My name is Eddie Marritt, my roles and responsibilities within Lomas Distribution include Fleet manager and Compliance which includes external accreditation bodies, i’m a FORS practitioner and manage the FORS accreditation for the company.
Our case study relates to the noise and fuel emissions which result from unloading Bulk pressure tankers using truck mounted, PTO driven compressors.
Lomas Distribution Ltd is a family run business with over 25 years experience in the Distribution Industry.
We offer a comprehensive range of services to the various industries we serve, these range from the hire of construction machinery, warehousing and Contract and Non Contract distribution of dry and liquid products in bulk tankers and packed goods.
For our scope of accreditation under FORS relates only to Distribution of Bulk Powders and Liquids.
We are proud of our reputation in our business sector for excellent customer service. In 2019 we were fortunate to win the Tanker Operator of the Year, and Safety and Innovation awards at the Tank-Ex 2019 Trade show.
We are based in the Peak district town of Buxton in North Derbyshire, this mirrors the company origins in the construction and quarry industry and provides for challenging road networks to the major motorway links and major cities, our fuel consumption reflects this. Our work pattern is a mixture of very intensive local haulage and Long distance national distribution.
Our engagement in the FORS process as not resulted in reductions in MPG or Emissions, our focus as been on improving the vehicle efficiency levels and working on improved vehicle utilisation with a greater percentage of loaded miles, fuel consumption in isolation is not a key indicator of business performance, we track fuel cost as a percentage of revenue earned by the vehicle each week which as a direct impact on our weekly earnings, for that reason we do not use fuel consumption graphs for driver monitoring as the work pattern can alter daily which impacts on fuel consumption per day, for example a vehicle making three deliveries per day into Greater Manchester and returning unladen will have a superior fuel consumption to a vehicle returning laden, therefore direct driver comparisons lose their validity, potentially the vehicle with the higher fuel consumption will earn more revenue for the company.
Drivers are trained by both vehicle manufacture trainers and our own driver trainers, this includes operating the vehicle in the most efficient manner, safety and road manners.
The key for Lomas is to ensure the truck proceeds down the road safely with the minimum impact on other road users, we trust in the truck manufacturers operating software on the truck to do this is a fuel efficient manner.
We have seen a managed reduction in Insurance claims as evidenced in our silver application, PCN are not a significant problem as we do not undertake many deliveries which result in infringements.
We view FORS membership as a critical path towards a more sustainable operation and awareness and responsibility to society and the environment.
We also aim to work towards accreditation on Avetta and DVLA Earned Recognition as part of our 2020 / 2021 business goals, currently [October 2020] the environment is not positive in relation to business improvement plans and our focus is on the safety and support of our colleagues.
We have been a FORS member since 2017 and are progressing through the system to reach our goal of Gold accreditation.
Section 3 Bronze
Our initial requirement for FORS bronze was based on contractual requirements. The process of pulling together business policies as diverse as SHE and Commercial activities was relatively straightforward, however blending these into a cohesive management document to meet Bronze requirements was a challenge, which when completed left us with a more informed and knowledgeable team.
During the audit process the auditor provided guidance and direction on the flow of information and the process, it was not simply a case of you pass or fail, but a genuine desire to help improve.
Our initial Bronze audit was passed without problems, however subsequent Bronze audits have proved more challenging as the standard and scope of accreditation required for Bronze has increased.
This is viewed as a positive more on behalf of FORS as it lifts the barrier to entry to less complaint operators and pushes and challenges current members to improve their compliance year on year
Section 4 Silver
FORS Silver accreditation was targeted as part of our continued the route forwards to Gold, the initial application was originally rejected due to queries raised on fuel consumption, but again with clarification we managed to successfully obtain Silver.
We have found Silver to be useful in the development of our Toolbox talks and training development plans, both the talks on Tyres and a Vehicle manoeuvring are now commonplace in our business.
Without doubt FORS silver requires a dedicated and diligent approach to ensure the benefits the process can bring to a business are achieved, difficult questions can result from the data coming from the process, but to move forward these need to be judged and acted on.
We have engaged with FORS accredited training providers to take the company forward towards Gold Accreditation, external sourcing of Locity and SUD is contracted to FORS training providers, in addition all FORS practitioner workshops have been undertaken and Toolbox talks are embedded in our driver training briefings.
Toolbox talks on Noise, Tyres and cycle awareness have been really beneficial to the driver teams, and have help reinforce the message that we need to be a responsible operator.
We have taken the decision to train all staff on suitable FORS Training regardless of their roles in the company
The benefits FORS provides are in relation to the quality of the staff training and overall awareness of the Industry and Societies requirements, taken as a stand alone function FORS must be viewed as a investment in the future rather than a cost saving initiative for the short term, typically we expect to spend circa £30,000 p.a on FORS training..
