It has just been announced that publishing of ORS ratings to the public has been pushed out until next year. Within a week of this, we heard that ACC are to publish a Fleet safety rating for each fleet based on your claims history. This is not the same as the ORS, it has been established as a joint NZTA / CVIU / ACC initiative and is based on different facts and different calculations to the ORS.

What this says to me is that the escape routes are closing down. The cost of avoidance will soon be higher than the cost of playing the game by the rules. Soon the complexity of controls will get out of hand and that is before you start with RUCs, braking rules, lighting rules, HPMV permits….. However, whilst the rules are many and complex, you instinctively know what is right. You need to be safe, look after your people as well as other road users – no more crashing – and keep your trucks well maintained.

What this says to me is that the escape routes are closing down. The cost of avoidance will soon be higher than the cost of playing the game by the rules. Soon the complexity of controls will get out of hand and that is before you start with RUCs, braking rules, lighting rules, HPMV permits….. However, whilst the rules are many and complex, you instinctively know what is right. You need to be safe, look after your people as well as other road users – no more crashing – and keep your trucks well maintained.

If the mere thought of considering these things makes you nervous, or when you do think along these lines, you know your fleet could be doing better, now is the time to look for some support to start making changes.

Stick with the idea that you know what is right and wrong and make a list of the key things that affect the professional image of your company perhaps give yourself marks yourself out of 5 for each of the following;

  1. What do other road users think when they see your vehicles drive past? Are they driven well, and well presented?
  2. What do your staff think of the company – are they proud to work there? What about their families, what do they think of the work stories that make it to the family dinner table?
  3. How about your workshop? Do you feel confident when you arrive on the premises that these are the people who are keeping your trucks safe and legal when they roll down the road fully laden?
  4. What do the police and ACC think of you? They know of each ticket that has been issued and each claim that has been made. Do you think you are above average in the number of each?
  5. Now think of your customers; Are they proud to be associated with you, knowing that you are enhancing their own professional image?

For each question where you have scored less than 3 out of 5, ask yourself “What would it take to improve…” You aren’t alone in tackling this, lean on your drivers to get involved, ask your supervisors, your workshop people. You may be surprised how much easier it becomes when you open up the communication with your people and ask them to help make your company better. All of these people will want to take pride in their job, and you are asking them to make that a reality.

Use your systems to build on your ideas, not the other way round. Your systems will give you a good way of measuring how much difference you are making with the changes you are making on the ground.

This stuff might not be jumping up and down demanding your attention, when there are trucks to be loaded, new RUC rules to research, perhaps a customer complaint to deal with. If you are confident that you are up to scratch you are in a good position. If you know that you aren’t, and you don’t act to bring your operation up to standard now, rest assured that sooner or later one Agency or other will force it upon you.

You could soon be facing all manner of paperwork as the different schemes generate their “feedback” to you on different coloured pieces of paper each with their own consequences. You already know how much paperwork these guys can generate for you when they put their mind to it, and not all of it is easy to follow, especially when it comes from multiple directions at the same time.

It will be so much easier if you get started now making small changes each week until you are happy with your standards. With the publishing of ORS ratings to the public pushed out until next year, you now have enough time to make those changes before there is a public record that you weren’t quite up to scratch.

 

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