Small operator makes the mark with Van Excellence

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Van Excellence, the national accreditation scheme for van operators, has added its latest operator - Auto Electrical Services (AES).

Since the Freight Transport Association (FTA) launched Van Excellence in 2010 it has seen a variety of large operators including BT Fleet, Balfour Beatty and Sainsbury’s join, and now with the latest addition to the accredited partners list has seen Leighton Buzzard based AES - a small van fleet operator of just six vehicles. 

This latest accredited operator reinforces the message to light goods vehicle operators that all can become involved – and that it is appropriate for van operators of all sizes as it is open to all operators of commercial vehicles of 3.5 t GVW or less.

Richard Stansfield, director of business development at AES, said: “Auto Electrical Services is a family organisation – founded by my grandfather in 1952 – and we run with family values, but it is still important for our business to move forward at all times, and maybe more-so for a small family business rather than a corporate organisation.

“The whole Van Excellence programme has proved to be very useful to us, and the FTA has been very supportive in every step of the way through the process of our accreditation.”

Van Excellence was created in order to promote high standards of van operation and driving by accrediting operators against an industry code of good practice. 

Operators register their interest and receive details of the Van Excellence Code then present themselves for audit when they are ready.  Since the scheme launched, there are now over 160 van operators engaged with the Van Excellence scheme, operating between them 170,000 vans in total.

Mark Cartwright, FTA head of vans and commercial vehicles, said: “Van Excellence works perfectly for van operators of all shapes and sizes. 

“We’ve accredited some of the largest fleets in the past few years, including Network Rail and BT Fleet, but we have also now accredited some much smaller fleets including AES with their six vans.

“The Van Excellence code provides the best practice frame-work of how van operators can work safely and efficiently – simply put, it’s what good looks like.” 

The Van Excellence Code was agreed by operators acting as a governance group and requires systems to be in place to check vehicle roadworthiness, driver entitlement, load security and other safety aspects. 

The standard exceeds the minimum requirements of the current law and selects and adapts the requirements of O-licensing normally applied to trucks for the van sector.

Accredited Van Excellence operators need to present themselves for re-audit every year to ensure standards are maintained.

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