Rendrive Haulage Ltd – Forging ahead with a new level of safety

Rendrive Haulage Ltd – Forging ahead with a new level of safety

Rendrive Haulage Ltd has been delivering road haulage services to customers, from the same site in Belvedere, Kent since 1979. Initially formed by Harry and Betty Clapp, it was built up into highly successful general haulage business. With the demise of the docks in London, the company adapted and inexorably moved towards the construction industry. In 2011 Tony O’Malley, joined the business and moved it further towards bespoke construction deliveries, coupled with just-in-time deliveries, using safe and efficient vehicles and professionally trained staff. Our fleet consists of 17 vehicles, ranging from 3.5t to 44t articulated vehicles, predominantly fitted with HIABs.

Tony O’Malley – Managing Director, explains how Rendrive Haulage Ltd is at the vanguard of improving safety standards for staff and vulnerable road users, by introducing safety equipment standards not previously implemented on out of scope vehicles.

We had identified an increased demand for the delivery of tools and material under a tonne in weight, to project sites using vehicles of less than 3500kgs GVW. Rendrive Haulage Ltd had avoided purchasing such types of vehicles, because of the lack of safety standards available on them, the cost of running the vehicles and the competition in the market place from low cost operators using sub-standard transit-type flatbed vehicles.

However, we have now committed to entering this segment of the market place and have introduced a vehicle boasting the highest standard of vehicle safety equipment in its class.   Driven by a driver trained and certificated to FORS Gold standard and operated to a standard that exceeds both operator licensing requirements, or any existing work related road risk standard, the vehicle, LX 68 OFB is a physical manifestation of that commitment. Furthermore, our commitment is that we will wherever possible, duplicate all safety devices and safe systems of work fitted to our larger large goods fleet and install on all company vehicles, regardless of class, size or type in response to work related road risk assessments. The aforementioned van, has been fitted with in-cab height indicators; blind-spot vulnerable road user [VRU] detectors, fitted along the nearside from the front of vehicle to the rear wheel arch; HD recording cameras covering forward, both sides and rear movement and a 7” in-cab screen; white noise and reversing alert bleepers; left and right turning VRU audible alerts; beacons front, top and rear. Additionally, the towing ball has been removed to eliminate any possibility of pulling a trailer. This reduces the threat to VRUs and eliminates the risk of the combination being ‘in-scope’ under tachograph regulations. A fall arrest handrail system has been fitted at centres not exceeding 450mm / 950mm thereby reducing risk to an operator.

There were challenges, when embarking upon the project, such as the limited payload of this type of vehicle when a tail-lift is fitted. Typically, a 1000kg vehicle payload is usual without any extra safety equipment being fitted. We had to find a way to ensure we could meet the industry expectation of at least 1000kg payload. We overcame this problem by sourcing an Iveco vehicle with a lighter chassis than the Mercedes or Ford transit, to allow us the capacity to fit under guards and equipment. The proportional cost of safety equipment is much higher at 8.5%, as apposed to 2% for HGVs however, we are striving to build upon and improve the safety of our entire fleet.

In 2011, Rendrive Haulage Ltd committed to focusing on the needs of the construction industry and in particular the improvement of construction transport safety and standards. Initially, this was through Crossrail however, our early and willing adoption of their requirements lead us in 2012, to adopt and commit to the FORS standard, the natural progression of vehicle and operator standards within the industry and have used the FORS standard as the benchmark for our operations. Rendrive Haulage was one of the first operators to obtain the Silver standard within the industry and became CLOCS Champions at the first opportunity.

 In 2012, Rendrive Haulage Ltd successfully completed our Bronze audit at the second attempt and identified 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 ATC [Crossrail] and Thames Tideway, where FORS membership is a prerequisite within contracts for all suppliers.

 Having completed our Bronze accreditation, the commitment to progress to FORS Silver was a natural evolutionally decision for Rendrive Haulage Ltd, and we welcomed its introduction as a framework standard for us to benchmark and mark off the growth of our safe systems of work. We have a FORS Gold standard fleet and upon examining the standard, I believe we could have applied earlier, instead of staying at the Silver standard. However, we deliberately delayed our FORS Gold submission until we were convinced that the rapid changes made in improving standards were sustainable and locked into our culture. We believe that the FORS standard is now wholly embedded within the company and the next natural step is to attain and extol the virtues of the Gold standard.

