ACFO speakers will include:
- Scott Neilson and Carol Kirk, strategic account managers, Mercedes-Benz UK
- Andy Hill, commercial vehicle manager, Lex Autolease
- Stephen Turner, sales director, Bott Group
- Graham Short, fleet manager, Zip Water UK
- Representatives from the Central Motorway Police Group, Freight Transport Association, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme.
VAN operating best practice and compliance will be under the spotlight at the latest ‘master class’ being held by ACFO to counter the problem of large numbers of vans unfit for the road.
The number of vans on the UK’s roads totals a record 3.6 million, according to latest Department for Transport data. But figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) suggest that keeping them roadworthy is proving difficult for many operators with around half of large vans failing the MoT test at first submission, indicating a large scale problem of vans unfit for the road being used.
The statistics last month led Volkswagen to warn operators that they risked prison if they failed to ensure a vehicle was fit for purpose and it was involved in a crash. See Van operators risk jail with high level of vehicle neglect warns VW.
The ACFO seminar entitled “A Van for all Reasons” starts at 9.30am on Thursday, 5 May, 2016, at the De Vere Harben, Newport Pagnell, MK16 9EY. The event, hosted by Mercedes-Benz and supported by international in-vehicle equipment manufacturer and supplier Bott Group and the UK’s largest vehicle leasing and fleet management company Lex Autolease, concludes at 2.45pm.
ACFO chairman John Pryor said: “Many of our members are predominantly car fleet operators, but also have a small number of vans.
“However, even if in charge of a large van fleet, there will be something to learn from a speaker line-up delivering a master class on operating best practice from vehicle selection and fitting out through in-life management and, critically, embracing legislative compliance.
“The seminar will provide expert advice and information on everything a fleet operator needs to know when running vans.”
The major reasons for large vans failing the MoT are: lighting and signalling (30% of tests), brakes (20.9%), suspension (15.7%) and driver’s view of the road (10.1%). Figures are broadly unchanged in recent years.
DVSA vehicle enforcement checks at the roadside and at operators’ premises in 2014/15 on light goods vehicles reveal a 62.8% prohibition rate with overweight vehicles the single biggest issue.
Mr Pryor said: “Staying legal on the road is vital, but DVSA statistics would suggest that not all operators are law abiding. The seminar will delve deep into van legislation and regulations and provide expert guidance on how van fleets can limit their risk exposure.”