Transport for Greater Manchester to adopt Clocs

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is looking to encourgage uptake of Clocs across the city region.

A city-centre event, featuring an Exchanging Places demonstration, was attended by operators, construction firms and local council representatives earlier this month.

They discovered how Clocs could reduce work-related road risk in their supply chains – a key aim in TfGM’s freight and logistics strategy.

A spokesman for TfGM said: “We’re looking to incorporate the Clocs standard in our own procurement and tender procedures as soon as possible, which will require a significant number of changes to our current operating arrangements.

“Within this standard, operators are required to demonstrate that they have appropriate safety management arrangements in place, for example through membership of an accreditation scheme such as Fors or an equivalent.”

Contractors Mace and Tarmac are supporting the uptake of the scheme in the North West.

Tarmac told delegates how a combination of safety-specced trucks and a focus on driver training had significantly reduced its blameworthy road incidents and seen insurance premiums drop by 10%.

An Exchanging Places event following the morning’s seminar sessions (pictured) demonstrated the differences in blind spots between an HGV fitted with Clocs equipment and an older model without.

FTA to reveal ultimate winner of Driver of the Year competition at Freight in the City Expo

The winner of the FTA’s Driver of the Year contest will be announced next week at the Freight in the City Expo at Alexandra Palace on 2 November.

The Driver of the Year event was held over three days in July at Mercedes-Benz at Wentworth Park, Barnsley, with competitions in three categories: vans, 18-tonne and 44-tonne trucks.

Drivers were put through their paces in a variety of tasks including defect checking, risk awareness and legislation.

Points were awarded for each task and the overall winner was announced at the end of each day.

Matthew Pickering of Samworth Brothers Supply Chain was named Truck Driver of the Year 44-tonne 2016 sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Trucks, beating 19 other finalists to lift the trophy.

David West of Total Foodservice Solutions scooped Truck Driver of the Year 18-tonne 2016 sponsored by Bridgestone Tyres and the winner of Van Excellence Driver of the Year sponsored by LeasePlan was Matthew Young of AAH Pharmaceutical.

The three category winners will be at the Freight in the City event to hear the overall champion announced by FTA chief executive David Wells.

Book you free place at Freight in the City Expo now to see the latest in both vehicles and technology designed to make urban deliveries as safe, quiet and efficient as possible. 

Teletrac Navman launches guide to role of technology in fleet management

Telematics firm Teletrac Navman has released a free guide for operators on how technology supports fleet risk management.

The free to download document talks readers through the role technology can play in managing fleet risks.

It also provides tips on catching maintenance issues before they evolve into bigger problems and optimising vehicle checking procedures.

Additionally, the guide gives advice on ensuring drivers remain within the speed limit and making the best out of dash cam footage.

The guide is available to download from Teletrac Navman’s website, and staff will be on hand to discuss its content at the Freight in the City Expo on 2 November.

Registration is still open for the free-to-attend event at Alexandra Palace, so book your place today.

Reynolds Catering Supplies renews with driver coaching firm SmartDrive

Reynolds Catering Supplies has signed a three-year renewal with SmartDrive Systems, the company behind the video-based driver safety programme of the same name.

The SmartDrive system encompasses road facing and interior facing recorders. These capture video and vehicle data of triggered events, which typically encompass distracted or dangerous driving incidents.

The triggered event videos are automatically sent to SmartDrive’s team of reviewers, who categorise and score them before sending them to an online portal.

Customers such as Reynolds access the prioritised event footage from there, and in the case of the operator, two ROSPA certificated driver trainers then use the footage to coach the firm’s drivers.

Reynolds made the decision to renew based on both the safety improvements and financial results it has achieved using the system.

This includes a 30% cumulative reduction in collisions year-on-year since 2009, ongoing fuel consumption improvements across the fleet and a reduction in associated costs, such as insurance premiums.

Coaching drivers with the aid of SmartDrive also delivered a 2% improvement in average mpg across the fleet in 2015.

