Fleet managers in charge of light commercial vehicles and their drivers have a duty and responsibility to manage them using similar policies and procedures as are used in the tightly regulated HGV sector.
That will be the message from Chris Hall, senior director - transport, Asda Logistics Services (pictured), to delegates attending the first Commercial Fleet Summit and Exhibition on Thursday, September 24 at the International Centre, Telford.
Hall has management responsibility for Asda’s distribution depot fleet, which clocks up a staggering 84 million miles a year. The fleet includes 950 tractor units, 1,200 ambient trailers and 800 refrigerated trailers. The 2,600 drivers of those vehicles make around 19,000 deliveries a week to almost 600 shops.
Additionally, for the past 15 months, Hall has been responsible for Asda’s familiar home delivery fleet, which numbers some 2,100 3.5-tonne vehicles operating from three home shopping centres and 280 shops. Each van - there are some 6,500 drivers - clocks up approximately 30,000 miles a year.
The operation of vehicles above 3.5 tonnes is strictly governed by ‘O’ Licence regulations and, said Hall: “We take our regulatory responsibility very seriously and have preventative maintenance measures in place and strong and robust audit processes in respect of the fleet and tightly manage our drivers in terms of health and safety compliance as well as efficiency and performance.”
However, for fleets operating sub-3.5 tonne vehicles there is not the same regulatory requirement and, said Hall: “Some may choose not to have the same level of robustness around their management processes as there might be for their larger fleets.”
But, argues Hall, just like Asda has done, businesses operating sub-3.5 tonne fleets should take a leaf out of the books of the HGV sector and manage their vehicles and drivers with a similar robustness.
It was a desire to adopt such stringent processes and procedures that led to Hall taking over management responsibility for the home delivery fleet early last year.
In his presentation entitled ‘learnings from the logistics/haulage industry’, Hall will say: “Fleet operators should take the best of what is done in managing large fleet vehicles and replicate it in the 3.5-tonne sector. Regardless of legislation we have a responsibility and accountability irrespective of the size of the vehicle to manage them in the same way.”
Tickets are now available for the Commercial Fleet Summit, book your place at www.commercialfleetsummit.co.uk or contact Emma-Louise Kinnaird on 01733 395133 or firstname.lastname@example.org