Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd are a leading UK construction and civil engineering company founded by Robert McAlpine in September 1869 making the company over 150 years old.

Today the main company plant yard is based in Kettering with a supporting yard in Scotland. The head office is located in Hemel Hempstead and has offices in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle.

The company runs vehicles from the two plant yards to deliver plant equipment to its contracts.

The company are proud to have constructed many landmark projects throughout time such as the Dorchester hotel, Great Ormond street children’s hospital, Mersey tunnel, O2 Arena, The Emirate (Arsenal) football and Olympic Stadiums.

Transport manager Steve Carter explains how FORS has enabled the company to carry out and demonstrate to its clients and supply chain that we are committed to road safety and strive to be an excellent operator whilst at the same time improve our fuel usage and reduce our carbon emissions.

We became aware of FORS when the freight and logistics magazine carried out an article introducing the scheme initially for London.

After a period of time some of our clients started enquiring if we were FORS accredited, we also saw this as a good opportunity to have an independent accessor look at our current practices and potentially guide us to improve on our existing systems.

This would show us to be a good and efficient operator and so the decision in 2013 was taken to apply to become FORS accredited.

Our first audit was carried out and was proudly passed at the first attempt to make us FORS bronze accredited.

This audit showed us that although we passed there was much more we should do to become silver accredited

Achieving silver would enable us to lead by example to then encourage our supply chain to follow suit.

Having become part of FORS we were then able to utilize the FORS tools to enhance our procedures.

All of our drivers undertook a safe urban driving course through Fleet source as recommended by FORS and completed all e-learning courses on the FORS website and have attended FORS classroom courses.

The transport manager attended all 10 FORS practitioner courses and is now a FORS practitioner.

All of our vehicles were fitted with a camera system, sensors, audible left-hand warning device and warning signage to improve on vulnerable road users.

” FORS e-learning modules are an excellent training tool, our drivers are now much more aware of potential risks within their day to day duties and this has enabled us to focus a lot better on transport safety issues”

Craig Hook – Chief Engineer and Health and Safety Manager

 For the first time we introduced keeping performance data records for fuel usage, mileage, CO2 emissions, NOx and particulate matter data.

By doing this it became apparent that we needed to take measures to improve our carbon footprint.

We focused on vehicle idling through toolbox talks and this has seen a vast improvement with engines now being switched off saving fuel and money.

We were running 40ft twin axles trailers, these were replaced with 45ft tri-axle trailers to enable us to carry more and make less journeys and our older vehicles have now been replaced with new euro 6 modern vehicles.

The data below has shown we are now using less fuel and are reducing our carbon emissions.


2017 90,417L 306,637 N/A 239.4 495.4 0 0
2018 81,516L 280,263 3.43 215.6 446.7 0 0
2019 71,749L 237,382 3.31 189.8 350.99 0 0
2020 45,908L 151,060 3.29 121.4 251.56 0 0
% Diff -36% -36.3% -0.6% -36% -28% N/A N/A

The percentage figures are taken from the 2019 and 2020 figures.

“Since becoming FORS accredited we have seen a reduction in our fuel usage and CO2 emissions which in turn makes a cost saving”

Steve Wright – Plant Manager

Through FORS we have introduced 6 monthly drivers’ eyesight tests and paid more attention to our driver’s health by giving them medicals and OHI Tests annually.

The company has a strong drugs and alcohol policy and staff are randomly tested.

The drivers transport lorry manual has been updated with a medical procedure inserted.

The manual states any medical conditions or any prescribed medication must be reported to the transport manager.

The company also has a cycling to work scheme in place to encourage fitness to all staff members and help reduce the carbon footprint.

Once we had these systems in place, we decided to progress from bronze to silver status to further enhance our credibility.

We have been fortunate that our drivers have long term continuous employment spanning from 20 years to over 35 years which means we have not had to recruit new drivers for many years.

When the time comes, we would consider existing staff to see if anybody would like a change to become a driver.

We would carry out interviews checking a new drivers work history, Licence check, experience and training

We would ensure a new driver would shadow our existing drivers for a month beforehand and be fully trained in all aspects relating to the job before he/she went solo.

We have taken measures to reduce noise pollution highlighting to our drivers through toolbox talks and the driver’s manual the importance of reducing noise levels.

They are to switch of engines when not in use, communicate quietly, keep radios quiet and windows shut when stationery and respect others around them.

Fortunately, our plant yards are not near residential dwellings and all vehicle servicing and inspections are carried out externally at Scania’s premises.

Our deliveries and collections all take place in the daytime.

We have been consulting with Scania with regards to alternative fuelled and all-round vision cab vehicles.

I have completed the FORS Lo-city e-learning course to learn more.

The nature of our work moving plant and materials at short notice and sometimes long distance means it is only practical to transport equipment by lorry.

At this present time the best alternative for us would be electric, however at this current time technology has not advanced enough to be able to suit our needs.

We will keep monitoring the situation and will act when technology allows less charging time and more mileage.

We will continue to make improvements in all areas in line with FORS by monitoring technology, updating records and acting on data accordingly.

We have instigated with our contracts to accept lorries on site which are a minimum FORS silver accredited only and we send out correspondence to our supply chain to that effect.

Becoming gold accredited would show our clients and supply chain how committed we are to road safety and protecting vulnerable road users nationally and show us to be an excellent operator operating to the highest standards.

FORS has helped us improve all of our transport operations and will continue to do so in the future.

@WeAreMcAlpine     @WeAreMcAlpine     Sir Robert McAlpine