Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council
Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council has experienced a significant increase in demand for its recycling. As a result, the Council decided to apply to uplift its operators licence in 2005. This would allow the Council to operate more heavy goods vehicles.
Knowing that the process for uplifting the licence would involve a robust inspection from VOSA, the Council carried out a wholesale review and reorganisation of its fleet.
This review highlighted the need to increase driver awareness about their responsibilities for checking their vehicles. It also highlighted that the current procedure for reporting vehicle defects was not robust.
The Council decided to deliver practical presentations called 'Toolbox Talks' to inform drivers about how to carry out their daily vehicle inspections, how to fill in the appropriate documentation and how to comply with the revised defect reporting procedure.
A technical officer from the Fleet Management Department, a former motor vehicle fitter, delivers the talks by visiting depots on a three to six-month basis.
The talks cover a practical demonstration of exactly how drivers should carry out their daily inspections on the vehicles.
Driver attendance is recorded through the signing of a form. This attendance information is recorded centrally to allow targeting of individuals who have not been trained.
Periodic 'gate checks' are carried out by the Technical Officer who stops vehicles leaving the gate of the depot to ensure the proper daily checks have been carried out.
For a minimal investment in time and resources, the Council has reported it has secured significant benefits. The Fleet Manager is satisfied that the introduction of this system has improved driver education and awareness while the talks take less than 15 minutes to deliver and several members of staff can attend at once.