Whites Transport Ltd have been supplying road haulage services to customers across the UK and Europe for over 60 years. Our close proximity to London, befits our customer base, delivering to businesses in London and the surrounding area. Our fleet consists of 31 vehicles, ranging from small vans and rigid vehicles, to 44,000kg articulated vehicles and HIABs.
Jonathan White, Operations Director, explains how Whites Transport has achieved increased performance, improved safety culture and achieved significant reductions in fuel usage, through FORS.
Following a request from one of our customers in 2011, we began investigating FORS membership. As an ISO 9001 certified company, we have always focussed on quality standards, and are constantly looking for ways to improve our safety standards and quality of service. The systems offered and encouraged by FORS were an obvious choice for us.
In October 2011, we successfully completed our Bronze audit, and were pleased to identify improvements both during the audit preparation process, and the period following this, through access to FORS tools. Since achieving Bronze accreditation, in addition to the FORS performance management practices, and e-learning modules, we have benefitted through pre-qualification in requests for tender with companies such as DSJV (Crossrail project), ATC and Thames Tideway, where FORS membership is a contractual requirement for all suppliers.
Following our initial Bronze audit, we took advantage of our TomTom web-fleet software, in order to track fuel usage and mileage along with looking into traffic incidents, and penalty charge notices, this gave us a clear starting point to improve upon. We also took advantage of e-learning modules for staff, and reduced cost of Advanced Check for FORS members. These key benefits brought about immediate improvement in our operation, through more reliable checking of driver licences, and training modules. Although we were already heavily focussed on vehicle and driver safety, we use FORS e-learning modules, workshops, and newsletters to gain vital safety advice, and have installed additional cycling safety systems onto all vehicles. This has led to improved vehicle safety and increased driver confidence in urban areas.
‘FORS has provided an excellent platform for improvement within our. company, and continues to offer innovative training and performance management tools.’ – Jonathan White, Managing Director
FORS online ‘e-learning’ tool and newsletters have enabled us to improve the level of training we offer to our staff, and to focus our safety improvements more effectively. In addition to this, another key benefit of FORS membership has been the incentive to keep track of our fleet data through the TomTom webfleet software, which we have used to develop our performance management tool, and have seen marked improvements. After using the performance management tool for the base year, we identified the requirement to implement a more time-efficient system for monitoring fuel usage across the fleet. During May 2013, following extensive research into vehicle tracking systems available on the market, we installed TomTom web-fleet tracking + fuel monitoring devices across the fleet. This has allowed us to monitor real time fuel usage, idle time and MPG, in addition to monitoring driver behaviour. The use of this system, combined with “Fuel efficient driving” e-learning module has assisted us in identifying the key areas for improvement, and in implementing systems, in order to improve fuel consumption.
So far, FORS has been extremely beneficial to us, and has been a key factor our continual improvement programme. Achieving Gold award in 2013 and retaining our accreditation in 2014, 2015 and 2016 represented a significant milestone in our safety and quality standards. Our efforts were recognised by City Mark awards scheme in 2017, when we were awarded “Transport Operator of the Year 2017”. This was a welcome endorsement, and motivated us to improve further. The improved safety culture throughout our company, combined with the mandatory safety equipment fitted to vehicles, has led to a clear reduction in incidents. Following FORS guidance on incident reporting and post incident action, we have updated our process to include items such as, mandatory eyetest and improved driver retraining for the individual and the rest of our team, in order to reduce the likelihood of incidents being repeated. This has led to a reduction in incidents from 14 in the base year to 8 in year 1. This has also resulted in an improvement in our insurance premiums from year to year.
Quantify your improvements
- Through better monitoring of fuel data across the fleet, reduction of idle time, and introduction of newer & more fuel-efficient vehicles, we have achieved reduced CO2 emissions across the fleet. In a comparison between August 2015 and August 2016, we identified an improvement in CO2 output of 0.03 lbs per mile. These savings have encouraged us to investigate other opportunities to improve efficiency.
|CO2 Output (Lbs)||
Litres of Fuel Used
- Driver health and fitness review – In order to minimise the risk of incidents as a result of underlying health problems or diagnosis of condition we are introducing the following initiatives; Communicating to drivers the benefits of the healthy diet as well as general exercising. Reinforcing awareness to drivers of the repercussions to their continued appointment should they encounter any preventable condition through a lack of out of work physical activity This will be driven home through regular toolbox talks. Encouragement for regular health screening through individual’s GP where we have identified any areas of concern affecting their driving role.
- Strategy for recruiting drivers – Whites Transport Ltd work with recruitment agencies and we advertise through Universal Jobmatch and Indeed (specifically targeting ex-military candidates) for HGV driver recruitment.
- Noise assessment – In order to reduce the risk to H&S from noise we have decide to take pro-active approach and hire a H&S experts to perform measurements of the noise levels due to the nature of our work with rail freight services.
- Modal shift and alternative vehicles – how have you attempted to move part or all of your consignment from road to an alternative transport mode or used electric or alternatively-fuelled or powered vehicles within the fleet
During our 2017 – 2018 review, we identified opportunities to improve our defect reporting system and FORS evidencing. Following FORS endorsement of Fleetcheck, we introduced the system to Whites Transport Ltd towards the end of 2017, and completed implementation during Q2 of 2018. We were initially drawn to Fleetcheck by its proposed FORS reporting suite, and then saw huge benefit in the vehicle defect reporting, maintenance planning and reporting functionality. In order to achieve the full potential offered by Fleetcheck, we invested in smart phones for all driving staff, and installed the Fleetcheck vehicle checking app. Backup system of paper triplicate walkaround check books is still in place, in the event that phone apps are not available.
However, Whites Transport Ltd standard walk-round check / defect reporting process is now Fleetcheck vehicle reporting app. Although turnaround time for vehicle repairs was not tracked in the past, we are seeing an improved attitude towards defect reporting, with drivers notifying the workshop of “running defects” (small tears in curtains, scratches etc) via the Fleetcheck app, ahead of them returning to depot, so that workshop staff can allocate resources to repair the vehicle quickly and with minimum impact on the work schedule for that day. The web portal for transport managers allows us to check, on a daily basis, that all drivers have completed their necessary checks, prior to starting shift.
Being a Gold accredited member ensures we are seen as having high standing within our industry including amongst our peers. In summary we are seeing the benefits that ongoing training to reach FORS standards of performance can bring to our team of drivers. For the future we aim to continue to ensure our ongoing development as a company continue to reflect the standards which underpin the high standards which the FORS scheme represents.