An intelligent approach to driver training has won UK’s Suckling Transport Ltd the EuroTra Safety and Innovation Award 2011. The Essex-based fuel distributor’s use of driver performance data to identify the specific training requirements of its 150+ drivers, along with specialist training for six in-house trainer/drivers, has not only yielded them top prize in this international, annual competition, but also some other very compelling benefits.
Suckling’s award-winning process began back in 2009 with the inception of a new skills development programme. Through the formation of a small team responsible for skills development to standards of driver performance rivalled by just a handful of small and medium sized enterprises, Suckling Transport produced a targeted programme worthy of industry recognition. Its innovative combination of a skills builder programme and specialised intervention training particularly impressed EuroTra’s panel of industry experts.
Peter Larner, MD of Suckling Transport, said:
"Safety has been the top priority since Suckling Transport began to specialise in the distribution of fuel 25 years ago. Significant sales growth has now produced a company that delivers nearly two billion litres of inflammable liquid in the UK each year. So, safety is an integral part of the business. But, in a sector dominated by multi-national logistics providers, an SME like Suckling Transport needs to stand out. And what better way to differentiate itself than through an innovative approach to road safety.
"The key is to make training work for you. Our use of telematics data to highlight areas of concern has informed our training requirements. The benefits are abundantly clear from subsequent improvements to our accident frequency and severity performance, with the added bonus being a significant reduction in our insurance premiums."
The Freight Transport Association is responsible for the research, management, administration and development of this Pan-European award. James Tillyer of FTA’s Consultancy team and President of EuroTra, said:
"I’m delighted that the award panel recognised the significant efforts made by Suckling Transport to improve the safety culture within its driver workforce. This pragmatic approach has clearly paid dividends, and it leads the way as a model that most European transport companies could apply within their own environment.
"The core value of the award is enhancing safety through new and innovative ways of thinking, and the skills builder programme and intervention training fits perfectly with this value."