“We have enough data now to say that SmartDrive has made a considerable contribution to enabling us to reduce collisions, save fuel and proactively work towards minimising our associated direct and indirect costs,” said Steve White, head of fleet at Reynolds (pictured).

“We have been working with SmartDrive since 2009 and continue to generate excellent value from its video-based programme. It has become an integral part of our day-to-day operations.”

Reynolds works for the likes of Itsu, Pizza Express and Bills, running a 24 hour operation out of eight depots. It has more than 250 vehicles, from 7.5 to 44-tonners.

“We have invested heavily in our fleet over the past few years,” said White. “Throughout this growth, SmartDrive’s Assurance programme has helped to propagate our culture of ‘safety first’ across all areas of the business.

“This is critical because the welfare of our staff and our general brand reputation rely on it.”

Reynolds recently took delivery of a pair of fridge-bodied Econics for urban use.

Teletrac Navman to show latest range of CO2 reduction software at Freight in the City Expo

Teletrac Navman will be at Freight in the City Expo next month to demonstrate how its analytical software can help urban fleets drive down emissions and improve driver behaviour.

Reducing carbon emissions from trucks and vans is a top priority for urban operators, the firm said, with tender documents increasingly requiring firms to have a CO2 policy when bidding for contracts.

It has therefore designed a range of systems to help operators address their fleets’ carbon impact.

Teletrac Navman software can produce regular reports on the CO2 emissions from each fleet vehicle; monitor and help reduce vehicle idling; ensure drivers take the shortest and most effective routes; and provide traffic alerts to allow drivers to avoid congestion hotspots.

“We’ll also be demonstrating how Teletrac Navman’s safety analytics software can provide operators with a range of driver behaviour solutions,” says John Merrill, European business development manager at the firm.

“Integrated camera solutions help to improve driver behaviour, and as front, side and internal monitoring cameras are becoming mandatory in various transport sectors within London, our products can help operators remain compliant whilst mitigating accidents with other road users such as cyclists,” he added.

Teletrac Navman also designs a range of compliance tools for fleet managers to ensure daily check and maintenance schedules are implemented, while its software platform Director enables drivers to receive urgent job details and messages without needing to use their mobile phones.

“Freight in the City represents an excellent platform for Teletrac Navman to engage with potential customers and explain how our range of fleet management solutions can help freight city operators,” said Merrill.


Northumberland to champion Clocs and Fors

Northumberland County Council has committed to championing Clocs across its locality.

The local authority will ensure its own 400-strong CV fleet is brought in line with Clocs standards, and will take steps to move up the different levels of Fors accreditation to achieve this aim.

It also plans to encourage adoption of Clocs throughout its own supply chain, and plans to make this a requirement of all its suppliers by 2020.

Northumberland County Council will work closely with the North East Freight Partnership to help boost operators’ understanding and uptake of both Fors and Clocs in the region.

It urges operators to ensure their workforces take part in a Safe Urban Driving course, which provides defensive driving training and introduces vehicle technologies to help detect the presence of vulnerable road users.

Free of charge courses are currently provided through the North East Freight Partnership.

Northumberland county councillor, Ian Swithenbank, cabinet member for local services, welcomed the decision:  “There is a growing number of cyclists and motorcyclists on our narrow rural roads and a growing number of HGVs. This means the hazard is only increasing.

“Some of our small villages are access roads for quarries and timber operations and have a large number of heavy wagons passing through them. Similarly, our refuse wagons go to every corner of the county with our council staff often needing to manoeuvre the vehicles in locations which are narrow and have poor sight lines.”

In Northumberland, between 2011 and 2016, 33% of cyclist fatalities involved HGVs.

The council said that while it  “cannot enforce the implementation of these standards for all HGVs that travel through Northumberland” it will actively promote and encourage adoption of the standards by other operators: for example to local farmers through the National Farmers’ Union, through planning permissions and through its tendering processes.

Northumberland’s announcement follows close behind Transport for Greater Manchester’s push to promote Clocs across the North-West, with an event taking place later this month for operators to find out more.

