A fundamental requirement of many leading retailersSafety and training are the watchwords for the Knights of Old Group, one of the largest privately owned logistics companies in the Midlands, and the group has underlined that commitment through its Luton depot achieving Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) Silver status.
FORS is an accreditation scheme that aims to improve safety, fuel efficiency, economical operations and vehicle emissions in London and throughout the UK. The Knights of Old group has three depots at Kettering, Northampton and Luton, all of which achieved FORS Bronze in 2010. This year depots had to be assessed on their own merits and Luton was the first to achieve Silver status.
The drive for Silver recognition was led by Elton Rae, the Knights of Old Group's Fleet and Environmental Manager. He said: "The main benefits are that we minimise the risk of incidents involving vulnerable road users, reduce C02 output and fuel consumption, and reduce the number of vehicle incidents which, in turn reduce driver absences, vehicle downtime and insurance costs.
"More sites in London are recognising the potential impact that vulnerable road users and goods vehicles may have on urban roads. Due to this, customers are requiring that transport companies, vehicles and drivers have higher standards of safety when delivering their goods.”
Luton needed to have several hardware upgrades to meet the criteria. These included sensors along the near side of the vehicle to alert the driver of vulnerable road users when turning left; an external left turn audible warning device to alert vulnerable road users when the vehicle is turning; reversing cameras, and Fresnel lens.
Mr Rae added: "FORS silver accredited companies take their responsibilities regarding safety and the environment seriously and are willing to invest heavily in these key areas
The silver status is timely as it came as the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, confirmed that HGVs without safety equipment would be banned from the capital under the UK's first "Safer Lorry Scheme. ”The scheme, which came into effect on September 1, 2015 require vehicles of more than 3.5 tonnes entering London to be fitted with side guards, along with Class V and Class VI mirrors, giving the driver a better view of cyclists and pedestrians around their vehicle.
Commenting on the move, Elton Rae said: "Between 2008 and 2012, 53% of cyclist fatalities in London involved lorries and in 2011, there were 16 cyclist deaths, nine of which involved HGVs. "Something had to change. The move to only allow HGVs with side guards and suitable mirrors into London is going in the right direction. However, many companies for various reasons can't or won't make the changes.
"FORS Silver sets companies apart making us recognisable as a company that takes the issue seriously and has safety at the forefront of our policies.”
FORS SILVER REQUIREMENTS
- Fleet operators actively committing to drastically improve safety,
environmental impact and efficiency through a range of initiatives.
Maintain FORS bronze
- Fleet operators shall maintain their FORS bronze certification
- Driver licencing
- Ensure that a verification system is in place to provide confidence that all drivers hold a valid licence for the category of vehicle they are tasked to drive
- Vehicle warning equipment
- Ensure that all vehicles over 3.5 tonnes gross weight are equipped with audible means to warn other road users of a vehicle's left manoeuvre
- Blind-spot minimisation
- Ensure all vehicles over 3.5 tonnes gross weight have front, side and rear blind-spots completely eliminated or minimised as far as is practical and possible through a combination of fully operational direct and indirect vision aids and driver audible alerts
- Driver training
- Ensure all drivers undergo approved progressive training specifically covering the safety of vulnerable road users
Transport related fines and charges
- Have a policy in place to investigate and analyse all transport related fines and charges and implement intervention(s) to reduce the amount received
- Baseline data and initiate active monitoring of the following performance indicators
- Total fuel usage and costs by distances travelled
- Transport related CO2 output and by distance travelled
- Total incident and collision data and costs involving personal injury, vehicle or property damage
- Total transport related fines and charges
WHAT OUR CUSTOMER'S SAYRANDOM HOUSE, SAID:
"All customers have their particular requirements and Knights of Old fully understand these. They continue to maintain a highly professional service within our supply chain.”
JOHN LEWIS, SAID:
"We are selective in who we work with and Knights of Old fully understand the needs of our business and are totally professional in supporting our goals. We know and trust each other well and look forward to seeing Knights of Old support us through the next phases of our development.”
"I cannot recall a single incident whereby Knights of Old has let us down. Our operation is a complex process, completely dependent on timing, and having a reliable logistics partner is invaluable to ensure things run smoothly.”