Willow Transport Solutions Ltd – Going for Gold

Written by Ellie

Willow Transport Solutions Ltd are based in West Horndon, Essex and specialise in general haulage for the construction industry. Lee Nix, Director, has seen huge benefits for Willow Transport Solutions Ltd from FORS. The safety features now fitted to our vehicles have reduced incidents and our staff training programme has helped with our employees understanding of their job roles & responsibilities.

We were introduced to FORS through our supply chain and immediately realised the procedures and standards required to achieve the Bronze accreditation was exactly where we wanted our company to be. When we looked at the requirements and benefits of joining the scheme we saw that they fitted in perfectly with our ethos of improving safety whilst complementing our drive to improve fuel efficiency and reduce our environmental impact.

We passed our Bronze assessment first time which gave us the platform and confidence to proceed to the Silver Accreditation. Keen to distinguish ourselves from our competition we immediately began work to achieve this goal and wanted to achieve Gold too.

FORS has helped Willow Transport Solutions Ltd in many ways, a key area we have identified improvement is staff training and refreshers. The FORS system encourages our staff to be proactive with their training, allowing them to identity their own areas for improvement. We have regular one to one training days with outsourced FORS practitioners to ensure all staff meet out stringent driving standards.’

We used the FORS accreditation as a spring board to promote our newly formed company to a whole host of clients. The response was overwhelming’ – Lee Nix-  Managing Director

We immediately placed our foreman driver on a FORS Practitioner workshop programme and began upgrading the vehicle camera systems to a higher specification. All our drivers have also completed FORS E-Learning modules as well.’

‘We have increased our MPG by 19.37% since our baseline year’ – Lee Nix Managing Director

We have managed to reduce our Parking fines and charges by 43.75% in the past 12 months compared to our baseline year. We achieved this by making sure we always selected the best route possible to all our sites and we plan ahead before leaving the yard.

MPG Incidents Number of Parking Fines and Charges
Mar 15-Feb 2016 13.06 0 16
Mar 17-Feb 2018 15.59 1 9
Percentage improvement 19.37% -100% 43.75% increase
  • All our Drivers complete a Occupational Health Report every month and we complete a Occupational Health Fitness review annually even though the FORS Standard states once every 5 years. It’s also mentioned in the drivers handbook that if they at any point in time start suffering from a medical condition they need to notify the company ASAP as well as if they need to start taking medication prescribed by their GP or over the counter drugs. We will then investigate it to see if it’s still safe for the driver to be driving for the company and we may even ask the driver to get a letter from his doctor informing the company if he is still able to drive for the company. We will then start doing more driver assessments on the driver to make sure he isn’t a risk to the company or anyone on the road.
  • We have recently adopted a recruitment policy to try and help us recruit young drivers into the Transport industry. We encourage drivers who start with us to go through their HGV Licences. We have put 1 driver who we have employed in the past 6 months and put him through his Class 2 and is planned to complete his class 1 Drivers Licence later this month. We have also planned ahead to put an additional 2 drivers through their Class1 later this month too. Once they passed their Class 1 Licence they then spend 12 weeks as a passenger only, learning loading/ unloading, Strapping, routes and customer service. They then spend 12 weeks as a driver with a Head Driver as a passenger.
  • We only have 1 Operating centre and we use it for parking our lorries. We don’t do any loading/ unloading on site and all our servicing is done by main dealers at their sites not ours. The only noise generated is when my lorries are idling so we can carry out our defect checks. All my lorries have white noise reversing alarms fitted to them.
  • We carry clients products to construction sites across the whole country. As we rely on our customers asking us to deliver to various construction sites across the whole country, we never know where we are going until they need us. Therefore we can’t afford to try and move anything via barge or train as we collect all the equipment from building sites and there is no other method than using a lorry and we then asked to deliver anywhere in the country. So using a Lorry is the most cost effective way of moving our clients goods. We are replacing all our lorries with Euro 6 engines as and when they are due for replacement. We have looked at electric vehicles and because of the weights we carry and the fact that our lorries have specialist equipment fitted no manufacture have produced an alternative fuelled vehicle that can carry the weight we do and go over the same terrain we do. We have bought a BMW I3 as a company pool vehicle to try and help reduce our CO2 and save money on Fuel Usage.

willow

We will continue using what FORS has taught us to improve our MPG and reduce any wasted idling we might have and keep our Parking fines and Charges to as low as possible.

Gaining FORS Gold Accreditation shows how dedicated we are as a company to improving road safety and the safety of all vulnerable road users in London as well as nationally. We will continuously use what FORS has taught us to help reduce our carbon footprint and make the roads so safer for everyone that uses them. We have also managed to make a significant saving by reducing our fuel usage and improving our MPG.

If you are a FORS company, or if you are working towards accreditation, your business is entitled to some exclusive fuel cost saving offers from Fuel Card Services. Click here for more information.


Posted on 22nd January 2019

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