The Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) is an accreditation scheme that aims to improve fleet activity throughout the UK. It helps operators to measure and monitor performance whilst ensuring and demonstrating compliance and best practice.
Many projects in London, and now across the UK, insist that operators have bronze, silver or gold accreditation (awarded by FORS) before access is granted to their work sites. FORS was developed to improve fleet activity throughout the UK, it provides a benchmark for management, drivers, vehicles and operations to work legally and with the ultimate best practice.
In order to gain accreditation, companies have to demonstrate an extra focus on safety, driver behavior, emissions monitoring, insurance policies, operating licences and safe working practices.
Teletrac Navman customer Ashworth Limited gained their bronze accreditation last year after construction sites in London started to require that the companies they worked with had some form of FORS accreditation. This was part of a health and safety initiative that aimed to limit the dangers that large industrial vehicles posed to vulnerable road users in the capital.
According to Operations Manager, Simon Mallion, the accreditation process entailed a full day's audit, which assessed the company's management procedures and the level of detection equipment available to monitor both vehicles and drivers.
Mallion said, "The fact that we're able to monitor driver behavior and vehicle emissions impressed FORS. The fleet management technology we have installed from Teletrac Navman gives us an opportunity to demonstrate our ability to plan routes more effectively, which also means that we're able to direct our vehicles away from congested areas and vulnerable road users if needed.
"FORS also liked that our tracking system enables us to monitor the wear and tear of our vehicles on a daily basis, ensuring that we're always compliant."
Ashworth miting risk due to their ability to monitor driver behaviour and ensure that staff are not driving assets in an unsuitable manner.
Mallion also spoke about his company's desire to move onto a silver accreditation in 2016 and what needed to be done in order to achieve this.
He said, "We can communicate with our drivers on the road instantly - it's one of the other important features our Teletrac Navman system brings to the table."
"We can connect with drivers via their in-cab devices, which eradicates the usage of mobile phones and allows us to alter a journey if we discover that a driver can take a more productive route to their designated job. We believe that if we continue to implement this kind of best practice - and use the tools we have to encourage safer driving and lower emissions - then we can achieve further FORS accreditation.
"However, we need to demonstrate that we're using the data we have access to in the correct manner. With FORS accreditation, we can deliver to any site in London, without it, we can't."