Four major companies supplying products to the building and construction sector have come together in order to provide representation, information, training and other services regarding transport operations. The Builder Merchants Transport Working Group is a specialist sector within the Freight Transport Association comprising of the four leading national companies – Travis Perkins, Jewson, Wolseley UK and Buildbase. Collectively they operate the majority of the UK's builder merchants transport fleet.
Working as a group and in conjunction with FTA, the four companies, represented by their national fleet managers, meet on a quarterly basis and have produced initiatives and actions designed to develop and maintain transport compliance excellence. The four companies operate from locations within each of the UK's traffic areas.
Builder merchant branch managers are not transport professionals but need to know basic information and have access to sources of expert knowledge. To answer this need the Group, in conjunction with FTA, has produced a one-day training course designed to provide the basics. To date, over 700 people have benefited from attendance.
Another recent outcome of the Group has been collaboration on a digital tachograph DVD, aimed at both drivers and branch managers in order to ensure compliance with the digital tachograph regulations.
A key aspect of transport management at this level is the need to work closely with commercial vehicle dealerships. Last November the Group organised an inaugural one-day Builder Merchant Dealership Conference in Scotland. More than 60 representatives from dealerships in Scotland attended the free event, which promoted greater awareness of fleet compliance issues. Following a statement of support sent by Traffic Commissioner Joan Aitken, the Group delivered presentations on key issues such as the impact of MOT failures and PG9s, insufficient defect reporting and poor service paperwork, non core repairs, body repairs, service standards and the implications of getting it wrong.
Speaking after the event Graham Bellman, Group Fleet Transport Manager for Travis Perkins said, 'We are very keen to be proactive in maintaining and improving our working relationship with commercial vehicle dealerships in the pursuit of compliance excellence with the dealer principals and their staff. Co-operation and a greater understanding of the issues that operators face can only result in a win-win situation for all involved.'
Due to the success of this event, further Builder Merchant Dealership Conferences will be organised during 2007.