The Fors scheme recently signed up its 4,000th member, and last week published its “greenest-ever” version of the standard to focus heavily on mitigating transport emissions.




Cornwall Council opens new ECO Stars scheme for regional operators

Cormac, Lorne Stewart, TNT and WJ South West are the first firms to join Cornwall’s new ECO Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme.

The free voluntary scheme, which provides recognition and support on reducing fuel costs and environmental best practice to fleet operators, will be operated by Transport and Travel Research (TTR), on behalf of Cornwall Council.

Firms joining the scheme are given a star rating out of five, with personal guidance on how to improve upon this initial score and drive further efficiencies in their fleet operations.

Welcoming the four firms to the programme, Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council’s communities officer, said: “Cornwall ECO Stars scheme is a great opportunity for operators in the Camborne, Pool, Illogan and Redruth area to get free advice on improving their fleet efficiency.

“Congratulations to our inaugural members – we hope that many more businesses will follow their lead, join the scheme and contribute to improving air quality in the area, whilst also improving their bottom line,” he added.

Jason Gallop, Cormac fleet technician, said the firm  was delighted to join the scheme. He added: “The evaluation process was entirely straightforward and I would have no hesitation in recommending that other fleet operators should join the scheme. Obviously we look forward to working with TTR again, with a view to achieving a five-star rating in the future.”

ECO Stars Fleet Recognition scheme was launched in South Yorkshire in 2009 and has expanded across the UK to areas including York, Edinburgh, Manchester and Warrington and has more than 500 members with 14,000 vehicles.

Focus on HGV driver training not more technology could help reduce cyclist fatalities, says RTITB

Driver behaviour is key to preventing serious collisions between HGVs and cyclists, according to transport training standards body RTITB.

The organisation is calling for more focus on driver training to prevent cyclist fatalities, rather than predominantly concentrating on HGV technology and legislation as a solution.

Pointing to recent statistics from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA), which show more than 50 cyclists killed in incidents involving HGVs every year, RTITB said human error is the leading contributory factor, “but up until now media focus has been placed on traffic safety schemes”.

“We want to challenge the popular view that technology and legislation is the answer to all cyclist related accidents,” said Laura Nelson, MD at RTITB. “We need to remember that driver behaviour is key.”

At a presentation that took place at the Health & Safety Event 2016 on 23 March, RTITB technical services executive Richard Brewer explored how improvements to driver awareness could help to reduce the number of fatal incidents involving goods vehicles and vulnerable road users every year.

“As a society we are so reliant on technology that we tend to presume it is always the best solution to an issue.

“While technology such as cameras and sensors may help to prevent fatal accidents, it isn’t the entire answer, and could even cause drivers to be more complacent,” said Brewer.

“Your brain is more powerful than the world’s biggest computer – it will always outperform the most high-tech cameras and sensors, if it is given the proper training,” he added.

TfL recently announced that more than 20,000 lorry drivers have now undertaken Safer Urban Driving courses.


Greenwich council to tackle air quality through fleet scheme

The Royal Borough of Greenwich has launched an ECO Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme in a bid to improve air quality on local roads.

The new scheme will cover the areas of Greenwich, Woolwich, Charlton, Plumstead and Blackheath.

It comes after Greater Manchester and Staffordshire and Stoke launched ECO Stars schemes.

Fleets are assessed free-of-charge by ECO Stars with a star rating awarded based on current performance, alongside a roadmap of recommendations to help them drive down emissions and reduce operating costs.

Councillor Danny Thorpe (pictured centre), cabinet member for regeneration and transport, at Greenwich council, welcomed new members to the scheme earlier this month, including the council’s own Fleet Services division, DHL and the University of Greenwich.

“I am delighted that the Royal Borough of Greenwich is hosting today’s launch which marks a new chapter for both us and our partners in working to improve the borough’s air quality.

“I am looking forward to seeing how we take our roadmaps forward and all aim for a 5 star rating so that we can run cleaner, safer and greener fleets,” he said.

ECO Stars is managed by transport consultant Transport & Travel Research. Set up in 2009, there are now 21 schemes running in the UK.