GC Distribution Ltd – Putting roots down

Section 1 – Introduction

GC Distribution 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 12 tonne – 44 tonne Articulated vehicles, including Moffett attachments. 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.

We are also doing our utmost to reduce our Carbon Footprint at GC Distribution Ltd, baring in mind the industry we are in and the battle we have to be more economical.  FORS gives us the perfect outlet for this, with our Anti-Idling campaigns as well as the extensive driver training in the Locity modules, we believe this has really had a positive impact on our effect on the environment.

Our biggest campaign at the moment is our “Forest Garden” being set up in Harlow Park, where we have raised over £5000 together with our fellow hauliers.  When approaching companies to donate, it is our introduction that we are FORS accredited alongside our ISO14001 certification, that really gets them interested and we have used it as an outlet to spread the good word of FORS.

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

It was back in 2012 when one of our largest customers heard about FORS and asked if we would considered joining.  After some research we realised FORS was the perfect fit for our company so quickly booked our first Bronze Audit.

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)?

We have seen the benefits from FORS increase in the last 7 years and we have taken advantage of many of them.  We have found their training to be invaluable to drivers and office staff alike.  We have put Claire Rickard through the FORS Practitioner qualification provided by FORS which she has them brought back and shared her knowledge learning in the training sessions.  The driver training online and in the classroom has also been extremely helpful to drivers and many have said it has made them more conscious when out on the road.  We also use the Penalty Charge Tracking sheet provided by FORS to track all the PCNs, the analysis tabs being particularly useful when analysing where drivers are repeatedly falling short of compliance and highlighting where training is required.  The collisions reporting sheet as well as the forms provided by FORS are also used when investigating and analysing incidents.  Changing over to the FORS procedure for incident reporting has greatly improved our knowledge for why these incidents occurred, and how we can best ensure the same issues don’t occur again.

“Thanks to FORS, we have been able to demonstrate that our company is looking at all aspects of efficiency, safety and welfare of our customers, staff and the planet” Graham Paine, Managing Director

“Being FORS accredited has given us the scope to quote for work we would never have had the opportunity to do otherwise “ Ross Williams, Transport Manager

Section 6 – What improvements have you made?

These shall include:

  • Performance data – In the last year we have increased our fleet and therefor mileage dramatically as we are now doing longer journeys as opposed to only staying local. This has meant our mileage has increased and out CO2 etc but we have still maintained a good miles per gallon, in fact this has improved over the years




Incidents per 100,000 Kms CO2 NOx PM10 Number of PCNs

Proportion of fleet that uses alternative fuels

Nov 18 10.47 5.09 180.25 374.15 6.82 39 0%
Oct 19 8.75 2.10 255.86 553 8.30 52 0%
Oct 20 8.61 1.01 1220 1417 23.61 41 0%
Percentage improvement 17.7% 80% -576% -278% -246% -5% 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 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.  We have however just ordered 2 new electric company cars and will be having a charge point fitted in our yard.  This hopefully will give us scope to further reduce our carbon footprint with more electric cars and hopefully ,once the specifications allow, electric trucks in the future.

 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 are due to take delivery of 3 new trucks this year, all with the

As mentioned we are also looking at the Electric vehicles very carefully.  As we are about to have a charging point installed, it gives us more scope for any future electric vehicles.

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.  We also discuss our accreditation with any potential donators in our Forest Garden campaign.

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

Being Gold to us is something we have been aiming for for such a long time.  Sadly COVID delayed our application but to finally get Gold would give us the opportunity to further our reputation as a company who leads in compliance, road safety and efficiency.  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

© 2024 FORS - Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme • Built with