Geraint Davies; General Manager at John Raymond Transport Limited explains how the FORS standard has assisted the company by encouraging a positive culture of compliance, change and efficiency. Over the course of the past sixty four years, the company’s distinctive red livery has become a familiar sight on the UK’s Roads. The customer base and work patterns of the company have mirrored the wider economy with our early client base being dominated by agriculture and then heavy manufacturing, especially the steelworks of South Wales. This has been replaced by a wide range of FMCG customers, including leading retailers and manufacturers. FORS has enabled the company to reduce fuel consumption by over 10% in some cases. There has been a further reduction in collision frequency, particularly in urban environments thanks largely to the FORS SUD, Work Related Road Risk and Staying Legal DCPC courses, the company has also seen an even further reduction in PCN’s issued largely as a result of improved driver training and emphasis.
John Raymond Transport has been FORS bronze accredited since 2010 and was one of the first hauliers in Wales to achieve this, if not the first. Geraint Davies was in the first cohort to complete the whole series of FORS workshops and become a FORS Practitioner; he also attended the refresher workshop on the 8th June at AECOM. The knowledge base gained at the workshops then set a firm foundation upon which we have built on year on year.
The company passed its initial bronze assessment first time round, the measures required were already in place and with additional FORS guidance we were able to build and develop and in some respect simplify these systems and make them more fit for purpose and reinforce an existing culture of safety, efficiency and compliance.
The FORS SUD course and Staying Legal courses have resulted in fewer collisions, particularly on the nearside and improved compliance.” Geraint Davies, General Manager.
The FORS Bronze standard has given us the tools to be able to build on our existing systems and also keep the company up to date with latest developments, especially those relating to vulnerable road users. The company is a JAUPT approved training centre and delivers the FORS Staying Legal, WRRR, Safer City Driving, Greener City Driving and Congestion Busting courses to its own drivers and is hoping to deliver the new Truck Smart and LoCity courses. In addition to these courses the company has also taken advantage of the Safer Urban Driving course, delivered by Fleetsource and has seen a reduction in collisions, especially in urban environments.
The FORS workshops, including the recent practitioner refresher on the 8th of June 2017 and special events have assisted the company in developing and improving strategies and systems that reduce incidents and fuel consumption and to share best practice in reducing the risk to vulnerable road users by developing toolbox talks. We have seen a further decrease in PCN’s issued, in the first six months of 2017 we received 13; this is down to just 11 for the same period this year.
”There has been a significant reduction in breakdowns, particularly tyre breakdowns, this I believe is attributed to improved driver training, especially the Staying Legal course”; Paul Johns, Managing Director.
In the last 12 months we have seen our fuel consumption improve consistently; reaching a new average high of 10.69 MPG we also have a bonus scheme whereby drivers are actively encouraged to adopt a smoother driving style to minimise harsh acceleration and braking and also reduce idle time. All drivers start with 100 points, points are added for positive actions and then deducted for negative actions such as a harsh braking event or tachograph infringements, thereby rewarding compliance also. This system also encourages almost an elimination of idle time, further reducing noise and emissions.
We carry out regular health checks with our drivers on a six monthly basis, this includes an eyesight check. The check covers a broad spread of conditions with a mechanism to link with an occupational health professional as required. We have engaged with the Welsh Assembly and DWP to attract drivers from a broad demographic, particularly the long term unemployed, we were successful in up-skilling a cohort of 10 drivers to LGV C+E level and place them into permanent employment with the company. We have looked at modal shift opportunities in our area and at this stage there is little opportunity given the available infrastructure, we are however taking loads to a rail head in the midlands for onward journeys further afield, for example to Scotland.
It has been an ongoing ambition of the company to achieve the FORS Gold standard as recognition of the hard work by team members in working towards a common goal by implementing systems and procedures and consistently work towards raising the bar even higher. We are undertaking a programme of fleet renewal and we are actively considering vulnerable road user safety in our vehicle specification by adding technologies such as side scan and nearside proximity warning systems. We have recently taken delivery of 10 new Mercedes Euro 6 tractor units along with 5 Volvo Euro 6 vehicles. Our aim is to encourage others to take advantage of the benefits that FORS can bring not only to logistics providers but to all road users.
Please note: All published FORS Gold case studies have been submitted by the accredited company named above and transcribed verbatim