Forterra is a leading manufacturer of a diverse range of clay and concrete building products, used extensively within the construction sector, and employs over 1,600 people across 17 facilities in the UK. It is the second largest brick and aircrete block manufacturer in the country, and the only producer of the iconic London Brick. Other trusted brands from Forterra include Thermalite, Conbloc, Ecostock, Butterley, Cradley, Red Bank, Jetfloor and Formpave.
The company runs its own fleet of 125 draw-bar and articulated trucks which is reviewed every five years. The current fleet comprises mainly Volvos and Dafs.
In January 2013 a replacement programme for the fleet commenced, with telematics being part of the review process. Historically Forterra had been using the vehicle manufacturers’ own telematics systems but this was not in real time. The company was attracted to the many flexible options offered by Webfleet Solutions. These included truck specific messaging facilities for better communication between the vehicle and the office. Also, excellent software options enable real time recording of vehicle checks, plus the potential for the introduction of paperless signature capture for deliveries.
As a FORS (Fleet Operator Registration Scheme) bronze member looking to enhance its status in the scheme, Forterra was also looking at better ways of managing vehicle check records, and also ensure DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) compliance.
Forterra chose TomTom’s LINK vehicle tracking system, together with PRO 8275 TRUCK driver terminals which are ruggedised and have flexibility to be fully customised as well as having the benefit of a 7" screen. TomTom has a longstanding relationship with logistics software company OBS Logistics, and facilitated an introduction to enable Forterra potential to use for other applications, including DVSA and FORS compliance records and paperless delivery notes. OBS Logistics recommended its CALIDUS VEhub software package, which was initially trialled in 25 trucks. Results were very favourable. Everyone liked them and saw the potential to enhance business efficiency, recalled Dale Clarke, Forterra’s National Transport Manager. As well as accurate records of vehicle checking in real time, we immediately saw how the VEhub software would be a soft start for the introduction of EPOD (Electronic Proof Of Delivery) to our ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems.
As well as taking paper out of the system, real time recording of DVSA vehicle checking meant that the office was notified instantaneously of any defects instead of finding out later in the day, or even overnight. This has greatly enhanced the efficiency of planned maintenance of vehicles.
To move from bronze to silver membership of FORS, checks need to be carried out to ensure blind spot indicators and cameras are fully operational, in addition to the tyre and fuel checks. CALIDUS VEhub software on the TomTom driver terminals enables this to be done by drivers quickly, efficiently and with the minimum of fuss and the office can see exactly when and where the checks have been done, which is excellent intelligence for monitoring driver performance and future training requirements.
The biggest advantage for Forterra has been improved efficiencies in the fleet, through quicker, easier monitoring in real time and the increased information from the reports we now have available, said Dale Clarke. The TomTom PRO 8275 driver terminals have now been installed in all 125 vehicles in the fleet.