Graham Leitch_MD_Palletline2017

Palletline’s decision to limit standard tail-lift deliveries to 750kg two years ago was “absolutely right”, according to MD Graham Leitch.

Speaking on the second anniversary of Palletline’s move to introduce the limit to protect drivers and customers, Leitch (pictured) said he had no regrets that the business and its members had put health and safety before commercial considerations.

“It’s not just about weight. But managing the delivery weight has been a massive step forward regarding safety,” Leitch said.

Palletline still delivers pallets weighing more than 750kg but these are booked into the system as part of its Lift Assist service, with appropriate equipment such as powered pump trucks used to make the delivery.

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For pallets weighing more than 1 tonne, member hauliers will typically handle arrangements themselves, making use of Hiabs or Moffetts in their fleets.

Leitch said it was disappointing that other than itself, only Fortec had introduced a 750kg limit to date, and that it looked like legislation would be necessary to see sector-wide adoption.

PalletlineLift Assist Pic

However, he said Palletline had made the decision because it was right for the network and was supported by the membership.

“We’ve not seen any reduction in the number of pallets moved; it’s not had a commercial effect, and our customers have applauded the decision,” said Leitch.

Anecdotal evidence suggests there has been fewer sprains and strains for delivery drivers since the limit was introduced, and there has been a change in the freight profile moving through the network as customers are inspired by the change, Leitch said.

“We will continue to lead and innovate safe practice in our sector, and if by doing so we upset a few competitors and cause others to have to invest further in health and safety, then so be it.”