J Murphy and Sons – Continues with Gold

J Murphy and Sons – Continues with Gold

Murphy Plant Limited (MPL) are a wholly owned subsidiary of J Murphy and Sons, a multi-disciplined civil engineering and building contractor. The main sectors include rail, natural resources, power and water. Murphy Plant Limited are the main provider of plant and equipment to J Murphy & Sons. Richard Burnham, MPL Compliance Manager explains how Murphy has continued to implement FORS standard and procedures in order to reduce CO2 emissions, lowered NOx and particulate matter emissions whilst also managing fuel cost for vehicles and improve our road safety record, manage transport related fines and charges through the continued implementation of FORS.

Murphy was approached by the FORS team in 2013 and immediately jumped at the opportunity to join the scheme to improve lorry and driver standards. Having obtained and held the FORS accreditation for four years, it has allowed us to become part of a great scheme that has since improved our Fleet for both the roads of London and across the country. We have continued to adapt our fleet to the continuing requirements of our work in London and other major cities, purchasing further Euro 6 vehicles built to our specifications, which include FORS safety features which protect vulnerable road users. The vehicle seen in the picture above is an example of one of our recent additions. In the process we have become a CLOCS Champion for Fleet Operations.

Murphy passed the bronze and silver assessments first time round. Thereafter we continued to uphold these accreditations for the Kentish Town depot, therefore, indicating we are continuously implementing and improving the best practices for all the criteria’s required. The annual FORS assessment has been very influential in order for us to keep working towards the accreditation and maintaining our programme of driver and manager training using the FORS training materials.

Once were Bronze, it was seen as a natural progression to Silver and Gold, particularly in London, with major projects such as CrossRail specifying FORS.

Following on from the success of the FORS accreditation at Kentish Town depot. 2017, saw the company extend its FORS accreditation, under the guidance of the Compliance Manager, across three other depots within the company – Cannock, West Midlands; Ollerton, Nottinghamshire; and Golborne, Cheshire. This will enable the company to achieve MOCA status with FORS.

‘FORS Accreditation allows Murphy Plant to further demonstrate our commitment to fleet operation standards, such that it stands us apart from the rest of the civil engineering field.’ – Nick Fitzpatrick Head of Operations, Kentish Town Depot

The company see this decision as a key element of its business strategy, as Local Authorities and major clients from across all industries in the UK continue to drive safety improvements through its construction projects and the associated supply chains. We are now commonly seeing FORS as a minimum requirement when tendering for work, and not just for London. Demonstrating compliance with CLOCS and being FORS accredited has never been more critical for the sustainability of our business.

We use the FORS training materials and toolkits to the full, with all drivers undergoing regular training and toolbox talks, and managers working towards FORS Practitioner. The training provided has seen improved driver reporting of damage to our vehicles. FORS continues to provide us with tools that enable us to continuously progress our Transport Management System and focus on performance monitoring and best practice.

‘The maintenance of the gold standard, and extension of the accreditation to our other depots in 2018 has helped us to secure competitive advantage.’ – Mike Carpenter Managing Director of Murphy Plant Limited

Performance data – the data presented 2018 saw the average MPG of our fleet decrease when compared to previous years – this has be due to an decrease in the number of LCV’s on our fleet. However, the fuel data has shown in 2018 our average MPG for LCV’s increased by over 10% compared to 2017.

The number of incidents reported has increased due to improved driver awareness for the need to report all incidents.




Incidents per 100,000 Kms CO2 (tonnes) NOx (kg) PM10 (kg) Number of PCNs

Proportion of fleet that uses alternative fuels

Year 2016

25.3 3.813 3322.7 6876.4 1255 860 0%

Year 2017

25.7 3.014 2973.5 6153.5 112.3 746 0%
Year 2018 19.2 3.118 712.2 1371.0 50.5 382


Percentage improvement from 2017 -25% -3.4% +76% +77% +55% +48%


  • Driver health and fitness review – At Murphy’s, all drivers undergo a comprehensive fitness and health review before they are allowed to operate a HGV vehicle for the first time and then every two years each driver has a medical health check.
  • Strategy for recruiting drivers – We have 3 recruitment methods, our web site, the use of careers fairs and the use construction industry engagement initiatives; all of which are designed to encourage new drivers and apprentice fitters into the industry.
  • Noise assessment – The construction sites we make deliveries too are operated by J Murphy and Sons. Many sites will have a formal Noise and Vibration Management Plan in place. These sites will also have a local traffic management arrangements for access routes to and from the site, which will avoid local schools, retail and residential areas.
  • Modal shift and alternative vehicles – Murphy’s are a multi-disciplined civil engineering and building contractors, and generally it is not possible to modal shift. However we are actively looking at alternative fuelled vehicles with our suppliers and manufacturers.

Following completion of the trial with a Fuso Canter Hybrid 7.5 ton truck in 2017/18. Where the vehicle was placed with a number of different contracts that use this type of vehicle, this including utilities contracts and large projects within the London, Midlands and Northeast England areas. The company now plan to introduce these vehicle onto our fleet through 2019.

The end of 2018 saw the company complete the trial of a number vehicles with cabs designed to achieve a Direct Vision Star Rating of 3 or more. The feedback from the trial has been positive from the both the drivers and their supervisors about all the vehicles on trial. Following completion of the trial, a ‘Cost of Benefit Analysis’ is be undertaken, for use in the capital application for the next replacement of 32 tonne vehicles.

As a CLOCS Champion and FORS Gold company, and as part of our commitment to road safety of vulnerable road users, throughout 2019 Murphy’s will be undertaken a number of cyclist engagement through ‘Exchanging Places’ events with our Major Clients, local Police forces, local councils and education authorities.

Murphy Plant Limited are extremely proud of achieving and maintaining Gold at Kentish Town. We actively promotes FORS within our technical documentation such as our Plant Technical Guide, Plant Standards Guide and Total Site Solutions Mobilisation Guide. ‘We have positively promoted using our HGV fleet, which displays the FORS Logo.

The company have been awarded two contracts associated with the HS2 route enabling works, which have FORS requirements, our procurement process has mandated FORS as a requirement for award of contracts to sub-contractors and for the supply of materials.

Maintaining FORS Gold Accreditation at the Depot, and including the addition of other depots from the business in 2018 shows how dedicated we are as a company to improving road safety and the safety of all vulnerable road users nationally, as well as in London, along with the fact the FORS Standard has given recognition to the transport operation within the company.

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