsequent Bronze audit at the first attempt, having practised many of the FORS values historically such as reducing fuel consumption, improving safety etc. however the sections contained within the Recognition Scheme Standard focus your attention on specific areas and your business can benefit greatly during the audit preparation. The quality of requirements within the standards has also helped Allied Plant to pass SSIP qualification such as CHAS etc.

As we stated previously the contractual demands for the “Goxhill Pipeline” project were for Allied Plant Ltd to become FORS Silver standard. Having partnered on such a prestigious project we have found the doors opening onto other major projects such as the current “East Leeds Orbital Road (ELOR)” which are taking a large proportion of our fleet for the foreseeable future. John Hourigan, Managing Director of Allied Plant has seen the benefits of FORS membership economically and environmentally and is now driving the company to achieve Gold this year.

FORS membership has given Allied Plant Ltd a starting advantage when pricing contracts as customers know that the fleet of safe vehicles provided and the quality of the trained drivers provided give the contractor peace of mind allowing him to focus more time and effort on their project.

Since becoming FORS member we have used the portal to benefit our operation in many ways. The excellent training tools such as the eLearning modules help to target not just the drivers but also help the management focus on health and safety and other work related issues that may have been overlooked previously. The classroom courses undertaken added further quality to the driver training, bringing our drivers and others together to learn and share experiences. I personally found the FORS Practitioner courses enlightening and interesting. As stated earlier the use of the training provided has improved our accident rate and complaints are down significantly. The portal also provides a range of training posters which are displayed around the workplace and encourage the drivers to be more vigilant.

The various FORS schemes have had a positive tangible effect on the business, by focusing the drivers on what they should be doing and how to do things properly, the fuel consumption is down, which reduces the emissions, improving the environment, the accident & incident rate is down reducing the insurance costs. Drivers are more content with improved driving standards so staff turnover is reduced all equating to a more sustainable & profitable business.

“FORS accreditation has improved our business on many levels and is opening doors to new ventures we never expected” John Hourigan (Owner)

“FORS has helped improve our management & drivers skillset on many levels resulting in a safer & greener business” Phil Wood (Operations Manager)

In the last three years we have improved our fuel consumption from 5.66 mpg to 7.6mpg which obviously gives improvements in emissions.



Incidents per 100,000 Kms







Number of PCNs

Proportion of fleet that uses alternative fuels

Year 2018 5.66 0.81 1,457 3,035 55.4 0 0%
Year 2019 7.36 0.19 1,031 2,148 39.2 1 0%
Year 2020 7.60 0.07 1,275 2,675 48.49 1 0%
Percentage improvement 34% 86% 14% 13% 14% 0% 0%

Driver health and fitness has become a topic of interest, at application and interview stages we ask drivers about their medical condition and any factors that may affect their ability to drive and at induction they are asked to sign a declaration to inform the company of any changing factors that may alter their ability to drive. We carry out quarterly eye checks to ensure licence compliance starting at induction and then after any reported incidents. Our grab drives that regularly operate in “dangerous” areas have all had safety critical medicals. These precautions are in place to minimise the risk of incidents as a result of underlying health problems or diagnosis of a condition. All drivers are actively encouraged to report any prescribed or over the counter medications they may be taking so we can assess their fitness to drive.

Allied Plant has over the years recruited drivers from all backgrounds and with all levels of experience. We have found that the newer drivers coming into the industry welcome the opportunity to get behind the wheel as most recruiters still want the “experienced” operators, to help them with this we give them shadow training until they and we are confident they are capable of driving unaided. Recruitment of drivers has not been a problem with most applicants having heard of a vacancy by word of mouth or in response to an advert or social media post. Since undertaking FORS our driver retention has improved and we are finding a lot of drivers coming to us have already started of the FORS training package through previous employment. We recently ran a successful open day with children at the “Goxhill” site which is an area with a high proportion of vulnerable road users to demonstrate the safety features within the trucks and to try and encourage them to look at driving as a career rather than the normal “IT” pathways younger people seem to be embarking on.

All our vehicles are under 3 year old and hence come with the latest specifications in noise reduction they are routinely serviced, fitted with air-con so with the exception of grab drivers no one needs to leave the protection of the cab in a “noisy area”. We have a noise meter on site and assess the vehicles quarterly or if an issue is reported, the drivers receive toolbox talks and are actively encouraged to download the noise measurements free apps to their smartphones for use if they feel a problem has arisen. We supply a range of noise protection producing a reduction in noise levels up to 30Db.

All our vehicles are Euro VI Compliant and we have actively looked at alternative low emission fuels & electric power but the dealers have stated that although the demand for such vehicles is steadily increasing, the infrastructure currently in place and the costs are quite prohibitive in the current climate.

Looking to the future, we will continue our 3 year replacement truck policy with Euro VI vehicles all equipped at purchase to the FORS Standard, we will look to reduce fines, accidents and emissions further and should the technology be developed to enable a cost efficient, dependable method of using alternative fuels in the bulk haulage business we will embrace it with open arms. We will also be looking more closely at the health & wellbeing of our work – force and hopefully if the business expands further we will adopt a more proactive recruitment approach for new drivers that wish to develop and create a rewarding career in haulage.

We promote FORS at every opportunity, the FORS logo sits proudly on our stationary, our email system, on our vehicles, on our website. We have got customers who have discussed FORS with Allied Plant Ltd and are embarking on their own journey. We have noticed that competitors have seen the work the accreditation has opened for ourselves and are seeking to raise their own standards to compete. We are now actively encouraging our suppliers to become accredited or associated, and we feel that by getting Gold and getting others to follow we can help to improve the road haulage industry’s safety and environmental image and encourage people to establish their own career in any ever changing business. We don’t sub-contract work so our customers can be assured of the vehicle and driver standard we supply.

Achieving FORS Gold Accreditation would give Allied Plant’s Management & Driver’s a great deal of pride and demonstrate that as a company and as individuals we have the knowledge and capability to make the country’s roads a safer & cleaner place for everyone.

“If the investment of money and time can prevent just one accident and help the environment the journey from nothing to Gold Standard has been beneficial to everyone for generations to come”

For more information on Allied Plant Ltd and the services we offer why not visit us at

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