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Ensuring truck safety

14 October 2013

Ian Roberts, general manager of TruckLOG at Davis Derby provides five tips to help you get the most out of your fleet management system.

Sadly, we regularly see headlines showing companies receiving hefty fines for failing to provide adequate health and safety processes for their fork lift truck operators.
 The good news is there are many measures warehouse operators can take to reduce the risks of such accidents. A key tool to have in the armoury is the fleet management system, and with a little nous, such a system can be maximised.

Here are five tips:

1) Pre-operational checks
Choose a fork lift fleet management system that enables automated pre-operational checks that are specifically programmed, only vehicles that have passed these checks can be operated. It sounds obvious, but this ensures that when trucks are deemed unsuitable or unsafe, it is spotted before a vehicle is used.

2) Centralised system
Many materials handling environments are operated from multiple sites so getting a system that can provide notifications and alerts to warehouse supervisors, management and engineers to enable live control of the fleet, wherever they are based, is vital.

3) Effective reporting 
In the event of an incident, make sure the fleet management operating system allows easy access to reporting systems so they can be identified quickly and effectively. Controlled driver access and effective reporting systems also enable responsible drivers to be rewarded, therefore reducing the number of incidents through lack of driver safety.

4) Training and support
Providing the right training at the right time when there are many operators can be an administration headache. Choose a system that automates driver training scheduling, driver’s license expiry and validity in the same system to eliminate the chances of people using a vehicle without having up-to-date training. It is also important to have a system that can identify drivers who may need additional training due to the number of incidents or those who struggle to pass training easily.

5) Systems that are easy to use
Some fork lift truck fleet management systems can be difficult to use, as by nature they are complex especially when monitoring takes place over multiple sites or when managers are not based at one location. Reports are only as good as the information managers can extract, therefore if it is complicated it can take time and resource away from the task required. Having the right reports to satisfy the strict health and safety processes in place can save time and the need to extract unnecessary information.

We are a manufacturer of fork lift truck access control and fleet management systems, with customers such as Indesit, Sainsbury’s and 3M. Our system, TruckLOG TK5, provides control of driver access and pre-operational inspection of both the driver and the vehicle. The pre-operational checks also include examination of vehicle service records, driver training schedules and validity of licences. This ensures that only qualified operators can use a vehicle that is safe to drive.
 

"The Smart Card system allows only drivers who are suitably qualified, trained and authorised to operate our forklifts and the adjustable shock system allows us to identify any training requirements for our drivers.”


Indesit fleet operations manager Paul Penfold says: "TruckLOG TK5 provides the control and delivers the information we need to be able to significantly reduce damage within our warehouse.
"The Smart Card system allows only drivers who are suitably qualified, trained and authorised to operate our forklifts and the adjustable shock system allows us to identify any training requirements for our drivers.”

Many companies use TruckLOG as a basis to offer incentive schemes to reward operators who maintain a high level of driver and pedestrian safety.


 
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