The vehicle rental and leasing industry is feeling positive and ready to embrace the market opportunities it sees in the months ahead, according to the BVRLA, which today unveiled its 2018 Industry Outlook Report.
A number of announcements impacting on the motor industry were contained yesterday's Budget Statement of Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond. Below are the measures that were announced that impact on the company car and van sector and wider motor industry. Look out for more detailed report in the forthcoming issue of Fleet Manager magazine - available online 1 December.
Air quality - in support of the National Air Quality Plan published in July, the government will provide £220 million for a new Clean Air Fund. It will allow local authorities in England with the most challenging pollution problems to help individuals and businesses adapt as measures to improve air quality are implemented. The Fund will be paid for by:
TyreSafe, the UK’s tyre safety charity, has announced substantial support for the national roads policing initiative to increase awareness of tyre safety to motorists on Britain’s roads. This will begin with the charity’s handover of 2,000 digital tread depth gauges for use by traffic officers across the country when they conduct stop checks at the roadside.
It’s the first time tyres will be included on the list of recommended visual vehicle checks carried out by police officers, and is considered as a significant step forward in carrying the tyre safety message directly to motorists. With accurate digital gauges to precisely measure the tread depth, drivers can immediately be made aware of the amount of tread remaining on their vehicles’ tyres. All those drivers will be reminded of the 1.6mm minimum legal limit for tread depth.
However, police officers will also paying attention to tyres’ general condition. A defect officers commonly report seeing is a bulge in a tyre’s sidewall, which is caused by internal damage from being driven over a pothole or from ‘kerbing’ when parking. Damage such as this can lead to a catastrophic failure of the tyre while driving with a high risk of causing a serious incident.
Following a tender procurement exercise for the replacement of its current fleet, Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH) has awarded the five-year contract to Northampton-based contract hire and fleet management company, Specialist Fleet Services (SFS). SFS was already the incumbent supplier having just completed a four-year contract for NPH.
NPH is an arms-length management organisation (ALMO) that manages Northampton Borough Council’s housing services, including repairs and maintenance, tenancy support, allocations and lettings.
As part of the tender specification NPH required bidding parties to include the utilisation of existing vehicle racking systems, from System Edström, within the new fleet.
Brake, the road safety charity, has published a crucial guidance report for fleet managers and HR professionals, in collaboration with Ambit.
‘Managing the grey fleet’ is essential reading for all professionals with responsibility for managing the complexities around running a grey fleet. The report is one of a series, produced by Brake which aim to help fleet managers reduce their road risk.
The guidance report outlines the risks involved with grey fleets, and includes an industry case study. Practical advice on how companies can strive to eliminate road risk for their employees is also presented through best practice guidance.
GB Electrical, a renowned family owned business specialising in electrical installation and repair work, has taken delivery of 38 Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. The mix of Crafter, Caddy and Transporter vans will support GB Electrical’s contract win with CarillionAmey which works together with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to maintain Service family accommodation for the Armed Forces. The contract has recently been revised to include additional areas in the UK.
Established in 1991 and with its headquarters in Hereford, GB Electrical primarily installs electric vehicle charging points across the country while also undertaking building construction and general property maintenance services in both domestic and commercial properties.
The new bespoke fleet of vans have been kitted out with racking to maximise internal space and will be used by the engineering team to transport equipment and install charging points nationwide. The size and reliability of the vans will support the team at GB Electrical to carry out their contract with CarillionAmey effectively and assist in the repair and maintenance of over 4,900 homes for Service families.
North West based housing group, Torus, has achieved the Freight Transport Association’s coveted Van Excellence operator accreditation.
The housing group owns more than 22,000 homes in St Helens and Warrington and carries out more than 30,000 repairs every year with a team of over 350 people and 250 vans.
The Van Excellence scheme, which has more than 120 accredited organisations, promotes the highest standards of van operation and driving by accrediting operators against an industry code of good practice. Torus achieved accreditation at its first attempt, demonstrating the organisation’s commitment to safer, more efficient and sustainable van operations.
More than two-thirds (68 per cent) of UK businesses are worried their employees are using mobile phones to text or access the internet while driving for work, research by TomTom Telematics has revealed.
The study also found 33% of organisations still have not taken steps to prevent employees from using mobile phones while driving, whether through specific policies, training or education.
This is despite the introduction of harsher penalties for people caught using their mobile phone while driving, which came into force on March 1 this year. The standard fine doubled from £100 to £200 and drivers can now be given a penalty of six points on their licence.
Confirmation that the new London Ultra Low Emissions Zone is to be introduced faster than expected will have a limited impact on fleets, says Arval.
The vehicle leasing and fleet management specialist says, by the time it comes into effect in April 2019, very few businesses will be operating pre-Euro 6 diesel or pre-Euro 4 petrol cars or vans, so will be unaffected.
Licence Bureau has experienced a 30% increase in licence checks in the first half of 2017 to 330,894 compared to 2016 making it the clear number one provider in the UK according to Access to Driver Data (ADD) figures released by the DVLA.
This is supported by the sharp increase in driver audits and online risk assessment and associated e learning which companies are adding to their Compliance Journey. This is a clear sign according to MD Malcolm Maycock that driver compliance is now top of the fleet agenda.
“We have seen a number of new fleets approach us as well as larger companies putting their licence checking out to tender over the first half of 2017,” explained Maycock.
