David Watson Transport Ltd are one of the largest Specialist Transport companies in the UK, with nearly 100 vehicles, 140 employees and 6 depots across the country. Our fleet comprises of lorry loaders, flat beds, police approved escort vehicles and specialist rear steering trailers. As one of the foremost UK transport companies, we operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, covering the United Kingdom as well as international locations.
Andrea Senior, Internal Development Coordinator, explains how being members of FORS has helped them maintain the company’s ethos – Setting the standards for others to follow – including an increased focus on training and vulnerable road users.
‘We first became aware of FORS as a contractual condition of working on the Crossrail project throughout London. Although it was initially a commercial decision to pursue the accreditation, we quickly realised that the benefits of working to such high standards would be of great advantage throughout all areas of the company; from ensuring the health and safety of our workforce, to helping us work towards reducing our carbon emissions, thus meeting environmental targets.
“We quickly realised that the benefits of working to such high standards would be of great advantage throughout all areas of the company”
We passed our initial Bronze assessment first time, which was a straightforward process aided by the fact that the majority of our systems already met the criteria of the accreditation.
Becoming part of the FORS scheme encouraged us to keep on improving our systems and policies, and we consequently went for the Silver accreditation, which we achieved in March 2014. As a result of this accomplishment, we have increased our client base and workload, leading to expansion of our fleet and employing more staff. We also have access to a wide range of benefits and discounts provided as part of the FORS scheme.
Every new addition to our fleet comes fitted with a range of safety features designed to improve the safety of both the driver and vulnerable road users; this is an area FORS have made significant advances in, and we have utilised the training available that promotes these values. To that extent, we made it one of our KPIs to ensure that, by the end of 2014, at least 50% of our drivers had attended the Safe Urban Driver training and Crossrail induction. We easily achieved this target and feel that this focus on safer driving and road awareness contributed to a reduction in own-fault fleet claims from 45% in 2013, to 35% in 2014. We hope to further reduce this figure by a minimum of 10% in 2015, using the tools available through FORS.
We have also created our own Vulnerable Road User training programme for new starters and updated our induction documents to include further guidance on the subject to increase awareness. As a JAUPT accredited organisation, we have also updated our courses to include sections on vulnerable road users.
“Every new addition to our fleet comes fitted with a range of safety features designed to improve the safety of both the driver and vulnerable road users”
Achieving FORS Gold will further demonstrate David Watson Transport’s commitment to continually improving standards within the industry. Over the next year we intend to put all our drivers through the training available through FORS, as well as members of the management team. We will use the tools available through the FORS scheme to further reduce our fuel usage. We will continue to review our PCN policy/procedure with a view to reducing the number of PCNs by 20% in 2015.
Achieving Gold accreditation will assist us in meeting the objectives of our Vision Statement:
“To provide our customers with a standard of service excellence, through reliability and quality, that is acknowledged to be the best in the industry.”