Current issues in the road transport industry were aired and discussed during the interview sessions for the Fleet Transport Awards 2018, held at the Johnstown Estate Hotel & Spa, Enfield, County Meath last week. Day-to-day concerns highlighted include a severe driver shortage and the high age profile of drivers, together with associated insurance premium cost hikes. Brexit was mentioned but is not a big worry as yet, as the consequences are still very much ‘up-in-the-air’.
The discussions also revealed that transport companies are constantly investing in new vehicles – both trucks and trailers – as well as in additional safety equipment such as forward and rear facing cameras. Making use of telematics and the broad range of driver and vehicle data available is paying dividends for operators, while many are looking at Natural Gas as a viable alternative fuel for trucks. Regarding legislation compliance, more and more drivers are now undertaking a daily walk-around vehicle check, but keeping within the legal drivers’ hours requirement was highlighted as proving difficult for many operators.
Many fleet managers have put much time and effort towards achieving a best operational practice accreditation with the Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI), while feedback from the shortlisted candidates in the ‘Women in Transport’ category reveals the wish to see increased female representation in the industry.