Mark Smithson Transport Ltd – The Young and the Gold

Mark Smithson Transport Ltd – The Young and the Gold

Section 1 – Introduction

‘Mark Smithson Transport are based in Ossett and supply general haulage, abnormal loads and specialist crane off loads to customers across the UK and into Europe. Paul Smithson, FORS Coordinator, explains how Mark Smithson Transport have seen reductions in fuel used per mile, reduced CO2 emissions, lowered NOx and Particulate Matter emissions, improved their road safety record, decreased transport related fines and charges and introduced younger drivers into the industry through FORS.’

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

We came across FORS in 2009. We soon realised it would help us to achieve best practice and benefit us by taking on board the FORS standard as a benchmark in best practice.

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

‘Mark Smithson Transport passed their initial audit first time round, this encouraged us to use the tools and advice provided on the website to make the transition easier from Bronze to Silver and then to Gold

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 were Bronze, we really made the most of the benefits on offer, in particular using the toolbox talks and the information within the TruckSmart Toolkit as well as searching the website for approved equipment installers’

‘FORS workshops have been a practical way of both improving our knowledge, sharing best practices and learning from others. We have implemented toolbox talks, health declarations and now use the collision manager to record any incidents. Since the implementation we have seen improvements in collision reporting procedures and safe loading practices’

Section 6 – What improvements have you made?

  • Performance data



MPG Incidents per 100,000 Kms CO2 NOx PM10 Number of PCNs Proportion of fleet that uses alternative fuels
2019 7.89 3 211 169 2.9 3 0%
2020 6.99 2 218 244 4.3 1 0%
2021 16 2 355 387 6.6 1 0%
Percentage improvement 103% 33% -68% -56% -128% 66% 0%
  • All our new drivers are required to complete a health declaration, which is followed up by an annual driver declaration, eyesight checks are completed at induction, periodically every 6 months or following an incident, collision or near miss.
  • Mark Smithson Transport operate STGO vehicles and take on drivers with likewise experience, any driver showing an interest in driving abnormal lorries are trained in the use of the vehicle and put through their ALLMI Lorry Operator training Course.
  • Noise has been monitored on site using the Xdb app recommended on workshop 10 of the FORS Practioner workshop. Drivers are advised to access the motorway via the local bypass rather than pass the local school during peak times. Truck washing may only take place during 09.00 & 17.00, whilst times the machine may be used are reduced to 30-minute intervals. Drivers operating lorry loaders are issued hearing protectors, whilst the latest crane lorry is fitted with stop start technology on the crane.
  • Due to the nature of our business which specialises in abnormal loads the option to use alternative modes of transport are restricted. We have considered using alternative fuels and have attended the CAZ seminar in Leeds and Bradford, but again access to fuel cells is restricted, however we have spoken to Calor Gas as an alternative fuel provider. Any future alternatives shall be investigated and chosen once they become available. 

Section 7 – What are your plans for the future?

In order to make continual fleet improvements we will continue to purchase Euro VI vehicles, purchasing multi axle steering trailers has seen an improvement in MPG, continually monitor driver fitness and health, including mental awareness. Procuring high visibility vehicles and fitting 360′ cameras as this will help our company to run efficiently and play our part in protecting both the environment and the Vulnerable Road Users’. In 2021 we sought to employ younger drivers, seeing our youngest driver yet join the team at 18yrs old.

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

In 2020 we sponsored 10 FORS Practitioner Workshops with Protea Training at Wakefield. All our vehicles proudly supports the FORS Gold logo.

All our vehicles are readily available to be used in the Exchanging Places program, support, and advice to other FORS members is only an email/phone call away.

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

Maintaining the Gold FORS accreditation, shows how committed we are as a company to ensure both road safety for employees and for vulnerable road users alike. We are continually improving and streamlining our operations with new company procedures and safe systems of work implemented during our journey to maintaining FORS Gold accreditation, ensuring we remain a safe and competent haulier operating throughout the UK and into Europe.