Axle – Continuing with Gold


I am Barry Jordan, the founder Managing Director and Chair of Axle Haulage Ltd, established in 1988 and very proud to be a member of FORS which like our own company has continued to grow and be recognised throughout the Road Haulage Industry as a beacon to aid safe driving management though improved skills and standards. Over the years I have remained a professional associate member of various trade associations including Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and Road Haulage Association becoming a Director of the RHA in 2019. Our company has been a member of FORS since 2014 and with my co-Director Alan Dyke (himself a FORS Practitioner) retained GOLD FORS standard during the last three years.

We are also most pleased and proud to confirm that as of April 1st Axle Haulage Ltd has become “Employee Owned” with a majority of share ownership now controlled by  “Axle Haulage EOT trustees Ltd”. The control of the trading company in this manner by the “Trust” has allowed all employees to share in the benefits of ownership accepting responsibility for performance at all levels of employment.  This is an exciting development for our company and hopefully an example to many other companies wishing to retain a legacy when founders retire or delegate more responsibility to other like-minded employees.

I have during my career in road haulage remained committed to the development of safe working practices and personal career development at all levels. All employees are encouraged to improve their driving skills and status progressing through the ranks to a level only attainable through hard work and solid commitment to our working procedures and policies. This last year has burdened our industry with massive challenges and I am grateful to the support given by our loyal customers who are secure in the knowledge their key supplier operates at the highest standards set and audited by a recognised voluntary accreditation scheme.

As a general haulier operating throughout the United Kingdom from our Head Office in Dunstable, we operate a mixed fleet of flat platform vehicles between 3.5 tgvw – 44tgvw serving the Civil Engineering, Construction and Railway Industries – Our entire fleet comprising 22 vehicles is now Euro VI compliant and with the combined use of telematics with continued driver training have achieved considerable economic savings as well as reduced pollution in the wider environment. We have also recently appointed two CPC qualified senior traffic planners who have now been added to the operating licences for Axle Haulage and are confident this will allow the company to exhibit its strength and depth of management. All vehicles have been constructed to be Crossrail compliant and have remained compliant with new demands requested by other major national infra-structure projects such as HS2 and Thames Tideway.

Moving forward with FORS

This year’s bronze audit was a very different one from previous years, having been carried out remotely, it took twice as long as normal. I look forward to returning to a personal visit from an auditor next time.

We continue to strive to maintain our Gold FORS. Many sites we make deliveries and collections from are insisting that the hauliers are at the very least Silver compliant and in some cases the minimum is now Gold.

FORS and approved partners have helped us manage in many ways, for example in our driving licence checks and online management tools. We use Telematics system fitted to every vehicle which helps us in planning our routes, checking on vehicle idling times, drivers driving behaviour and monitoring fuel consumption. The FORS workshops have also been a great tool for all our staff, from the Safe Urban Driver Courses (SUDS) to the FORS, E learning modules.

“I’ve started my journey toward FORS Practitioner and enjoying learning along the way”

– Mirjam Ibie, Fleet Assistant.

Please see the chart below. What the chart does not show is due to the increase in work we have made some changes in the makeup of the fleet, we have replaced some of our older vehicles for more fuel-efficient ones and some for larger ones with the ability to carry more so less trips, hence the slight improvement on last year’s MPG figures and a slight increase in other measures.

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

Proportion of fleet that uses alternative fuels

Nov17-Oct 18 10.59 .75 822 1858 28.62 9 0%
Jan19-Jan20 10.1 .77 961.86 2024 31.24 8 0%
Jan20-Jan21 10.33 .35 999 2292 35.4 7 0%
Percentage improvement .2% 50% 0% 0% 0% 15% 0%

All our drivers undergo a safety critical medical and a D4 medical every year after that, with a six-month self-assessment health questionnaire. On top of this we operate a random drug and alcohol testing policy and process.

Our part of the transport industry is not like a standard distributions operation, the driver can start the week in Dunstable and by Wednesday could be in Edinburgh, having collected and delivered several full loads using a lorry mounted crane or a semi-lowloader with loads as diverse as shipping containers, cable drums, steelwork and tug boats, all on the way, so when recruiting, we approach recruitment agencies that understand our requirement and specialist recruitment websites.

When a driver starts with us, he has at least a week being mentored by one of our senior drivers in H&S policies, load securing, and of course the dreaded paperwork & PODs.

Noise is something we are very aware of, from delivering or collecting equipment from Network Rail possession sites near residential area in the middle of the night, to driver- operations standing near to the lorry mounted crane while operating it. All our drivers have the Decibel X app on they phone, so if unsure about the noise, they can test it for themselves and monitor it and if necessary, report it for further investigation. All our vehicles are fitted with night heaters, so to reduce both noise and air pollution when stationary.

All our maintenance and services are carried out by the manufacture’s local dealerships, so MAN are maintained by John Arnold Commercials, Bedford and Scania by Pip Bayleys, Blunham.

We are a specialist general haulier, so in many cases we are our customer’s modal shift. We keep up to date with the current new vehicle developments, but, currently there is nothing on the market or in the pipeline for alternative fuel or electric suitable for our operational requirements

We continue to monitor the industry for improvements, efficiency in fuel and pollution and also in safety. We also look towards FORS partners and product, along the way continue to support and promote FORS.

If you would like any more information, please feel free in contacting us at


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

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