HSS Hire – Maintaining the Gold Standard

HSS Hire – Maintaining the Gold Standard

HSS Hire are one of the leading providers of industry-leading tool hire, equipment and access hire in the UK and Ireland, with a nationwide depot and shop network. My name Is Martin O’Neill, National Fleet and Logistics Manager, responsible for fleet management and supporting other transport functions within the business. Our journey to FORS Gold has enabled us to continually develop positive behaviours within our transport function, ranging from improved driver training to the introduction of alternatively fuelled vehicles.

We have been involved with FORS from the early days – our membership number is 000162 and it has been pivotal in maintaining and driving best practice in our transport functions. Even in its infancy, we quickly identified that it would an excellent platform to drive best practice, as it offers support, guidance and additional audit processes.

We passed our Bronze and Silver accreditation’s first time, which was a source of great pride. It was highly beneficial to have our transport processes verified by an external body. Whilst our existing processes met the required standard, we also identified areas where we could improve further. We immediately decided to go for the Gold accreditation as the business benefits from being challenged to continuously improve.

The next step is to continue the pursuit of operational excellence, using the support offered by FORS as the bedrock of the developments. We have a FORS Practitioner within the group and several of our staff, including myself, are working towards FORS Practitioner status so the FORS Standards can be further embedded in the daily business. The eLearning modules, such as Cycle Safety, have been especially useful in ensuring we can deliver upto date and relevant training to our drivers.

1‘The participation in the FORS accreditation has provided renewed impetus and vigour to our driver training processes. The support offered, via the eLearning modules and Toolbox talks, have provided a solid foundation on which we are now delivering an improved standard of driver induction and development of existing drivers”. – Joe Parry, Head of L&D, HSS Hire.

Whilst the HSS operation has undergone some major transition in the past year, our participation in FORS has driven some really positive change in the company. This has ranged from supporting improvements in our driver training process to encouraging us to make some initial commitments in alternatively fuelled vehicles to additional measures to monitor the health and wellbeing of our drivers.

Whilst it is still a work in progress, the training offered to our drivers has improved in a major way. We have recruited 2 driver trainers and purchased 2 crew cabbed training vehicles, equipping us to supply focused and quality training to all of the driver workforce, such as a fully structured new starter induction, A fundamental part of this training will be the e-learning modules and external courses. There is evidence of good initial progress where 14 of 16 new drivers recruited have fully completed this course.

“It gives our Salesforce the edge that HSS have been accredited by FORS, it shows the customer that they are dealing with a company striving to maintain high standards and improve” – Dave Combes, ASM, HSS Hire.

Our main reason for progressing to Gold and looking to maintain it, is that it is an excellent platform to maintain standards and maintain an awareness of new processes. An example is that it has made us more aware of emissions and MPG measurements in our fleet and we are now developing a clear strategy to drive positive improvement.

Driver Turnover KMs travelled between jobs Number of PCNs
June 2015-June 2016 34% 17.83 475
June 2016-June 2017 25% 15.21 281
Percentage improvement 26% 14.6% 41%

**Our vehicle MPG has declined slightly from 3.30 miles per litre to 3.13 due to a change in fleet mix (less small vans, 4 additional 32 tonne trucks. This is a major focus for 2017-18

  • We have a wide range of measurements to understand and monitor the health and well being of our driver workforce. These range from pre-employment checks to a variety of support processes available on request. Several of our drivers are undergoing managed processes, monitoring health conditions whilst they drive
  • We have a dedicated in-house recruitment function that actively uses a variety of functions and approaches to fill vacancies. These range from an active use of social media to the more traditional recruitment processes. We are also recruiting apprentice drivers as part of our current strategy
  • We manage and assess the noise created by our vehicles in a variety of ways. All sites receive an annual HSEQ audit, during which a noise measurement is taken at the busiest time of the day. In addition to this, we have technology fitted to the vehicles to discourage idling and over revving which can cause noises issues
  • We have been working in close partnership with Mercedes Benz Trucks to investigate the feasibility of alternative fuelled trucks. We operated a hybrid truck at one of our London depots and this showed a 15% MPG improvement on the standard truck. We have now ordered 10 of these trucks to be part of our fleet, replacing standard diesel only trucks

4Our plans for the future are to continually strive to have an industry leading transport fleet, operating the most efficient trucks, driven by the best trained drivers. One of our immediate challenges is to address the slight reduction in MPG that we have experienced due to a change in the fleet mix, towards larger vehicles and the purchase of Euro6 engines as well.

The achievement of FORS Gold re-accreditation would be a testament to the hard work put in by many HSSers, driving the continuous improvement, encouraging best practice, all underpinned by the support offered by FORS. Our vehicles would be able to continue proudly displaying the FORS logo and operate in a safe manner. Our salesforce can use the accreditation to prove to customers that we will deliver our promises in a safe and professional manner. I would recommend participation in FORS to any company operating commercial vehicles as it drives continuous improvement and best practice.

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