‘The culture of a company is a hard thing to change and the shared beliefs, traditions and values of this company are the essence of what we are.’ – Tony O’Malley, Managing Director

The FORS online e-learning tool, toolbox talks, and newsletters have facilitated us in improving the level of training we offer to our staff, and to focus our safety improvements more effectively. Another key benefit of FORS membership has been the concept of more in-depth tracking of fleet data, including fuel and AdBlue usage through our FuelTec system. This has enabled us to develop our performance management tool; consequently, we have seen marked improvements in fuel efficiency and CO2 production. Additionally, the performance management tool has enabled us to track traffic incidents, and penalty charge notices, thus providing a clear starting point from which to improve upon. We implemented driver licence checks through ‘Driver Licence Check’, which brought about immediate improvements 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, toolbox talks, and newsletters to gain vital safety advice, and have installed additional VRU safety systems onto all vehicles. This has led to improved vehicle safety and increased driver confidence in urban areas where there is an increasing number of VRUs. Another added benefit has been that Tony O’Malley – Managing Director and Dean Clark – Operations Manager, have availed themselves of the FORS Practitioner course, providing them with valuable knowledge moving forward.

‘FORS has provided an excellent platform for development and growth within our company and continues to offer innovative training and performance management tools.’ – Tony O’Malley, Managing Director

Achieving and retaining Silver accreditation in 2015 represented a significant milestone in our safety and quality standards. 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. Despite increasing our annual mileage, by 90% between 2015- 2018, due to the business expanding, our fuel usage and CO2 production was limited to a 30% increase.


Distance travelled (km)

Fuel used (litres)

CO2 Output (tonnes)

2014 – 2015

219.133 101,973 265.171

2017 – 2018

416.627 132,980


Percentage change +90% +30%


Damage-only collisions have been reduced from a total of 27 in 2016-2017 to 12 in 2017-2018, a reduction of 55%; Loading / unloading / parking incidents have also been reduced from 9 to 5 for the same time period, a reduction of 44%. Following FORS guidance on incident reporting and post incident action, we have updated our procedure to include items such as, mandatory post collision eyesight testing and improved driver retraining for the individual and the rest of our team, in order to reduce the likelihood of incidents being repeated. The company has undertaken a complete upgrade programme over the last two years to ensure that every vehicle operated by Rendrive Haulage Ltd will be EURO 6 compliant by the time of the London ULEZ introduction date, which has been brought forward to 8th of April 2019.

All vehicles purchased will have engine-idling stop start devices as standard and it is company policy to only purchase vehicles fitted with automatic or semi-automatic gearboxes, thereby further improving fuel efficiency.

Driver health and fitness review – In order to minimise the risk of incidents as a result of underlying health problems or diagnosis of conditions, we have introduced the following initiatives: communicating to drivers the benefits of the healthy diet as well as general exercising. We have installed a purpose built drivers’ resting room, where they can relax away from the activities of the operating centre. We have installed a cycle-rack at our operating centre and have offered a financial ‘reward’ for those drivers who replace their cars with pedal cycles for the journey to and from their workplace. Additionally, we reinforce driver awareness 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 toolbox talks. We encourage regular health screening through an individual’s GP, where we have identified any areas of concern affecting their driving role.

Recruitment of drivers – Rendrive Haulage Ltd primarily use an online portal, to recruit staff and in particular drivers. This offers a full suite of filters and / or parameters which aids choosing the most suitable candidates. However, where staff wish to progress within the company, it is actively encouraged. This creates a positive atmosphere and generates a sense of belonging and loyalty, with an added bonus of aiding staff retention. We encourage applications from young inexperienced drivers, safe in the knowledge that our induction and training regime, will ensure their introduction into the industry will be as seamless as possible. We also actively seek to recruit ex-military candidates and assist their transition into the workplace.

Noise assessment – The company documented a report in December 2018, which undertook an assessed of noise exposure levels at Rendrive Haulage Ltd.’s operating centre in Belvedere, Kent. It includes recommendations of actions to be carried out to ensure that Rendrive Haulage Ltd staff comply with the requirements of ‘The Control of noise at work regulations 2005’ which became applicable in April 2006.

During the assessment, all major operational areas of the vehicle yard inclusive of workshop, office, welfare, security cabin areas and all access and egress points were included. The report included: Objectives; Conclusions; Recommendations; Noise assessment; Discussion and a Plan for reduction of noise levels found to exist. Risk assessments were created and communicated, and a strategy was adopted including procedures to minimise the risk. These included the use of appropriate PPE, a good regime of machine maintenance, health surveillance and information, instruction and training.

