GC Express Ltd – The Window into FORS

Section 1 – Introduction

GC Express Ltd is a family run business based in Purfleet, Essex.  Claire Rickard, FORS Champion explains we have a wide selection of vehicles in our fleet ranging from 18 tonne rigids, 26 tonne Moffett mounted vehicles to 12 – 26 tonne Hiab’s. It is this flexibility along with our FORS accreditation that attracts customers to us, knowing they will get the best service and a trusted haulier in the process. So when one of our customers won a new contract delivering windows to construction sites in and around London, we were approached as they knew we were the perfect fit for the job.

FORS has not only given us the comfort of knowing our fleet is fully compliant, our drivers have grown and improved through the training offered, our anti-idling has improved greatly and we are a more eco-friendly company by being aware of our fuel usage and emissions. This then has created financial improvements to our Company through reduced fuel costs.  All drivers are now a lot more appreciative of vulnerable road users due to the classroom and e-learning training they have received which in itself has reduced our road safety record.  FORS has also made us more aware of our PCN’s which we then educate our drivers of any errors and omissions, making them better and safer drivers in the long run.

Section 2 – How did you hear about FORS, what prompted the company to join and how long have you been a member?

We first found out about FORS when one of our customers who we subcontract for, heard about the FORS Bronze accreditation way back at the end of 2012 and wanted us to join.  Since then we have gone to Silver in 2014 and have fully embraced the benefits since.  Behind the scenes, although we have always held a tight ship when it comes to vehicle compliance, we are now more streamlined and conscious of the admin side of running a fleet. The on board safety features have shown their worth not only to drivers using them day to day, but when it comes to insurance claims and how customers and the public see us as a caring, safety conscious company.

Section 3 – What was your experience of the initial FORS Bronze audit?

We passed our Bronze audit first time round as we already run our documents and procedures to the ISO9001 & 14001 standard.  This along with our vigilance with vehicle compliance, meant we passed Bronze without any issues at all.

Section 4 – What was your main reason(s) for you progressing (either from Bronze to Silver and then Silver to Gold or straight from Bronze to Gold)?

Once we had Bronze, within a year we were Silver accredited.  This was mainly down to FORS getting more popular at the time within construction sites and with a large amount of our work being in London, we were being asked more and more if we had Silver.  So we decided very quickly to upgrade all our fleet safety features, and have had them factory fitted from new ever since. We have seen the benefits of having Silver over the last 6 years and feel now is the time to take the next step to Gold to demonstrate to our customer and interested parties our commitment to road safety, environmental issues and the FORS standard in general.

Section 6 – What improvements have you made?

These include:

  • Performance data – Use data provided for FORS requirements S2 and G2. See example below for table (data can be presented in different table format if you prefer)

I have entered the data into the table below, however the issues we have is that each year there were a different number of vehicles on the fleet  which was further compounded by changing delivery areas making like for like comparisons hard to marry up.  We do know however that when we look at the individual vehicles and compare across the years that there are noticeable improvements.




Incidents per 100,000 Kms







Number of PCNs

Proportion of fleet that uses alternative fuels

Aug 19 10.72 1.12 476.4456 1275.7039 19.0924 37 0%
Aug 20 10.43 1.04 392.6723 1032.1472 15.4473 46 0%
Percentage improvement 2% 7% 17% 19% 19% -24% 0%
  • Driver health and fitness review – all drivers are required to complete an annual declaration which states that to their knowledge they are fit and well to drive in accordance to the DVLA requirements.
  • Recruitment of drivers – We will usually advertise internally in the first instance as we know those people have already been trained in all our processes. If a position isn’t filled internally or to replace their original position we have a number of sources we advertise in. These include our own website, online recruitment website, local papers, local schools/colleges as well as word of mouth.  We like to encourage drivers from all experience levels to apply for any positions we may have available.  We have seen in the past some companies not wanting to take on younger drivers due to issues with their insurance companies but we make a point of ensuring we are covered for those under 25.  This meaning we can give those younger / newly qualified drivers a chance to prove they are capable.  These drivers are given extensive on the job training along with completing all the necessary online and classroom training.  We feel getting a good mix of newly qualified and more experienced drivers has made our fleet all the more flexible and staff more willing to learn and adapt when new situations occur.
  • Noise assessment – As per the Silver S7 requirements, we have made Claire Rickard our Noise Champion, and she has completed the FORS practitioner course Managing Noise in Logistics. She has then completed a noise assessment and trained staff on the issues with noise pollution and how to limit noise especially out of hours.  Drivers also have a handbook which has a section on noise pollution and our guidelines of how to not use excessive noise or use of the horn when driving, parking, loading and unloading.  The Moffett and Hiab drivers are also given extra training in regards to noise pollution when using their equipment to load and offload.  All servicing and vehicle washing is carried out off-site.
  • Modal shift and alternative vehicles – Unfortunately due to the nature of our business, we are unable to use any other modes of transport. We have looked in depth at the electric vehicles but at the moment the payload on them is too low to be any use to us.  We do however keep a very close eye on the alternative vehicle market and as soon as a suitable vehicle is released we will be looking into them.

Section 7 – What are your plans for the future?

We pride ourselves on having a very up-to date and economical fleet.  All our vehicles are Euro VI and we always keep up to date with the new safety features when they are released.

We have currently been looking into the high visibility vehicles but at the moment they aren’t suitable for us. Going forward we are keeping an eye on this and the dealers keep us updated when a suitable type comes on the market.

We are looking at getting a new, improved telematics system, which will enable us to keep track of all the elements of driving hours, idling etc all in one place and more streamlined.  We feel this combined with the training the drivers receive on economical driving will really help us to reduce our fuel usage and in turn costs.

Section 8 – What evidence do you have of positively promoting FORS at requirement G7?

All our vehicles have the FORS logo on the sides and rear to shop our accreditation.  We also have our FORS logo on all our stationery and email signatures so that any correspondence we send shows our affiliation to FORS.  We also attend several industry meetings and get invited to events where through networking we spread the word of FORS and how it has helped our organisation.  We have had many people enquire into FORS after our discussions and I have discussed with several people with how to gain their accreditation and the benefits.

Section 9 –What FORS Gold accredition means for your organisation/to you?

To gain a Gold FORS accreditation would enable us to move forward with our aim to be one of the industry leaders in compliance, road safety and efficiency.  In our industry reputation is everything and we want to be one of the names that customers and the wider public associate with excellence.  People know you have to be the best to be a FORS member so there’s nothing better than being Gold and using our influence to spread the good word of FORS.

Section 10 – (Optional) Please provide your social media contact details so we can follow your organisation


Section 11 – FORS members’ feedback questionnaire

Please could you take the time to complete a short questionnaire and provide feedback about FORS. Please note all answers you provide will be strictly confidential and will only be used by FORS to help us to improve the scheme. To access the survey, please click the link here: https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=153908006313

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