This, along with a stronger focus on corporate social responsibility, is increasing the pressure on fleet and transport managers to stay on top of the changing legislation and looks set to have a huge impact.
Environmental impact does not just relate to buzz phrases such as a company’s carbon footprint – LCV-operating companies and organisations should be making changes now, both to reduce their impact on the physical environment and also to improve other aspects of their operations – even taking a more responsible approach to health and safety, adopting more conscious and aware driving policies, etc.
One way of doing this is actually being enforced by the introduction of speed limiters on vehicles above 3.5-tonnes gvw, which will cause one of the biggest ripples in the marketplace in 2007. It seems too many companies have been ignoring the introduction of this law, probably because it is so complicated.
Speed limiters will have positive aspects in relation to the environment: even reducing a top speed by 5mph can reduce fuel consumption by huge amounts over a year.
However, I would recommend in the strongest possible terms that any van operators or transport managers seek professional advice on whether they need speed limiters installed.
It is also worthwhile looking at qualifications and training, such as those offered by SAFED – Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving. The benefits are obvious – vehicles will have a longer shelf-life and be better looked-after, while drivers will be less stressed and more productive. Better driving standards can save between six and 10% on fuel.
One thing’s for sure – companies simply cannot afford to get caught on the wrong side of the law.
The need to stay on top of these issues is more crucial than ever. As always, the message is to seek professional and well-informed advice from those in the know as frequently as possible.