Setting the gold standard in anti-idling
The Travis Perkins Group is the UK's biggest supplier of building materials to the trade, construction industry and serious DIYers, with brands that include Travis Perkins, Wickes, BSS Industrial and Toolstation. The company can trace its roots back over 200 years and has built a national network of over 1,800 branches and stores. Ron Searle, Group Transport Risk and Compliance Manager, tells us how FORS has helped Travis Perkins monitor fuel use and minimise engine idling across its fleet.
"Travis Perkins was one of the founder companies of FORS" explains Ron, "and we are proud to say that we have been in the first group of companies to become bronze, silver and gold accredited."
"We passed the bronze assessment first time round and quickly decided that we didn't want to stop there! Although we have our own fuel tracking system, I signed up to FORS benchmarking and we started entering fuel data for a cross section of our vehicles."
"With a fleet of over 3,000 commercial vehicles it's always been important to us to monitor fuel use. FORS benchmarking has given us an opportunity to examine our fleet in detail and crucially to compare the performance of different vehicles not only within the Travis Perkins fleet but also externally" explains Ron. "It was only after we had entered data for a few months that we began to see a pattern emerging which showed that our Miles Per Gallon (MPG) was out of synch with industry averages. Knowing this information gave us the ammunition to launch an investigation into what was happening and why."
"We are proud to say that we have been in the first group of accredited companies to become bronze, silver and gold"
"By this time we had become one of the first FORS silver accredited companies and we really began to see tangible benefits from our FORS accreditation. A detailed examination of our tracking system showed that our vehicles spent around 90 minutes idling every day, engines running, using up fuel, creating emissions and ultimately costing us money."
"Essentially, drivers were leaving their engines running all day regardless of whether they were on a break, waiting to access a location or genuinely idling to keep the ancillary equipment running. We needed to remove this way of working and act to reduce idling time."
Ron explains that "the real difficulty for us is having 3,000 trucks in over 1,800 locations which makes it very difficult to implement a company-wide campaign. We send weekly reports and league tables to the branches and the effect has been dramatic. Because of the nature of our deliveries and the need to run ancillary equipment we will never be able to eliminate idling completely, but by implementing a monitoring system we have cut idling time down by around 70 minutes per vehicle per day. We've also saved over 1 million litres of fuel in the last three years across our branches and stores."
|Litres of fuel saved||340,000||351,000||360,000|
This equates to a saving of over 2,440,000 Kgs of CO2
Fuel and CO2 savings between 2009 and 2011
The Travis Perkins Group also monitor and report on safety and incidents. Ron explains "Since I started with the company 11 years ago we have always monitored and reported on accident levels. Although the level of incidents is only slightly below that recorded 11 years ago, in that time our fleet size has increased from 460 to 3,000 vehicles."
Ron Searle, Group Transport Risk and Compliance Manager
Ron believes that FORS is all about helping to share best practice with others. "In a wide-spread organisation like ours, making sure that everyone buys in to achieving best practice is key to helping us meet our goals. I frequently attend FORS workshops either as a delegate or to present a case study and I like to make sure that other members of the Travis Perkins team also attend. You can always learn something new from the workshops - something that connects with what you are already doing and helps you to raise the bar that little bit higher."
Ron states that "One of the main reasons that Travis Perkins wanted to be amongst the first gold FORS accredited companies is that we believe that learning through the experience of others benefits everyone. We will continue to support FORS because it gives our people the chance to do that through benchmarking, workshops, events and case studies" he added.
"You can always learn something new from the workshops - something that helps you to raise the bar that little bit higher"