Murrill Construction Ltd is a family owned, civil engineering company based in Greenford, West London, carrying out highway repairs and maintenance work for the London Borough of Ealing and other local authorities in London and the home counties.
We have been a FORS member since 2013 and a gold member since 2015. I, Mike Lally, have been the Transport Manager since May 2016 and this is my 6th year of working with FORS. Working with FORS has highlighted the modern working practices of a transport office. We operate 24 vehicles ranging from 3.5t transit pickup trucks to 32t tipper grab trucks; this is a reduction in the number of vehicles on last year.
The latest additions to our fleet are 2 new Mercedes Econic 32 tonne tipper/ grab Trucks and 5 new Isuzu 7.5 tonne trucks. The Mercedes Econic is part of our commitment to operate the most environmentally friendly vehicle of its type. These vehicles are cleaner and quieter with a 5-star direct vision rating, with a lower body and cab than the older vehicles they have replaced; this is the latest phase in our commitment to cleaner, quieter and safer vehicles for both our staff and other road users. Although we still have two older Euro 5 Transit trucks in our Fleet, these are due for disposal by October 2021.
Working with FORS has been a positive experience. I had presented my first bronze audit three years ago; the second bronze was last year. I found the auditor to be extremely helpful in pointing out some minor improvements that I could make. The auditor’s feedback on the day meant that we could fully understand the requirements.
Here at Murrill Construction Ltd., we pride ourselves in trying to protect the environment together with our staff and other members of the public who we may encounter whilst carrying out our duties. Although being a FORS Gold accredited member has been a requirement for some of the clients we work for, it has proven to be far more helpful than just an audit system. The FORS gold helps me to operate a more efficient transport office by reminding us of our duties as a transport department and helps keeping us up to date with the latest industry standards.
This year there has been an increase in the distance travelled by 8.5% and a reduction of both PCN’s and incidents. Our in-cab camera system which we had installed over three years ago has shown improvements in driving standards. We only received one third party complaints regarding the conduct of driving staff last year.
As Murrill’s is a construction company our driver health and fitness review are carried out alongside construction industry standards. Our health surveillance programme provides details on our staff’s fitness to carry out their duties and to identify any occupational health issues that may be underlying.
Murrill Construction Ltd are continuing to invest a great deal of time informing our staff on the risks of driving and operating vehicles, this is normally done by toolbox talks. As we are a highway maintenance company, all our work is regulated by health and safety/ construction regulations, these are of a higher standard than for road transport. We still run our CPC courses to incorporate both construction and road transport, this helps to make the CPC’s more relevant to our staff.
This year has been a challenging time for most businesses. We have experienced challenging trading conditions, this started with the expansion on the ULEZ due to be
enforced at the end of October 2021. Almost all the new vehicles we had purchased were late on delivery, it would be unfair to blame any-one suppler for these delays however when you add Brexit and COVID-19 into the mix we have experienced delays of up to twelve months on the delivery lead times for new vehicles.
In the past five years we have had a very low staff turnover rate, we have always managed to maintain a steady number of staff however, this year seems to be different. The Brexit and COVID-19 issues have caused us a real problem with staff retention this year, this has been mainly due to the lack of skilled staff in our industry. It is already widely known that the shortage of HGV drivers is a problem across the county, and we have experienced some of our drivers leaving to work in other industries. This has been compounded by some of our European staff not feeling welcome in the county since Brexit.
We are still exploring the possibilities of alternative fuelled 7.5t tipper trucks when our next set of vehicles are due for replacement in 2023 however there is still an issue with the electrical charging capacity within our site at Greenford. We feel that our operation would benefit from electric vehicles due to the low milage that some of our vehicle travel when our site electrical supply issues have been addressed.
We, at Murrill Construction, are quite positive about the future, we feel the turbulent times are behind us now. We are looking forward to the challenges ahead with a sense of optimism. Whilst we accept the staffing will be challenging, we are actively looking to recruiting more skilled staff. We are working with learning partners with a view to increasing the number of apprenticeships into our business. We are always striving to improve the way we operate both on the road with the help of the FORS systems and within the construction industry. The health and wellbeing of our staff and those we come into contact with whilst we go about business is very important to us here at Murrill.
You can find out more about Murrill Construction by visiting our website on. www.murrill.co.uk
Facebook, Murrill Construction Limited.
Section 11 – FORS members’ feedback questionnaire
Please could you take the time to complete a short questionnaire and provide feedback about FORS. Please note all answers you provide will be strictly confidential and will only be used by FORS to help us to improve the scheme. To access the survey, please click the link here: https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=153908006313