Andrew Davis, Carlsberg UK

As the only major UK brewer with its own delivery service, Carlsberg UK takes a different approach to serving its on-trade customers. This extends to the focus for fleet engineer Andrew Davis on improving the efficiency of the operation while delivering best in class service.

Carlsberg UK operates 330 trucks and 150 trailers, and focuses on operating costs over an eight year life span rather than initial purchase price when speccing vehicles.

Davis has developed a narrow Isuzu City Dray, which replaces two conventional trucks or vans and offers a 3.6t payload in a vehicle as manoeuvrable as a panel van. Other innovations include an MAN drawbar rig with a unique 5m trailer designed for  delivery routes with long stem mileage and the ‘Metroliner’ Volvo 6x2 tractor that doubles up as an overnight trunker and daytime delivery vehicle when coupled to a short urban artic trailer. The fifth wheel on the unit has been lowered and a slimline neck fitted to the trailer to produce the same deck height as a rigid.

Tight control of maintenance costs is ensured by Carlsberg UK’s own web-based Fleet Tracker system that provides complete transparency at every stage of any job carried out by its 14 maintenance contractors. The system is also used to identify which manufacturers give the best service support based on vehicle uptime, and maintenance is carried out by a mix of five inhouse maintenance units and back to back fixed R&M contracts with manufacturers but using independent contractors to do the servicing. Contractor standards are audited by the FTA and the cause of every breakdown is investigated to try to avoid a repeat.

A unique pay-as-you-go contract was developed by Davis and Volvo in 2007 and is still providing a range of benefits for the company, including total flexibility on mileage and data provided remotely via telematics to both Volvo and Carlsberg UK.

The onboard telematics has also enabled Davis to drive sustained improvements in fuel consumption by including safe and efficient driving in each drivers’ Driver CPC programme. The system also produces a driver risk profile that makes drivers accountable for vehicle damage. This is used as a carrot rather than a stick, with the best driver being recognised with a Driver of the Year award.

Judges thought the Metroliner was a great idea, offering huge fuel and CO2 savings, and said it was clear Davis recognised the need for specific vehicles. They also commented on the good fuel consumption improvements repair  and maintenance contracts which had brought costs in under budget.

Darren O’Donnell, Coca-Cola Enterprises

As fleet manager – logistics for Coca-Cola Enterprises, Darren O’Donnell and his three-strong team are responsible fro 225 LGVs which completed over 44,000 multi-drop delivery routes from 18 locations last year.

Customer service and so vehicle reliability are absolute priorities for the business, and the logistics department achieved a record of just 0.018% delivery failures due to vehicle breakdowns.

High levels of vehicle availability also enables O’Donnell to minimise the size of the fleet, and the company has a daily vehicle off road report to give instant visibility of any downtime. As a result, full year availability is approaching 99% and safety defects are more than 40% below the sector average.

Last year also saw first time annual test pass rates surpass 95% and the all company’s OCRS move into the green.

O’Donnell is working with an independent laboratory to carry out load security tests using accelerometers attached to the vehicle and load to measure the actual forces generated in motion. This has enabled Coca-Cola Enterprises to develop its safe loading system and procedures.

As part of Coca-Cola’s commitment to cut its carbon footprint by a third by 2020, the logistics division has now put 14 bio-methane powered trucks in operation from its depot in Enfield, north London.

Judges liked the significant improvement in first time test pass rates and OCRS and the load restraint tests. While impressed by the innovative use of bio-methane powered trucks to back up the commitment to environment one judge pointed out they cost more to run. Another remarked that O’Donnell was a good team player and was very well thought of, demonstrating excellent strategic and innovative thinking.

Gary King, Sainsbury’s Supermarkets

Responsible for a fleet of over 1,300 trucks and 2,300 trailers based at 22 depots, Sainsbury’s Logistics’ head of engineering Gary King’s goal is to be ‘best in class’.

Compliance is a key focus, and based on FTA audits King can demonstrate sector-leading standards after bringing repair and maintenance inhouse four years ago. The move has also reduced cost, with significant savings compared with external R&M providers.

The excellent standards are proven by the first time annual test pass rate of 98% and 100% green OCRS. Vehicle availability has also improved, with vehicle off road time currently standing  at just over 3%.

King has also developed a number of safety initiatives, including  simple but effective system to prevent trailers being pulled off the loading dock too soon. This has reduced such incidents by nearly 70% since 2009.

To help reduce carbon emissions, Sainsbury’s has ordered 49 dual fuel vehicle s after a successful trial of vehicles at the Bristol depot.

Judges commented on the “very comprehensive and well presented entry” and King’s “excellent work” on innovation and improvement. They also remarked on the “very high test pass rates” and the fully green OCRS. One judge noted that King “seems to have every gadget going on his vehicles”!

Dave Rowlands, Wincanton

As director of technical services, Dave Rowlands sees his role as supporting Wincanton’s mission – to add value to its customers’ businesses. Together with a team of seven fleet engineers, Rowlands is responsible for 3,500 trucks and 5,000 trailers across the UK. Teamwork is  key to the host of innovations the company has introduced, with include a new metering system for milk tankers, a safer crane for construction vehicles and a bulk powder trailer that removes the need for access to the top of the tank.

Rowlands has been at the vanguard of the development of longer semi-trailers, seeking the views of 50 customers to identify the commercial benefits, delivering the first road legal prototype and supporting the DfT with facts and figures on the environmental benefits.

Safety is at the core of Rowlands’ approach, and his pioneering work on rollover protection is said to have put Wincanton a decade ahead of the industry. He has developed an internal compliance audit system in advance of Vosa’s revised OCRS methodology to drive sites towards 100% compliance.

All sites currently have a green OCRS rating and first time annual test pass rates are 95%. Around 80% of the fleet is managed by Rowland’s team through Wincanton’s repair and maintenance division Pullman, with the rest handled by vetted sub-contractors.

Judges admired Rowlands’ work on longer semi-trailers and the strong innovation shown across different transport sectors. They also commented that he “views everything strategically and has the power to implement significant changes”.