Spectrum Freight Ltd – Going for gold

Spectrum Freight Ltd is a family owned business based in Chesterfield with over 30 years’ experience in supplying Crane Lorries, Site Specific Surveys, Lift Plans, Contract Lifts and Haulage nationwide specialising in telecoms, machinery, railway and project work.

Our business has achieved the highest of standards in Health & Safety, Environmental Sustainability and is accredited to ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and is working towards ISO 45001:2018.

We hold RISQS certification, are members of the RHA, ALLMI, CIRAS and are registered as a supplier for Crossrail.

The company has been a member of FORS since early 2013 and progressed to silver in 2016.  In that time we have significantly increased our fleet fuel and emissions efficiency.  Our business has invested heavily in our HGV fleet to gain higher spec, more environmentally friendly units that also incorporate safety features for vulnerable road users which is an on-going project.

Since joining the FORS scheme we have taken advantage of many courses available to our drivers such as the Cycle safety, E-learning and Lo’ city training and this has had encouraging results, drivers are more aware of vulnerable road users and more educated on the need to reduce CO² emissions, they also help to ensure compliance with our policies such as our ‘vehicle idling policy’.

Through education, training and monitoring, we have reduced the level of transport related fines received and our safety record has been positive year after year.

Whilst tendering for contracts within inner London, we were asked by some of our major clients to apply for FORS Bronze. With the many accreditations we already held, this was a natural progression for our business and we already complied with the majority of the schemes requirements. We have found since being members our client base has significantly increased. It has enabled our business to gain recognition and to reap the benefits and in turn this is recognised by our customers.

Our initial audit for Bronze accreditation was encouraging in the sense it demonstrated we had embedded some of the more environmental and safety based policies in advance of the audit taking place when we were preparing and were able to build on these through the FORS scheme.

Once we had attained the bronze certification, we decided to progress to silver. This decision was brought on mainly as a natural progression, aided by the requests from current/new clients. We are currently progressing from silver to gold, this change was also due to customer demand and as a natural progression for the company.

We are currently using FORS driving licence checking service, toolbox talks, E-learning and training courses as well as many more benefits on offer. These are ensuring our drivers are trained in their profession to the highest standard we can, the E-learning covers a wide variety of topics and saves us many costs in ‘classroom training fees’. The licence checking service helps us to utilise our time better and for a small fee, ensures these checks are professionally completed, the layout is easy to understand and has all your information in one place, helping our records to be maintained easier.

”Both during the process of becoming accredited to FORS and the subsequent stages of progression, i.e Silver and Gold; FORS standards have positively informed and influenced our business in many areas of operation

From the training of staff, to the management of vehicles, to the maintenance of best operating practices I believe that FORS standards have helped to make us more cost effective, environmentally aware and better managed. The encouragement of training and retraining, including my own CPC refresher courses, has given us better informed staff with a firmer grasp of the requirements of running a modern transport organisation” – David Stevens, managing director

”FORS rigorous standards have caused us to look in greater detail at our own policies, procedures and practices. It has also encouraged and enabled greater personal training and developments via the PDP it facilitates” – Jessica Stevens, HSQE Manager

  • Performance data – As required by the standards, we monitor the fuel usage, mileage, incidents and PCN’s from a vehicle. Although this seemed like a lot of work at first, the information we now collect helps us to create a benchmark that we can work from to ensure continuous improvement year on year. By using the FORS system, this can work out the CO2 emissions which helps us to monitor the levels and try to lower the output where possible, we can also see there has been an annual improvement in MPG and incidents per 100,000 Kms.
  • Driver health and fitness review – Spectrum ensures all drivers meet the HGV, Sentinel (RISQS) and the motorway safety critical medical standards. Additionally we ensure every driver completes a medical declaration 6 monthly including an eyesight test. This ensures we are aware of any medical conditions and changes or if any driver is taking prescription medication that may affect their ability to drive. Through the results of the medicals, we can see if a driver’s eyesight, hearing or health is deteriorating and take action accordingly to prevent any issues occurring.
  • Recruitment of drivers – We usually use social media or job recruiting websites to advertise for vacancies if needed. Spectrum Freights reputation as an employer seems to excel as there hasn’t ever been much need to advertise. We advertise online on various job websites, social media or our current drivers will usually recommend us to friends and family and they will apply for the job, this ensures a wide variety of options and gives an equal chance to anyone who may wish to apply. Spectrum has also been enquiring about apprenticeships, to be able to work with a young person and pass all the knowledge on that our experienced members of the team already have, encouraging a younger age group within the industry and learning good practice from the beginning and throughout.
  • Noise assessment – Due to the type of works Spectrum undertakes, it is very difficult to introduce noise prevention measures, a FORS noise assessment is undertaken as required by the silver standards, this helps us ensure we are considering all options where possible. Noise reduction mats are used during operations along with a vehicle idling policy to prevent vehicles being left running causing emissions and noise pollution. Our load/unload sites are situated in industrial estates/rural areas with other companies of similar trade and minimal housing/schools. The manufacturers of our vehicles assure us that our units are below the legal noise levels and that vehicle manufacturers are constantly working on ensuring they reduce these levels.
  • Modal shift and alternative vehicles – All of our HGV fleet have lorry mounted cranes attached, this makes it a very long and expensive process to change these vehicles around. Spectrum has purchased two new trucks this year that are Euro VI standard, unfortunately we cannot use any other way of transportation as the work is crane specific. We are always on the lookout for and open to any options available that are suitable for the work we do to improve our fleet.

Future plans

We are committed to a programme of on-going improvement of standards. We have implemented a programme to replace all vehicles with Euro VI standard. We plan to ensure all new vehicles are to the highest industry standards for safety and visibility.

Our strategic vision is that via apprenticeships and recruitment policies, we plan to encourage a more diverse and younger workforce in the transport industry, both office and driver based.

We as a business are not able to host practitioner workshops or conduct a press release due to the size of our operations, however to promote FORS, we use a variety of methods including social media posts, signage on vehicles, logos on our email footers and also via our company’s website as shown below.

FORS Gold accreditation would open up a whole new level of work we are able to tender for, increasing profits and allowing us as a business to expand our operations and renew our fleet more efficiently. As well as this, through all the training and systems FORS offers, we will continually be able to ensure the safety of our vehicles, drivers, the environment and the efficiency of our fleet.

Website – www.spectrumfreight.co.uk

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/spectrum-freight-ltd

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SpectrumFreightLimited/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/spectrumfreightuk/


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

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