“The entire industry licence check volumes are also up 17.2% according to the ADD figures which is further proof that driver compliance is now being taken seriously,” he added.
Licence Bureau signed up a mixed variety of new fleet customers in first half of 2017 such as Arla Foods, David Bratt & Sons (Haulage) Ltd, The Clancy Group, Joseph Ash Limited, Foulger’s Transport, Peter Brett Associates LLP, Ubico and Bobst UK & Ireland Ltd, as well as seeing a rise in checks for current customers.
“The big fleets are seeing their driver numbers and profile change on a daily basis so many are now adopting more stringent checks on both new and existing employees.
“It has taken its time but it’s good to see the education work the industry has undertaken is finally paying off to make UK roads safer,” said Maycock.
Leading UK LPG supplier, Flogas Britain, has been named as one of the UK’s leading freight and logistics businesses, after being shortlisted for the 2017 FTA Logistics Awards.
The awards, co-ordinated by the country’s leading logistics membership association, the Freight Transport Association (FTA), celebrate supply chain leadership and excellence, and recognise leaders who have made a significant contribution to the industry.
Shortlisted in the Logistics Champion of the Year for Essential Services category, Flogas will be judged by the FTA’s Board, with the winners being announced at London’s Intercontinental Hotel on 13 December 2017.
Leading commercial vehicle manufacturer Isuzu Truck UK has announced the launch of its brand-new website www.isuzutruck.co.uk, with the newly designed and fully responsive website specifically designed for the company’s key audiences highlighting the various body types and vehicle weights available within the latest Isuzu truck range.
Explaining the rationale behind the new website, Pete Murphy, managing director, Isuzu Truck UK said, “The website redesign makes it as easy as possible for customers to find the product or service information that they are looking for. We have focused on creating as much valuable new content as possible, which takes the form of downloadable industry guides, blog posts and other interesting documents that cover the key topics affecting both our retail and fleet customers.”
Fife Council are delighted to announce that they’ve been awarded a 5 star operator rating from ECO Stars – the first council in Scotland to achieve such an honour.
Fife Council first joined the ECO Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme in 2014 and pledged to improve their vehicles and operational practices as part of a road map to more efficient and cleaner operations in Fife.
At this original grading, Fife Council achieved 4 stars. Since then, a number of initiatives have been put in place to increase the environmental credentials of the organisation which have resulted in this unprecedented rise to the full 5-star rating.
The Department for Transport (DfT) recently published the response to a consultation, setting out the HGV periodic testing and inspections exemptions.
This forms part of a wider package of legislation on roadworthiness-related changes, which will come into effect from 20 May 2018.
What this means
A significant number of specialised heavy vehicles will now fall into the scope of annual testing. These vehicles were previously exempt. Most of these vehicles will need to be plated before they are tested – to declare their weight and load.
Fife Council employee Keith Smith has been crowned the UK’s best light commercial vehicle (LCV) and car driver in the inaugural TomTom Telematics Driver of the Year Awards.
Smith was announced as the winner during a dedicated ceremony at the Circuit de Barcelona race track in Spain, while Mark Lowe from Peter Green Chilled was victorious in the heavy goods vehicle (HGV) category.
TomTom Telematics took account of both driving performance and overall mileage throughout the competition. Driving behaviour scores were calculated by OptiDrive 360, a key component of the TomTom WEBFLEET fleet management solution.
250 new Citroën vans have replaced an existing fleet of Citroën LCVs at Hackney Council in London. The decision to renew the line-up with the very latest Citroën vans was underpinned by the ability to run the new vehicles on high-blend sustainable biofuel produced from waste.
Citroën models dominate the new Light Commercial Vehicle fleet at Hackney Council in London, after a recent delivery of 150 Berlingo vans, 40 Dispatch vans, 20 Relay vans and 40 Relay cage-bodied tippers, including some equipped with tail lifts. The new models replace the previous Citroën vans, which have been de-commissioned.
All of the new vans are equipped with load area ply lining and selected optional equipment, according to each vehicle’s allocated use. Van equipment options include beacon bars, roof racks, pipe carriers and ‘Chapter 8’-compliant’ high visibility rear chevron markings, while some tippers are fitted with beacons, tool boxes and tail lifts.
The main council departmental users include Hackney’s Housing Division, which provides property maintenance services for the authority’s property portfolio; Waste Services, which deals with recycling, Street Cleaning and Maintenance and the Parks Division for ground maintenance, as well as a raft of smaller departments.
Descartes Systems Group (Nasdaq: DSGX) (TSX:DSG), the global leader in uniting logistics-intensive businesses in commerce, has announced it is working with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the executive agency responsible for setting, testing and enforcing driver and vehicle standards in Great Britain, on the recently launched Earned Recognition pilot.
By rewarding compliant operators with fewer checks in return for access to their compliance data, Earned Recognition will help the DVSA focus its resources on the seriously and serially non-compliant. Accredited and compliant operators will, in turn, avoid roadside checks and any associated delays, expense or impact to their customers.
Alongside other providers and operators, Descartes is working with the DVSA to provide the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) required by the Earned Recognition pilot for tachograph data and the management of drivers’ hours through its SmartCompliance™ software. Descartes’ Smartanalysis™ is the industry’s leading tachograph analysis and reporting software, with more than 100 standard reports and KPIs configured specifically to meet the DVSA’s Earned Recognition pilot, and for transport operators to achieve Earned Recognition status.