GAP Group Ltd – Progression to FORS Gold

GAP Group Ltd – Progression to FORS Gold

GAP Hire Solutions has over 145 locations  strategically  placed  across  the  UK,  with  11  divisions offering a wide range of hire equipment and services. Traditionally known for plant and tool hire, GAP moved into hiring non-mechanical plant, such as fencing and barriers in  2009 and established their Lifting Hire & Sales division in 2011. In 2014, GAP diversified  further and launched their Welfare Services, Event Services, Survey & Safety Hire and Vehicle  Hire  divisions.  2019 saw  the  creation  of  its  Trenching  &  Shoring  division,  with  the  tenth  division, Tanker Services, being launched in early 2020 to offer their customers a complete  hire solution under the one GAP ‘umbrella’. GAP’s operations are serviced by a fleet of over  700 commercial vehicles.

GAP Group is wholly committed to health, safety, quality and the environment and is proud of  having gained the following certifications:

  •  ISO9001 Quality Management
  •  ISO45001 Occupational Health & Safety Management
    ISO14001 Environmental Management
  • FORS Silver (working towards Gold)
  • Safe Contractor
  • Avetta
  • Achilles UVDB/ FPAL/ Building in Confidence
  • RoSPA Gold Members
  • CHAS Premium Plus
  • Constructionline Gold
  • CLOCS Champion
  • Supply Chain Sustainability School (Gold)

In addition, GAP is  a member of  Logistics  UK  (formerly  FTA),  the  Construction  Plant  Association (CPA), Portable Sanitation Europe (PSE), LEEA, and PASMA.

GAP Group has been FORS accredited since 2014, initially achieving Bronze accreditation before progressing to Silver accreditation in
2016, at which time we achieved Whole Fleet Accreditation (now Internal Audit Fleet Accreditation, IAFA).

GAP Group first heard about FORS through our customers in the London area. Recognising the various benefits of gaining FORS accreditation GAP applied, passing its initial Bronze audit first time round, an achievement we were able to replicate when completing the natural progression to Silver.

FORS Silver accreditation has helped GAP gain a competitive edge over those plant and  equipment hirers who do not hold such an accreditation – it allows GAP to bid for contracts  with customers where FORS accreditation is a prerequisite. Furthermore, it has helped GAP  focus on and put in place policies and procedures that ensure compliance with all aspects of  Transport  Law.  Given  the  obvious  benefits  to  GAP,  we  are  now  working  towards  Gold  certification.

GAP Regional Transport Managers have taken advantage of the various FORS Practitioner  workshops to ensure they remain up to date with the latest developments, gaining crucial  knowledge which assists with the detailed Transport Management audits carried out on GAP’s  fleet of commercial vehicles.

GAP drivers have also taken advantage of the various training courses and options that FORS  offers. All GAP commercial vehicle drivers complete a range of FORS e-learning modules  including Cycle Safety, Security and Counter Terrorism, and LoCITY Driving: Time to Clean  Up. In addition, all the drivers also complete ‘in person’ training including Safe Urban Driving  and  LoCITY  Driving.  This  training,  which  is  included  in  the  overall  detailed  induction  and  training development plans for commercial drivers, arranged by GAP’s dedicated in-house  Learning & Development team, helps GAP ensure that its drivers’ knowledge and working  practices are kept fully updated.

Just as GAP invests in its staff, it does so in its large fleet of vehicles. All GAP HGVs are fitted  with state of the art safety equipment including cameras, nearside proximity aids and audible  reversing alarms. In this regard, FORS has been a huge help in standardising vehicle safety  equipment across the UK.

Furthermore, in addition to a growing fleet of electric and hybrid vehicles, GAP only purchases  vehicles which are fitted with the latest Euro VI diesel engines, thus driving a reduction in CO2,  NOx and Particulate Matter emissions wherever possible. To further enhance and accelerate  this reduction, GAP has invested in an industry leading asset delivery and telematics system  which monitors driver behaviours and includes route planning to minimise ‘unnecessary miles’  and fuel usage. Indeed, the system is entirely paper-free, thus further enhancing GAP’s green  credentials.

*based on Km per litre            **based on No of PCNs per 100,000 Km travelled 

All  new GAP drivers  complete  a  health  and  safety  declaration  and  eyesight test  which  is  repeated every 6 months.  In addition, GAP conducts regular briefings and toolbox talks on  relevant health and fitness issues.  GAP actively promotes staff wellbeing with a particular  focus on mental health, through the introduction of a unique wellbeing hub to which all staff  have confidential access.  Random D&A tests are carried out across our network of depots.

As is common across all industries GAP is acutely aware of the difficulties of recruiting and  retaining Commercial Vehicle Drivers. To help combat this GAPs dedicated recruitment team  have introduced financial incentives and a Driver Recruitment and Training Programme which  aims to recruit internally and upskill existing staff where possible.  This has the added benefit  of the drivers, once trained and qualified, also having GAP’s safety values and culture already  ingrained.

GAP carries out its own in-house noise assessments using the FORS recommended template.   Our Drivers Behaviour Code of Conduct forms part of GAPs Commercial Vehicle Handbook.   All driving and crane-lift operations have been assessed using equipment recommended on  FORS Practitioner courses and are within acceptable tolerable levels. GAP actively aims to  reduce noise where possible through the introduction of white noise reversing alarms, super  silent pressure washers for washing vehicles and plant and local restrictions on aspects such  as the hours during which loading and unloading of vehicles can take place and the use of  vehicle horns.

Given the nature of GAPs operations it is not realistic or feasible to use alternative transport  modes such as trains or buses.  Therefore, GAP is actively reviewing its existing fleet and  introducing hybrid/electric vehicles where possible.  GAP has several cars on fleet and a  number  of  full  EV  vans  on  trial.    Furthermore,  GAP  have  fitted  commercial  vehicles  with  tracking  systems  that  provide  telematics  data  on  utilisation,  driver  behaviour  and  carbon  emissions.  This allows us to monitor efficient vehicle use.  Most of our fleet is now Euro 6 for  emissions.

GAP’s ongoing and significant investment in its staff and fleet of commercial vehicles have  helped with its target of reducing the number of accidents/ incidents involving its commercial  vehicles  and  the  number  of  PCNs  received.  Route  planning,  scheduling  and  training  all  contribute towards achieving this goal.

GAP is proud of its FORS Silver accreditation and is working tirelessly towards Gold. To that  end, GAP is to ensure that any contractors which support us will agree to be minimum FORS  Bronze accredited moving forwards, which can be monitored through GAP’s robust supplier  verification scheme.

GAP is proud that its vehicles display the FORS Silver logo on their bodywork. Similarly, FORS  is actively promoted through our regular monthly e-magazine, the GAP Gazette, across our  social media channels and features on GAP letterhead stationery.

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