Modal shift and alternative vehicles – Rendrive Haulage Ltd are committed to exploring the benefits of Modal shift and alternative vehicles however, due to the nature of our business, it has proved difficult. We deliver bespoke pieces of construction equipment and materials to sites which are more often than not, very difficult to access. As previously explained, we have entered a niche market, delivering smaller 1 tonne payloads on a small 3.5 tonne specially adapted vehicle. Presently, Modal shift is not conducive with the majority of our operations and is as a consequence, not presently viable. However, the company will continue to reassess its viability.

Presently, there is no alternatively fuelled vehicles available in the market place, which would replace, like-for-like, the current fleet. We are watching developments within the industry to see where it may be heading. We are particularly interested in following the Dutch specialist EMOSS who have developed a 16 tonne rigid on a Daf chassis for Calor. It has the potential to operate electrically for a 40 mile range, extendable to 250 miles with the use of a range-extending power unit, running on LPG. The LPG is combined with bio and has claimed CO2 reductions of 94%. The current problem is that the unit cost is between 2 to 2.5 times greater than its diesel alternative, with a significantly reduced payload. Additionally, we await to see greater improvements in the whole alternative fuels national infrastructure, which may benefit the industry.

The Company has undertaken a complete upgrade programme over the last two years to ensure that every vehicle operated by Rendrive Haulage Ltd will be EURO 6 compliant by the time of the London ULEZ introduction date, which has been brought forward to 8th of April 2019.

We have committed to our biggest project yet in two stages: the first stage has already been completed and the second stage is well on course for completion within the next four to six months. We sought to eliminate the need to reverse onto site to offload both sides of a vehicle using a standard Moffet type forklift. We are the first London Construction Logistics company committed to upgrading its fleet of forklift mounted vehicles with Terberg Kinglifters, thus ensuring we have the safest, most efficient and capable plant available in the industry. The king lifter vehicle mounted forklift is a game changer when it comes to reducing the working at height risks when mounting and demounting unit from vehicle. A total of five on board LED work lights together with clever convex and concave driver-assist mirrors ensures the operator has clear vision of the material being lifted during operations. The clear-view pantograph mast design allows unobstructed sight of the loads being lifted and means that trucks can be loaded fully across the loading bed of vehicle, when fitted with extending fork blades. This means that all material can be loaded or unloaded from only one side of vehicle, a major advantage in London where construction project off-loading bays are very restricted and eliminates the need for vehicles to reposition to offload from the other side. A significant reduction in the time taken to off-load and leave site can be achieved. More units are on order.

The Rendrive Haulage Ltd commitment is that we will wherever possible duplicate all safety devices and safe systems of work fitted to our larger large goods fleet and install on all company vehicles, regardless of class, size or type in response to work related road risk assessments.  We will provide vehicles under 3500kgs GVW with the highest standard of safety features practicable available.

Rendrive Haulage commenced operating their project vehicle, the 3.5 tonne ultra-safe Iveco flatbed in January 2019 and will have enough data by January 2020 to make decisions regarding the introduction of additional vehicles of this type.

We were the first company to put a small modified 12 tonne GVW ‘Multimodal’ vehicle on the fleet that has a sliding roof, was curtained sided with dual handrails and has a tail-lift fitted with full height handrails. This allowed site tower cranes to off-load up to 6.4 tonne units direct from the roof of the vehicle on congested sites. More units may follow.

As a FORS member aspiring to the Gold standard, we expect relevant contractors involved in transport and logistics within our supply chain, to also be part of the scheme. As part of this, we have reviewed our contractors’ requirements, and now require all contractors wishing to work with us to complete a questionnaire, a registration form and agree with our term and conditions stating that all subcontractors must hold valid FORS accreditation, relevant to the contract they are required to undertake. We have also attached the list of suppliers we have reviewed which have focused on those transport and logistics operators with which we have contracted.

All of our vehicles promote the scheme by displaying the current FORS logo stickers on front, rear and sides of the bodywork. Additionally, our stationary clearly displays the FORS logo thereby promoting the scheme.

Rendrive Haulage Ltd is committed to focusing on the needs of the construction industry and in particular the improvement of construction transport safety and standards in regard to work related road risk. As such, being a Gold accredited member would illustrate  that we are seen as having attained a high standing within our industry, including amongst our peers and that we were leading from the front, in the campaign to reduce road and site risk. We have always embraced change and in summary, we are seeing the benefits of ongoing progressive training, enabling us to reach the necessary FORS standards of performance. For the future, we aim to continue to ensure our ongoing development as a company, continuing to reflect the values which underpin the high standards which the FORS scheme represents. Our goal is to continually evolve, with the aim of reducing risk to an absolute minimum.