The decision in 2010 by Vehicle Delivery Services (VDS), part of the OneLogix Group, to implement the self-regulatory Road Transport Management System (RTMS) is proving very beneficial. VDS operates a fleet of 250 truck-tractors and a similar amount of trailers and has a complement of 330 drivers.
The company’s Safety, Health, Environment and Quality Assurance (SHEQ) Manager, Pierre van Schalkwyk, commented “We already had a number of systems and structures in place, but they were like a bunch of loose ropes. Revisiting our internal controls and management systems using the RTMS guidelines served the purpose of pulling all the ropes together.’
“There have been a host of spin-offs with the most impressive being a reduction of 60% in high risk driving behaviour while the incidence of serious accidents has decreased by 49% from 0.813 incidents per one million kilometres to a figure of 0.472. System-based speeding infringements have fallen by 25% from 6.312 per million kilometres to 4.444. This translates into substantial cost savings as well as a significant decrease in risk.’
It is an important point that VDS and all its team members took the implementation of RTMS very seriously and were prepared to do whatever was required to meet the required standards. The first audit took place in 2011 and immediately showed up where corrective action had to be taken and certification was granted in 2012.
The implementation of RTMS has resulted in the introduction of stringent monthly assessments of each driver and this is proving challenging but very rewarding.
Currently the factors considered in the evaluation are fuel consumption, vehicle damage, traffic violations, DriveCam rating and a rating from the tracking system on driving style. There is also a subjective rating from the line manager. Green band driving and excessive idling will be included in the parameters in 2014.
The driver evaluation system led to the setting up of an annual driving competition which will be held for the second time this year and involves drivers from the various companies in the OneLogix Group including VDS.
The competition includes not only the best drivers per division but also the worst performers. The worst performing drivers per division will have a separate programme, but the opportunity will be taken to inspire them to improve.
Imbizos are held quarterly to communicate with drivers and they are also encouraged to actively contribute to problem-solving and encouraged to make suggestions to improve operations.
VDS appoints driver coaches to accompany drivers with below standard records on actual trips to evaluate shortcomings and ensure remedial action.
All VDS drivers have to undergo training using 13 modules. The company even has professional driving learnerships, where it takes on 30 aspirant drivers a year and puts them through a stringent one-year training course using a combination of the company’s driver trainers and the assistance of outside service providers.
At the end of the period VDS takes on those drivers required to fill the staff complement and any others are then released to the industry as trained drivers, which is an important service to the general trucking industry.
“Hino is a staunch and active supporter of the RTMS system to improve road transport in Southern Africa and we are delighted that VDS, as one of our important customers, is gaining so many benefits from implementing the system in such a short time,’ said Hino SA vice president Dr. Casper Kruger.
“Hino SA continues to be proactive in sponsoring ongoing RTMS seminars countrywide and a success story such as that of VDS makes our involvement very rewarding.’
FleetWatch salutes VDS on it’s RTMS programme and Driver Training initiatives.