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FTA COLUMN

CHRISTMAS DRIVER SHORTAGE ON THE CARDS

HeavyTorque Issue Four: FTA

CHRISTMAS DRIVER SHORTAGE ON THE CARDS

DECEMBER 25TH MAY BE LESS THAN THREE MONTHS AWAY, YET INCREASING DEMAND FOR DRIVERS – FROM THE UPTURN IN THE UK ECONOMY – MAY REACH CRISIS POINT WITH ADDITIONAL CHRISTMAS DELIVERIES.

HOW DOES SANTA MANAGE?

The steady growth in consumer spending, with more people turning to online shopping, has inevitably put huge demands on the logistics industry. Driver shortage is a genuine problem facing freight operators, with a lack of available qualified drivers. In the past, fleet managers have turned to agencies for temporary drivers to meet peak demand periods such as Christmas. But an ageing driver population, with fewer young people in training, has created an industry crisis. The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC) has certainly had an impact. Many drivers reaching the end of their careers opted to retire early or move to other driving work that does not require DCPC, rather than complete the training following the September 2014 deadline.

Regulations now mean all qualifying HGV drivers must complete 35 hours approved training and be in possession of a Driver Qualification Card (DQC) issued by DVLA. Most transport operators cover the cost of DCPC training for their permanent employees. This is not the case for freelance agency drivers, who must fund it themselves, on top of the licence acquisition fee – around £3,000. For many, the cost is prohibitive.

Sally Gilson, the Freight Transport Association’s skills policy development manager, said: “Christmas presents don’t arrive by magic. Everything ordered online or bought from shops, including all festive food and drink, is delivered every year by the logistics industry. “This huge spike in demand leads to heavy use of agency drivers, and FTA members are really worried that there just aren’t enough qualified drivers to go round. However, it’s not just a seasonal issue – our members recruiting for full-time positions struggle for applicants.” Concerns over this inability to deliver could push up wages, as fleet managers explore ways to entice qualified drivers.

Ms Gilson said: “When you look at the cost, coupled with insurance problems for young people, it’s no wonder would-be drivers are not coming forward. FTA is pushing for vocational training to a loan system, the same as university students. If we are going to help the skills-shortage, government must not under-value vocational training.”

The FTA has been a leading provider of quality training to its members. It continues to identify the most practical, efficient and cost-effective way to manage future Driver CPC programmes, by providing training solutions to suit individual business requirements and driver training needs.

SALLY GILSON

HeavyTorque Issue Four: FTA

FTA SKILLS POLICY DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

The Driver CPC is for LGV and PCV drivers who drive professionally throughout the UK. It has been developed as a requirement of the EU Directive 2003/59, which is designed to improve the knowledge and skills of professional LGV and PCV drivers throughout their working life.  There are two parts to the legislation:

• The Initial Qualification must be achieved by new LGV and PCV drivers along with their vocational licence to enable them to use their licence professionally
• Periodic training, consisting of 35 hours of training every 5 years, must be attended by all professional drivers

USE OF LONGER SEMI-TRAILERS

Figures released by the Department for Transport (DfT) after the first two years of its Longer Semi-Trailer Trial have been welcomed by the Freight Transport Association (FTA) as a positive step towards reducing HGV miles and making carbon savings. The DfT research project, which was launched in 2012, aims to evaluate whether use of longer semi-trailers for articulated goods vehicles will bring about anticipated environmental and economic benefits.

Semi-trailers of 14.6m and 15.65m in length involved in the trial are predicted to save more than 3,000 tonnes of CO2 and deliver £33m of economic benefit over a 10 year period – and the early results are encouraging. The DfT annual report for 2014, released at the end of July, says on average operators are saving one journey in 22 as a result of using longer semi-trailers.  At the top of the range, some are even saving one in nine. The figures show that between 4.2 and 5.2 million vehicle kilometres have been saved from the operation of longer semi-trailers since 2012, leading to lower CO2 emissions.

Empty running for longer semi-trailers was only about 19%, compared with a figure of around 29% for the general articulated HGV data; information submitted by operators taking part in the trial showed that safety was not compromised. The report concludes there is ‘no immediate concern’ the trailers cause increased rates of injury: there were no reported incidents resulting in serious injury or fatality.

Andy Mair, FTA’s head of engineering, said: “The incident data submitted under the requirements of the trial shows that these trailers are being operated safely and responsibly. This is highlighted in the report. “FTA is a supporter of the use of longer semi-trailers. They provide significant environmental and efficiency benefits. The report clearly shows how operators in the trial are making significant efficiency improvements, reducing HGV miles and demonstrating carbon savings by using longer semi-trailers on freight operations suited to their use.”

The trial permits up to 1,800 trailers, in the two length categories, to be registered, operating within the UK domestic weight limit of 44 tonnes for six-axle vehicles. Participation is voluntary, and at the operator’s own risk. It is scheduled to last for a maximum of 10 years so they can recover the cost of their investment.

