EEG is one of the UK’s largest providers of drainage and sewer cleaning, inspection and repair services, providing nationwide reactive and emergency maintenance and repair coverage.
Operating from seven main sites across the UK, EEG provides multi-utility solutions to clients ranging from local authorities and utility companies to industrial and corporate businesses. The company’s fleet operation is headed up by Ian Summers who has begun a fleet replacement programme that aims to provide a cost-effective and more environmentally friendly solution for the company.
Describe your role and responsibilities as Group Fleet Manager
My role is to oversee the fleet operation and ensure vehicle compliance throughout all operations. I am also responsible for the purchase, maintenance and disposal of the company’s vehicles.
How do you make decisions about which vehicles and equipment you source for EEG’s fleet?
I have a whole life costing model which I use. The cheapest does not always offer the best value over the long term. You also need to involve the end users and have their input because, at the end of the day, they are the people driving, operating vehicles and looking after the vehicles.
You are currently undertaking a fleet replacement programme, what type of vehicles does this consist of and when will \this be completed?
We are embarking on a change of vehicles throughout the group, this includes support vehicles (Citans) ranging from small vans through 3.5T vans (Sprinters).
We also have operational vehicles that are earmarked for change this year these will include CCTV vehicles, 26-tonne Combination units and 32-tonne Recyclers. Due to the cost and lead time on conversions of the operational vehicles this is a five-year plan.
How much does technology affect your role and what initiatives have you rolled out recently – or plan to roll out – utilising new technology?
Technology seems to change on a daily basis, all vehicles are fitted with telematics systems which are linked to the vehicle ECU and can flag errors as they happen.
Also, having depots throughout the UK, I am looking to bring electronic storage of defect reporting, vehicle inspections and repair authorisation.
What other issues and challenges are currently facing your fleet operation? The biggest challenge we have right now is getting good people as vehicle operators, you can’t hand the keys of a £300k vehicle to just anyone. Reducing the number of minor knocks and bumps is also an issue I intend to get on top of in the near future.
The cost of fuel is a major concern for fleet operators, what are you doing to combat this?
We take into consideration published fuel figures when choosing which vehicles to source and all new vehicles supplied come with speed limiters fitted which reduces fuel consumption.
Does EEG have any fleet accreditations and do you see accreditations as an important benchmark in managing risk?
At the moment we do not have any fleet accreditations but I have spoken previously to the FTA for Van excellence and we are in the process to gain FORS accreditation.
What kind of specialist vehicles do you have on the fleet?
We have a wide variety of vehicles in the fleet from Citan Supervisor/Support vehicles to Disab Centurion suction units with CCTV, Jet Vacuumation units, Lining vehicles and CDE Screen Units included in the range.
What are the most rewarding aspects of your role?
Having just recently started with EEG seeing the small changes I have already made are already having a positive effect on the vehicle operations. Getting to meet a variety of people from decision makers to drivers is also very rewarding aspect of the job.