Earthline are a leading independent family owned mineral extractives and earthmoving business. Based in the south of England they offer a range of products and services, specialising in both primary and recycled aggregates produced and processed at their own quarries. Tom Reddy; Driver Training Manager at Earthline explains how FORS has helped the company develop into a leading operator in the sector.
We originally got involved with FORS in 2014 due to a customer request for us to hold the accreditation, and since then it has formed the basis of our transport policy, allowing us to measure improvement in all aspects of our transport operations.
Having successfully passed the Bronze audit at the first attempt, we took the necessary steps to move towards Silver accreditation. Since we had already been fitting all the required vehicle safety systems to our vehicles long before we had heard about FORS, gaining Silver accreditation was a relatively straightforward process.
‘Safety is our priority, always’
In early 2015, we created a JAUPT approved training branch – Earthline Driver Training – in order that we could deliver CPC training to our drivers, in a more effective way and also tailor it to our specialist needs to deliver the most beneficial results to the business. One of our core values is ‘Safety is our priority, always’ and our Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving (SAFED) courses are already delivering promising results. By delivering SAFED in combination with FORS E-Training, we are ensuring our drivers our best equipped to deal with their challenging and quite specialist job.
In Oxfordshire, we pioneered the ‘Safer Oxford Cycling Scheme’ with the support of Thames Valley Police, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Oxfordshire County Council. The scheme offered the public, specifically vulnerable road users, the opportunity to sit in the cab of one of our vehicles and have the danger areas and blind spots demonstrated to them by our drivers. The scheme was very well received, and we have plans to roll out more events in 2016. We firmly believe that we have a responsibility to help make the roads as safe as we can. By running these events we are hoping to promote an attitude of teamwork between drivers of large goods vehicles and vulnerable road users, through a mutual respect and understanding. These events in combination with our leading driver training program are helping to make that happen.
‘We firmly believe that we have a responsibility to help make the roads as safe as we can’
Since adopting FORS and measuring key performance indicators for our vehicles so thoroughly we have noticed significant improvements in overall fuel consumption and with that has come a reduction in road incidents. From 2014 to 2015 our accident rate fell by over 25%.
We incentivise our drivers with bonuses for achieving set levels in fuel consumption, and set levels in harsh brake applications. We publish the results weekly and quarterly in a league table. This has proved very popular amongst our driving staff, and over time we have had to develop new bonus levels as drivers continue to surpass themselves reaching -previously unheard of – levels of fuel consumption figures. Fully loaded our tipper fleet are very demanding on fuel, every percentage point of fuel saving makes a huge difference to us! We are very proud of our drivers and the standards they are constantly pushing to achieve and surpass.
Looking to the future, we aim to establish ourselves firmly as the leader in our sector, setting the example for others to follow.
Because of Earthline’s continued commitment to road safety, operational efficiency, environmental impact, and staff training; achieving FORS Gold standard would be fantastic recognition of our relentless pursuit of excellence. We are proud of our green credentials and we constantly strive to improve, continually investing in our vehicles and staff to ensure we can offer our customers the very best service. Something they have come to expect from us, and something we are proud to say we can deliver, time and again, to only the highest standards. The Earthline standards.