Harlex Haulage Services Ltd – Driving into the future


HARLEX Haulage Services Ltd is a family run business that has been operating for 20 years. The operating centre is at Park Pale Farm near Cobham in Kent. The company runs a fleet of 19 32 ton tippers and grabs delivering services that include site clearance, bulk excavation, aggregate and soil delivery for its valued customers. The office is run by a dedicated team of professional personnel who support the transport team.

We were first introduced to FORS in 2011 when we entered into the contract for Cross rail for Bond Street Station in London’s West End. Harlex supplied on a 24hr 7 day a week basis, lorry’s and road sweepers for both ticket hall excavations.

FORS introduced a new way of looking at the business with the initial Bronze focus on compliance. The progression to silver focused our attention on many items to assist the safe and efficient running of our fleet. FORS together with our ISO accreditation, fuel management system, all round vehicle cameras including an in-cab camera, fleet replacement policy and clear management makes Harlex one of the top tier operators in its field. We were delighted when we achieved the Gold accreditation in 2016 and have maintain the Gold Standard for the last four years.

Being a Gold accredited member, the emphasis is on change that benefits the environment. FORS has provided us with guidance and support to not only look at our vehicles and driver behaviour but to look at our surroundings and operating centre. This has energised our business to promote initiatives that are environmentally friendly. We have invested in the future with a complete makeover of the operating centre with a new office building designed like a traditional Kent barn. The new workshop was developed with a multi-bay facility and new equipment allowing us to meet and exceed MOT standards. This also allows us to facilitate our proactive preventative maintenance program. The operating yard has now been redesigned to reduce the impact on the landscape and environment. The yard has been block paved to reduce noise and to help the new drainage collection system for rain water. We have designed and built a new wash area that uses the collected rain water. The run off from the wash area is recycled by collecting it in a settlement tank to be used again. We also contribute to the Woodland Carbon Trust to plant trees to reduce carbon.

Over the years of membership, we have used the resources provided by FORS to develop our staff. This has provided additional efficiencies with the team being involved in the health of the business. The tool box talks available have provided excellent guidance to the drivers with a greater understanding of their roles and responsibilities.

Richard Gagg, Director, says: `The company are constantly reviewing the operation and have continued focus on safety and the environment. This has been achieved using the FORS management tools and training aids.’

Richard Gagg, Director, says: `With better fuel monitoring and the continued investment in driver training. We have control of this important business and environmental element. Which supports our progression towards, peak performance.’

We have found over the years that the ever evolving FORS standard provides us with the tools and emphasis to review our operation and also confirms a way of working that promotes safety and efficiency. We have seen the benefits of monitoring our business and developing our drivers. We have been FORS members for 10 years and have used this time to develop our understanding of our business using the FORS progression route and have achieved and maintained Gold accreditation. We are using the standard to improve the working environment in combatting unnecessary noise and the reduction in emissions.

The company have continued to monitor fuel and improve fuel efficiency although the number of travelled kilometres and fuel usage has fluctuated. We are continuing our focus to reduce most of our emissions. Although our vehicle incidents are down. The reduced number of kilometres has shown a slight increase per 100,000kms but our fines and charges have been reduced dramatically.




Incidents per 100,000 Kms







Number of PCNs

Proportion of fleet that uses alternative fuels

Year 2018 10.3 0.42 1086.24 1738.53 26.01 11 0%
Year 2019 10.3 0.82 1517.76 2435.12 36.44 8 0%
Year 2020 6.28 0.46 1199.51 1171.64 17.53 3 0%
Percentage improvement 0% 0% 0% 66% 33% 73% 0%
  • We provide fresh fruit to all staff during the harvest season to support and encourage change as well as annual medicals. We see driver health as an integral part of our drive towards peak performance and the ongoing monitoring of drivers has helped to identify conditions that can be addressed at the earliest opportunity. This supports the drivers in being pro-active towards their own health.
  • We have a clear strategy for recruitment of new drivers. Being a family run business everyone works as a team. We advertise on recruitment websites and our own. We advertise at the operating centre to reach out to drivers visiting the centre and passers-by. We also have a referral scheme. We are a team and as a team we share the benefits of safe and efficient productivity monthly. Family events are organised to encourage and support the team. We are researching ways to encourage new drivers in to our industry with connections with local development company’s and colleges.
  • We have carried out many noise assessments around the vehicle and driver activities. This has identified that the newer fleet have proven to be quieter. The vehicle parking area and yard has been developed with block paving to reduce the noise in the work area.
  • Noise reduction was one of the environmental aspects that we have looked into. The working environment in the construction industry has its challenges, but we are determined to be pro-active in the reduction of noise were ever possible. We have now added noise reduction into our requirements for fleet replacement. We continue our research into modal shift and alternative fuels so that we have a clearer strategy for the future. The alternative fuel market is still developing and we will continue to monitor it.

We started our journey 2011. We soon realised how the FORS standard would benefit the company. As a business we want to demonstrate our quality of operations and compliance. We saw the progression to gold as the way to do this. We have evolved as a business in our progression. This has lead the company to adding further accreditation such as International Organisation for Standards (ISO) and joining the Construction Logistics Community Safety (CLOCS). Investing in our staff, facility, and systems, allows us to manage the business as a professional and compliant operator. Achieving and maintaining the Gold accreditation underlines our commitment to the scheme as well as providing a gold service to our valued client base.            www.harlex.co.uk

We have over the years of membership promoted FORS through signage on our vehicles, our letter heads and email footers. We have supported the Metropolitan Police with the Exchanging places programme and supported local youth sport.

Achieving the Gold accreditation and maintaining it demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement to safety, environment and our staff.

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

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