The UK’s Fleet Transport Association (FTA) is a huge organisation with a significant number of members, all of who are involved in haulage work in some capacity. When you consider the support it affords its members in terms of compliance training, advice and certification, it’s perhaps not surprising that over 50% of the UK’s HGV fleetsand at least a million vans are involved with the association.Part of its valuable work also involvesrepresenting haulage workers’ views by lobbying policy makers.
Below is an overview of what the FTA membership offers.
Our industry is constantly changing and developing in terms of legislation and policy, and for road transport operators who need tobe compliant with every rule and regulation, it can be hard to stay abreast of current information.The number of hours that a driver can be behind the wheel often changes, for example, and complying with UK standards for testing and approving a vehicle can be a minefield. Thanksto the FTA, members have the extensive information, support and guidance at their fingertips, all of which can be transferred to their transport operations.
The beauty of the information provided by the association is that it is presented in a succinct and easy to understand way. Whether you need advice on the correct way to load and unload yourvehicles, help with planning for increased fuel efficiency, or details about updated issues relating to road traffic, you can access it via the FTA website.
The Truck Excellence Scheme
With all the information supplied by the FTA, and the fact that you can keep your finger on the pulsewith regards to any changes in the industry, you can be confident that your fleet is carrying out haulage workto its optimum capacity. This alone is great news, but even more exciting is that the FTA has come up with a certification - The Truck Excellence Scheme -which they award to anyone whose excellence deserves validation and recognition.
Thecertification, which was innovated by and designed for the industry, is much sought after. Measuringa fleet against 63 O licence requirements ensures it is both robust and a high regarded award.
The aim of the scheme is three-fold. Firstly it sets out to create a recognised compliance quality mark, which members can quote when dealing with potential business associates. Italso demonstrates consistent attainment of high-level compliance and providesequivalence to other similar schemes.
The FTA developed the Truck Excellence Scheme with input from the UK’s best truck fleets and, while its standards are exacting, they are also very achievable. Once a truck operator has registered, an independent audit takes place and if the operator passes they are enrolled onto the scheme and achieve certification.
Once achieved, the operator not only has a prestigious certificatethat is recognised industry wide,it’s also an investmentin a cost- and time-effective way of staying compliant. Enrolment on the scheme also offers assurance that a fleet is performing within all legal requirements and that drivers and other road usersbenefit from increased safety.
The transport industry is highly competitive so it simply makes good business sense to have your fleet operating at its highest standard. By becoming a member of the FTA and enrolling on its Truck Excellence Scheme you’ll afford your company the best chance to perform its best and reach its true potential.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage work with available drivers. Over 5,000 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.