J Coffey Plant Ltd are the support specialists of J Coffey Construction, servicing a wide range of construction sites in and around London on behalf of the group. The fleet consists of four vehicles. Tim Rayner, J Coffey’s Fleet and Compliance Manager (FORS Practitioner) explains how J Coffey Plant’s FORS membership has helped the business in both safety and efficiency.
‘FORS mainly started as a contractual obligation, with main contractors asking for FORS. At the same time, other companies in associated industries were taking up the FORS standard and it was looked at in more depth, the realisation forming that they were on to something good and beneficial. We joined the scheme.
Back in 2012 we passed our first bronze audit. A new scheme, new requirements and even terminology, a new way of looking at things, but the guidance was top notch and those in the scheme already were willing to aide us too. The trepidation of the audit was far surpassed when the shiny new certificate of accreditation arrived a short time later. We were on our way!
With the FORS accreditation came access to a wealth of training and information available to members. ‘Vulnerable Road User’ became understood around the workplace. Drivers and managers went on further training courses, checks were done and ideas formed on ways to take us forward. We are looking to send another member of the team on the FORS Practitioner workshop over the coming year to further strengthen our work with FORS
‘FORS has improved our safety and compliance across the board.’ – Tim Rayner, Fleet Manager
The key benefit of FORS membership for us has been the training available. Driver standards have improved as a result of the training. Management have attended training courses and FORS Practitioner workshops and as a result new vehicle purchases are designed not only around getting the job done but with a heavy focus on safety and efficiency, more than ever before. Culture in the company has changed for the better as a result of involvement with FORS.
‘The FORS Standard addresses all the key areas to bring you on as a transport company operating safely and efficiently in any modern cityscape.’ – Tim Rayner, Fleet Manager
Our main reasons for progression have been contractual. Over time the requirements of the construction sites have tightened with regards accreditations, first the need for FORS Bronze, then after a while it stepped up to FORS Silver across the majority of sites, always with a view to increasing safety and reducing harmful emissions. Our progression from FORS Silver to FORS Gold will allow us to bid on a wider range of future contracts and to demonstrate and encourage excellence to our supply chain.
At first glance of the table below, our MPG has seen a decrease. The group’s work in the city has however increased and our loads into the city have both increased in both volume and tonnage. Our mileage has increased by 16% most of which has been utilising larger weight vehicles than the previous reporting period; We’re using the big trucks more and they’re working harder. With new vehicles coming into the fleet the MPG figures will improve. Drivers are key in this, their knowledge and expertise when operating in the city have maintained their clean record. Incidents have remained at zero despite an increase in workload. PCNs have remained at zero, testament to the use of robust Construction Logistics Plans and booking in systems employed by major sites in the City. We are now utilising the free FORS Performance Management system to streamline recording and reporting and to support our own systems.
|Incidents per 100,000 Kms||
Number of PCNs
*Annual improvement in MPG and Incidents per 100,000 Kms
- In depth Occupational Health checks are carried out annually by an outside agency with annual declarations signed by the drivers and 6 monthly eye tests done in depot. The health checks are accepted as being beneficial for all concerned and cost the company very little to have professionally carried out.
- Driver recruitment is done in house for the majority. We have 4 trucks and driver turnover is almost nil. As we expand we are looking at utilising a local training company’s apprentice scheme for the provision of quality trained professional drivers.
- Noise assessments are carried out in both the depot and on sites in the city by our group’s health and safety teams. From this we can identify problem areas and work with sites on solutions to provide noise reduction. Enforcement of anti-idling on the trucks and utilising accoustic barriers are just two of the ways we have achieved this in the past.
- Modal shift has been unachievable due to the nature of loads we carry, however alternative vehicles provide an interesting direction for future implementation. We have actively researched electric vehicles and are now focussing on investigating both natural gas and pure hydrogen as a future viable solution to achieving a more eco-friendly fleet of vehicles.
Our future plans are to develop what we have in place to an even better level and work to further training and development for all elements of the transport operation team, well as investing in further technological advances on our fleet of trucks to improve both safety and efficiency beyond it’s existing level.
The attainment of FORS Gold accreditation will be the realisation of a lot of hard work by all concerned; both drivers and management. It will boost the team to strive for further improvement to procedures and mark the start of the future.’
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