Section 6 –
Incidents per 100,000
|CO2||NOx||PM10||Number of PCNs||
Proportion of fleet that uses alternative fuels
|2018 / 2019||5.92||.0000071||10268.89||9064.33||159.58||12||0%|
- Our fleet performance data has been impacted by lower fleet utilisation during 2020 as a result of the current circumstances. Our fuel consumption reduction is linked to our efficiency improvements in reducing our unladen mileage; however our 2020 mileage is less than our 2019 result and is expected to remain the case for the rest of 2020
- Please see attached for consideration our Recruitment and Retention Policy and supporting information on noise reduction measures taken on our vehicles
- We intend to operate a CNG powered demonstration 44 tonne tractor in 2021 to assess its feasibility and suitability for operation in our business, For normal fleet replacement in 2021 we have not identified a vehicle with alternative fuel source to diesel which meets our operational requirements. For light vehicles and local transport we have fitted a electrical recharge station and are awaiting delivery of a Mercedes Benz Citan, this vehicle is not in FORS scope, but supports our general environment policy for our Waterswallows site
Covid 19 as had a significant impact on business development for both 2020 and 2021. Our main focus is the ongoing health and security of our colleagues, excluding business growth which is not expected until the 2nd quarter of 2021.
We are currently seeking accreditation to FORS Gold and Earned Recognition.
Operationally we use Scania and Volvo high datum long distance vehicles for overnight driver accommodation, our work patterns can include multiple nights away from home.
The opportunity to operate low height vehicles with direct vision style vehicle cabs.
Our business profile mainly involves deliveries to large industrial sites [Power generation / Quarries etc] throughout the UK, we have very little ‘High Street’ delivery traffic.
We are constantly challenging the vehicle manufacturer to improve vehicle vision, and have recently put into service vehicles fitted with additional cameras to eliminate blind spots when turning in both directions, and incorporated a verbal warning for vehicle turning right in addition to the existing left turn warning, these vehicles exceed the FORS requirements and have 8 active cameras.
We need to understand if the use of these cameras systems are actually making the drivers role safer, currently in additional to actually looking out of the windscreen, we have 6 mirrors and two camara images and a proximity sensor for the left turn all feeding information to the driver.
All vehicles on the FORS accreditation have been submitted to TFL for DVS registration.
In the 2nd quarter of 2021 we will put into service a CNG powered long distance vehicle to assess its operational profile, refueling locations are still problematic if we are to allow the truck to have general access to our fleet routing programme.
Currently for routes towards M1 and M6 through the Peak district we can see fuel returns of less than 3mpg until the truck can access Motorways and revert to cruising speeds, this rapid fuel burn is yet to be assessed on a CNG powered vehicle.
Currently we do not engage in sub contract distribution, the bulk nature of our cargos are transport in Dry and Liquid road tankers and bulk tippers, this makes shared load space very impracticable, we are however exploring methods of carrying multiple customers on a single collection using a ‘milk round’ service involving one loading point with one customer but multiple delivery points, this type of service is readily available in the Bulk Liquid market, but for Dry bulk this very unusual
The family values of the company are based on sustainable business plans which included environmental awareness and generally being a ‘good neighbour’ to the local community and the wider transport industry, and other road users.
Our spring and summer toolbox talks raise awareness regarding horse riders and leisure cyclists on the Peak districts narrow roads, we also prohibit the use of certain routes through small villages and certain sections of Buxton to limit the impact of our vehicles on the local community.
FORS promotion during 2019 was assisted by our award of Tanker Operator of the Year and Safety and Innovation award, both press releases and press articles on the subjects featured vehicles displaying our FORS accreditation and reference was made to Lomas being a FORS accredited company where promoted in the narrative.
FORS logo is now included in all outgoing emails and all primary suppliers have been encouraged to look at FORS membership as a precursor to supplying equipment to the company, for any supplier new to the business with a significant business relationship, FORS membership will be a stipulation.
We have not engaged in any press releases for 2020, despite the arrival of new FORS compliant vehicles and business wins , we have not been actively promoting the company whilst we have colleagues restricted to furlough arrangements
Section 9 Gold
Gold accreditation would bring one of the key cornerstones in our business into play, the disciplines and knowledge gained through FORS process brings everyday business wins in safety, vehicle efficiency and driver behaviour.
Our customers are supportive and aware of our commitment to gain higher accreditation while improving communication, standards, policies and compliance to the standards laid out by FORS.
FORS Gold accreditation remains the immediate objective; following the renewal of existing accreditation via the Bronze / Silver / Gold route is a business objective which must be maintained.
Compliance in its broader scope via Earned Recognition and Customer compliance sites such as Avetta remain a objective to be targeted
Compliance to be maintained in 2020 FORS Bronze
DVSA Green OCRS
HSE Zero reportable incidents Compliance to be achieved 2020 / 2021 FORS Gold
Earned Recognition DVSA Green OCRS > 1.3
FORS as opened up a pathway to a more structured driver and staff training programmes whose value can be demonstrated in the wider business community
This will be our main focus of using FORS to increase the depth of knowledge available to our colleagues.
It is unlikely we can make significant improvement to fuel consumption by driver training alone, we already operate the trucks in the economy mode on gear selection programmes and power availability.
Our relatively low fleet age profile of 4 years and our commitment to operate only vehicles less than two years old on FORS results in fuel and emissions standards which are based on the latest technology.
Our current fleet profile provides Lomas with only 1 vehicle which is not Euro 6 compliant, 75% of our Euro 6 vehicles are to the step D emission standard.
The company have no social media accounts; however there is a Facebook account which is moderated by employees, the views expressed on this are not controlled or censored by the company
e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn etc.
Section 11 – FORS members’ feedback questionnaire
*Please note: All published FORS Gold case studies have been submitted by the accredited company named above and transcribed verbatim