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Letters to Fleet News’ editor Martyn Moore.

Easing worries of double-cab drivers

In response to Marcel Cooper’s letter “Double-cab limits” (Fleet News, July 26), I believe that the information regarding the speed limits of double-cab vehicles is incorrect.

Most double-cab pick-ups, such as the Ford Ranger for example, would fall into the class of dual-purpose vehicles. The definition of a dual-purpose vehicle is a vehicle constructed or adapted for the carriage of both passengers and goods, or burden of any description, where the unladen weight does not exceed 2,040kg.

It must also satisfy certain conditions as to construction.

The vehicle must be permanently fitted with a rigid roof, with or without a sliding panel and the area to the rear of the driver’s seat has various restrictions.

The speed limit for passenger vehicles, dual-purpose vehicles and motor caravans (none of which exceed 3,050kg unladen weight) is as follows:

  • Motorway 70mph.
  • Dual carriageway 70mph.
  • Single carriageway 60mph.

    Hopefully this information will ease any worry that drivers of double cabs may have had regarding the fear of prosecution for speeding.

    BOB WATSON
    Transport manager, Ministry of Defence

    No-smoking signs are pointless exercise

    While I applaud the ultimate aim of improving the population’s health and well-being by discouraging smoking and freeing non-smokers from secondary smoke, it is easy to understand the backlash from drivers of company vehicles who have been asked to display stickers in their vehicles – “Backlash over smoking ban” (Fleet News, August 2). This is particularly understandable for drivers who would never dream of letting anyone light up in their cars.

    “Why do I need to display a sticker that is going to make no difference whatsoever?” is the question I’ve been asked – and it’s a very fair question.

    The same question could also be asked in relation to thousands of offices and premises around the country where signs are now displayed telling us not to smoke, even though nobody has even contemplated doing so for the past 20 years.

    Still, at least the attractive shiny new signs use the approved European symbol as many people struggled to work out what the old pre-law signs really meant.

    I have one final question. Has anyone calculated the amount of energy used and pollution caused to the environment by the production of millions of utterly pointless stickers?

    ADRIAN DREW
    Finance director, Technogym UK

    Don’t get taken in by the latest trend

    I have a lot of sympathy for any fleet manager who has been hassled to buy so-called risk solutions – “Fleets give hard sell tactics the cold shoulder” (Fleet News, July 26).

    The majority of our customers are health and safety, finance or HR who look for a fully compliant, systematic approach.

    The majority of the fleet world has been caught with everyone relabelling their products as risk – until they suddenly all become environment products or whatever the next trend is.

    The art is to look at the solution being offered and see how it makes you compliant to HSG65.

    If the supplier cannot answer that question then it’s not a risk solution.

    What we have seen is driver training companies charging £12 for a licence check.

    Who is silly enough to pay that, especially when it fits into stage four of the legal requirement and misses stages one, two and three?

    Fleet managers need to work with other internal colleagues and stop buying solutions and start getting to grips with the problem.

    Most fleet managers are not responsible for duty of care – they are part of a team – the issue is really corporate and social responsibility and health and safety.

    Most still do not seem to have read the HSE driving at work guide and most know nothing about HSG65.

    Hence they have bought solutions that don’t meet the need and have allowed an industry to be created.

    They are then surprised when people come knocking on their door to sell more.

    The solution is to work with health and safety internally and look at solutions like RoSPA’s MORR complete compliance tools which give you the controls.

    JEREMY HAY
    Director, Essential Risk Consultancy

    Managers should do their homework over risk firms

    I wholeheartedly agree with “Fleets give hard sell tactics the cold shoulder” (Fleet News, July 26), on the scaremongering tactics of some unscrupulous “risk management” companies.

    This has been an issue for some time and muddies the water for the fleet/safety manager trying to do the right thing.

    Managers addressing health and safety issues for their drivers and vehicles should do their homework and check the background of any suppliers they are considering using.

    Preferably they should select one with a long track record that has relationships with recognised organisations such as the main insurance players, or leasing companies.

    These organisations ensure that the fleet risk specialists they work with are credible and qualified in what they are delivering.

    Fleet risk and driver training companies should at least have qualified health and safety practitioners on staff as this is what the whole thing is about, as well as the associated costs savings that can be achieved.

    STUART GEMMELL
    Motor fleet risk manager, Driving Services UK

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