ANDY MAIR

HeavyTorque Issue Four: FTA

FTA HEAD OF ENGINEERING

Those taking part in the trial must collect data and submit it regularly to the DfT’s independent trial evaluators. Operators must apply to the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) for a Vehicle Special Order (VSO) to use the semi-trailers commercially. Running them without a VSO in Great Britain is illegal and they cannot be taken out of the country.

The trial applies only to roads in Great Britain. Operators wanting to go to Northern Ireland in a longer semi-trailer must obtain an additional VSO from the Department of the Environment Northern Ireland (DOENI).

DfT hopes to involve more participants in the trial by the end of 2015 since the full allocation of 1,800 trailers has not yet been taken up.

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WELCOME TO HEAVYTORQUE — THE MAGAZINE OF THE HEAVY
AND ABNORMAL TRANSPORT SECTOR AND THE HEAVY LIFTING INDUSTRY

HeavyTorque is a quarterly magazine that brings you news, in-depth features and comment from experts in the sector. The HeavyTorque website gives you access to the main articles from every issue of the magazine. You can choose to read individual articles online, or download them, with a charge for premium content. Or you can subscribe to the magazine to get unlimited access to all the content. The website also brings you all the latest news from the abnormal transport and heavy lifting sectors, updated daily. And you can find out more about the industry’s prestigious annual awards, The Heavies – including previous winners, award categories and how to enter next year’s awards.

From the well written articles to the exceptional photos, Heavy Torque is a market leader in our industry. At Van der Vlist we love keeping up to date with the latest news and projects, even making our own appearance in 2016. We could not recommend this magazine enough.

James White, Commercial and Business Development

Van der Vlist Group

HeavyTorque is an essential read magazine for decision makers within the heavy haulage and specialist transport industry and provides a great opportunity for manufacturers to make their mark. The adverts are well produced, editorials exceptionally informative and the staff’s support has always been excellent. Promoting our products in HeavyTorque magazine is one of the best marketing decisions we have made.

Martin Pickering

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Kelsa choose to advertise in HeavyTorque because its content is clearly for serious players in the haulage industry, with a wide range of informative articles. We know that it reaches the right people and covers aspects of trucking most others do not, offering information on changes within the industry as well as new products and services. As a designer I’m also aware of the extremely high quality of the photographic content and print. We are really happy with the service we receive and have no hesitate in recommending HeavyTorque to truckers everywhere.

Frank Seddon

Kelsa Truck Products Ltd

I certainly enjoy reading HeavyTorque - and whilst we do not operate any heavy haulage ourselves - we do so on a sub-contract basis. Therefore, it’s good to see what equipment is being used by both suppliers, and the industry operators alike. The content and photographic quality is always first rate. Keep up the great work!

Duncan Rogers, Managing Director

Projector Lifting Service Ltd

HeavyTorque magazine is a class apart. Its orientation illustrates our sector on a different level. The general look is really unique and we value the highly informative content. The magazine is an ideal communication platform and partner for the Faymonville Group – who offer the complete transport solution for payloads from 15t to 15,000t… and beyond.

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Faymonville Group

HeavyTorque is the magazine for the heavy haulage industry. The Magazine offers a very high standard of ads and editorial and the design and content is always exceptional. Advertising in HeavyTorque has been a great decision for us.

Katie Marshall, Marketing Manager

RUD Chains

HeavyTorque has set a new standard in specialist print and on-line journalism. Not only is it attractive and appealing with great photography and layout, but the features provide in depth and incisive insight into this highly specialised sector of the road transport industry.

Phil Moon, Marketing Manager

DAF Trucks Ltd

From the drivers’ viewpoint, HeavyTorque is a must-read for those interested or associated with the heavy haulage industry. The title is very informative on a wide range of projects - not only in the UK - but worldwide. On another note, it was a personal privilege (as a driver) to be invited to the industry awards evening, The Heavies… but to then be awarded 'The Heavies Hero' in 2017 was an amazing achievement. May I say a massive thank you to my fellow peers for their continued support and nominations!

Kevin Brookes, Driver (and Heavies Hero 2017)!

Ascroft Transport

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Linda Galt, Director

Galt Transport

HeavyTorque is a “must read” for renowned decision makers of the heavy haulage industry and therefore a great opportunity to make one’s mark. The ads look fabulous, editorials are exceptionally informative and the staff’s support has always been great. Advertising in HeavyTorque Magazine is one of the best marketing choices we have made.

Mrs Brunhilde Rauscher-Doll, Director

DOLL Fahrzeugbau GmbH

Heavy Torque has quickly established itself on the market. An interesting magazine peppered with facts and information around the heavy transport industry. An unusual format, superb images and good articles are the key to your success. Congratulations! Keep it up!

Erich Traub, Marketing Manager

Goldhofer Aktiengesellschaft