Here is your HGV driver news for June. As always, please feel free to get in touch and let us know what you think. Check back each month for the latest updates and please feel free to like, comment or share. We are always open to a conversation and will happily include any new findings in our next blog update. If you have any questions then please call on 01582 393 535 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW CONCEPT TRUCK FROM VOLVO AIMS TO CUT FUEL CONSUMPTION BY MORE THAN 30 PERCENT
Even though it is still at the concept stage it still shows how it is possible to drastically boost productivity for long-haul logistics organisations. Amongst the secrets behind these remarkable fuel savings are aerodynamic design and lower kerb weight.
This has all come to fruition via a research project that has lasted over five years that aimed to create a more energy-efficient vehicle, both LGV and otherwise. It is hot off the back of the global concerns regarding environmental issues as well as a general need to reduce costs for the logistic industry’s customers.
One of the major factors behind the substantial drop in fuel consumption is a 40% improvement in aerodynamic efficiency that has affected both the tractor and the trailer. There are some really interesting new ideas involved too, such as the replacement of rear-view mirrors with digital cameras. Believe it or not this cut air resistance so much that it actually results in much less energy needed to propel the LGV.
A couple of other additions include a trailer that weighs two tonnes less than the reference trailer as well a newly developed tyre with a lower rolling resistance.
PETROL SHORTAGE IN FRANCE IS CAUSING HAVOC FOR BRITISH HGV DRIVERS
A large number of petrol stations in and around the French port of Calais have run dry as a direct effect of the motorway blockades and protests around the country’s fuel refineries. The few lucky LGVs that are able to refill are severely limited with restrictions of 200 litres of diesel where many HGVs can hold upwards of 900 litres.
Apart from the obvious logistic issue of getting to where you need to be this also brings up other more sinister consequences where an LGV driver with a full truck but no fuel to movie with is essentially a sitting duck for thieves.
This problem didn’t only affect the logistics industry however as many motorists on holiday for half-term across the Channel also had similar issues whereby cars were even breaking down to lack of fuel or returning to the UK with severely low tanks and adding pressure to British petrol station demands.
Unfortunately the problem looks to be getting worse as continued protests over a new labour market reform bill roll on, with disruptions expected at ports, airports and on rail lines too.
GHV DRIVERS REACT POSITIVELY TO CPC TRAINING COURSE
More than 800 LGV drivers were recently asked to answer a survey from the Driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) consortium RTITB and it has turned out that 74% does not believe that driver CPC has had a negative impact on the industry.
A few further statistics from the survey have revealed that one third of HGV drivers feel the introduction of CPC has been a good thing and less than 25% think that these CPC training requirements will affect the likelihood of them staying in the industry.
Driver CPC enables training providers and logistics industry employers to make CPC courses uniquely tailored to their specific needs. The current RTITB CourseBuilder library currently covers 110 topics and they are designed to last no longer than 35 minutes in an attempt optimise driver attention and engagement. There are also various different ways of delivering these sessions to keep it fresh with quizzes, videos, open-forum discussions and case-studies. It will hopefully go a long way to changing perceptions around the HGV/LGV industry and promote career development among drivers.
HGV DRIVERS WARNED TO BE AWARE OF THE DANGERS OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
After the number of drug-driving prosecutions reached an all-time high last year the FTA (Freight Transport Association) has warned motorists that they should be aware of the laws regarding prescription drugs that came into force more than a year ago in March 2015.
It appears that whilst drink driving limits are well known there are still many drivers who may be unaware of changes to the law in England and Wales on medications such as temazepam and diazepam. There were limitations introduced for a total of eight common prescription drugs and now anyone who is found driving whilst impaired through exceeding the legal limit can face prosecution.
The penalties for drug driving, as they currently stand, are the same as for drink driving in England and Wales which include an automatic ban of at least a year, a fine, and up to six months in prison.
There was a report released earlier this year which provided evidence of a 144% increase in drug driving prosecutions in 2015 and also highlighted the fact that one in eight drivers admitted feeling affected by prescription drugs and over the counter remedies such as hay fever tablets and painkillers.
ROAD SAFETY STATISTICS - WHAT DO THEY TELL US?
According to the road safety statistics for 2015 which were publish by the European Commission earlier this year, European roads are still the safest in the world. The figures, although still scary, show that 26,000 were killed on EU roads during 2015 which, when compared to the figures in 2010 are 5500 fewer. This is obviously a great statistic compared to 5 years ago however when comparing 2015 to 2014 the number actually stayed exactly the same.
The total social cost of road fatalities and injuries, which includes material damages, healthcare and rehabilitation, is estimated to be at least £100 billion. To help lower the fatalities and social cost there are a multitude of things to assess. One method is to tackle head on the issue of drivers being distracted. Drivers can get distracted when they are occupied with other activities which can lead to a loss of control and ultimately endangers other road users too, especially when in an HGV. Drivers can also become tired or begin to daydream which can have a similar effect. According to the European Commission, the measures to address the distraction issue falls into five categories: legislation and enforcement, driver training, publicity campaigns, technology based measures and actions connected to road infrastructure. Only time will tell how these measures will affect the figures over the coming months.