P J brown (Construction) Ltd was started by the company’s namesake Peter John Brown in 1980, with Peter beginning as a sole trader with a single tipper lorry. In the years since then, it has grown to become the largest tipper operator in Sussex.
Based in Crawley, Sussex, P J Brown (Construction) Ltd has two significant sides to its operational activities with its groundwork’s and civil engineering operation being the largest part of its business and its haulage operation playing a supporting role.
Richard (Sonny) Brown is the company’s transport compliance manager and explains how P J Brown (Construction) Ltd’s FORS journey has progressed through the improvements in road safety and reductions in road incidents and PCN’s it has seen since becoming a FORS accredited member.
We became aware of FORS in 2014 following discussion with one of our clients and upon visiting the FORS website realised it could possibly help us to enhance our compliance practice.
Putting together the required documentary evidence for our initial Bronze audit was fairly straightforward as we already maintained the evidence as a matter of course. However, the FORS layout of folders made a great deal of sense which made things easier to find.
For P J Brown (Construction) Ltd, upon obtaining FORS bronze it was inevitable that we would look at both Silver and Gold as it is the company’s ethos to progress and achieve the highest possible accreditation to enhance and endorse our standing as a compliant operator.
Gaining FORS Bronze, we took advantage of the road safety training that was available to us and booked our driver workforce on the Safe Urban Driver training and completed the required E-Learning modules both of which were a significant ‘bolt-on’ to our internal driver risk management program.
‘We have seen improvements in road safety and reductions in road incidents and PCN’s.’ – Richard (Sonny) Brown Transport Compliance Manager
All our vehicles are fitted with near side proximity sensors and cameras which are linked into the left turn audible warning alarms. We have also included the fitment of Fresnel Lenses to our entire fleet which the drivers feel has provided significant benefit that these safety additions have made by eliminating the near side blind spot that was always a problem.
During 2017 we installed 360 camera systems to a delivery of 5 new tippers and have monitored the systems since there installation. The benefits of having 360 camera systems installed became apparent to us and with 10 new vehicles being delivered before the end of 2018, these vehicles will be delivered with 360 cameras installed as we continue to upgrade our fleet with the latest safety technology.
‘FORS has helped us enhance our compliance best practice.’ – Richard (Sonny) Brown Transport Compliance Manager
Overall, the improvements we have achieved are detailed in the table below and these achievements only serve to motivate us to further improve on our current achievements.
|Incidents per 100,000 Kms||
Number of PCNs
- Driver health and fitness review – All new drivers must complete a Medical Declaration upon joining the company during the induction process. However, we have recently considered introducing this on an annual basis.
- Strategy for recruiting drivers – P J Brown (Construction) Ltd are based in an area where there are several other operators carrying out similar work to us. With it becoming ever harder to recruit drivers, we increased our driver rates in September 2017 to ensure that we retain our driver workforce in what is a very competitive marketplace. Equally, we advertise extensively through our media platforms and have actively promoted HGV driving as a career path at local events we sponsor as a company. However, like many operators, we are restricted to what we can achieve here as employing a young, newly qualified driver places significant financial penalty upon the company in the event of an incident.
- Noise assessment – the location of our operating centre means that our daily activities do not impact on local residences. To avoid other noise and inconvenience on the routes that will impact upon other road users, our vehicle fleet has usually left the ‘OC’ before the main build-up of local rush hour traffic and the ‘school run’ which serves, not only to minimise noise impact, but equally helps reduce emissions from vehicles that would otherwise be sitting idling in traffic queues.
- Modal shift and alternative vehicles – we had a demonstration of the direct vision tipper vehicle that is currently available from Volvo trucks and this is something that we will consider for the future.
FORS has afforded P J Brown (Construction) Ltd the ability to quickly, simply and effectively implement various strategies to ensure the company and its vehicle fleet operates as safely as possible. It has given us a framework that ensures we are as up to date and current as we can be and has given us access to tools such as e-learning and on-site courses that we would otherwise be unaware of. Moving forward, we will continue to maintain the highest levels of compliance wherever practicable.
In summary, achievement of GOLD has served to confirm that P J Brown construction ltd is both committed to meeting the highest standards of compliance and road safety whilst simultaneously striving to set new ones. Renewing our FORS Gold for another year will confirm the benchmark of said standards and for P J Brown (Construction) Ltd this means being part of a select group that has achieved its highest accreditation with FORS.