Truckfile details how it has helped Grist Environmental stay ahead of the game with its compliance.
Fleet operators, and the workshop managers who look after them, know that compliance is key. More than just keeping vehicles safe and legal, this means ensuring that records are available to prove it.
As an operator that looks after the majority of its own vehicles in-house, Wiltshire-based waste management specialist Grist Environmental understands this issue from both sides. For both Transport Manager Paul Forth, and Workshop Manager Tony Little, Truckfile’s digital systems are the trusted tools relied on to ensure their operation is fully compliant.
Founded in 1973 with a single vehicle, Grist Environmental has grown to become one of the leading waste management businesses in the Southwest, and also offers materials recycling, vehicle maintenance, end-of-life vehicle processing, event management, and agricultural cleaning services.
Today, the company employs over 160 people in and around its home town of Devizes, Wiltshire, and runs a growing fleet of over 70 trucks of various sizes and configurations. The line-up includes 44- tonne artics, six- and eight-wheeled refuse collection vehicles, hook loaders, and skip loaders from 7.5 to 18 tonnes gvw.
As Tony Little recalls, before employing Truckfile, the task of keeping all maintenance records up to date using paper forms proved to be increasingly time-consuming. He explains: “[Using paper forms] was set to get ever more onerous as the company’s fleet grew, with more vehicles being maintained in our own workshop rather than under service contracts with supplying dealers.
“A solution to make compliance management easier as well as more efficient was clearly required. The Truckfile system is so simple to use. I have a full overview, while our technicians can select jobs easily – which means job cards are always raised and accurately completed in a timely manner. As Workshop Manager, I can easily trace all vehicle or trailer maintenance and parts that have been fitted when reviewing a vehicle’s history.”
No stone left unturned
Drivers, too, have their part to play in the ‘chain of compliance’ – daily walk-around checks form a vital link in the trail of data that must be recorded. Paul Forth admits he initially had concerns that some of his team – with their background in an ‘old-school’ environment – might be reluctant to switch to a system of completing and recording checks electronically, but these fears were unfounded. He confirms: “Very soon, we were all wondering how we’d ever managed without it.”
Paul adds: “We asked several suppliers to bid for our business but, from the early stages, the Truckfile tender stood out clearly from the crowd. The key difference was that, while other packages were quite rigid and would have required us to adapt the way we work to fit the system’s design, with Truckfile it was the other way around.
“From the beginning, the Truckfile team were able to tailor their offering to our needs. We run a diverse fleet – trucks, their trailers, and body equipment, as well as various plant vehicles. We also have technicians working remotely at our five sites around Devizes, as well as in our purpose-built main workshop.”
He continues: “Crucially, Truckfile works equally well for the different recording requirements of our various vehicle types, and for the team too. The fact that there is more than one way to input information is a big help – so a mobile technician looking after the plant at our satellite sites can carry a hand-held tablet device, on which he records everything he does as he goes about the job.
“Details are stored, and then automatically uploaded to our computer via mobile internet as soon as the device picks up a signal. The guys in the main workshop, however, prefer to use a dedicated workstation terminal to record their jobs. Both methods knit seamlessly together.
“We wanted to keep on top of the everincreasing requirements for compliance, and at the same time, reduce the time and hassle spent on administration. Truckfile has proved to be a winner on both counts.”
Paul concludes: “The ongoing support from the Truckfile team has been fantastic too – they don’t just sell you a system and then walk away. They were on hand throughout the installation phase to help us adapt to the change, but it didn’t end there.
“We’ve continued to refine our procedures and worked hand-in-hand with Truckfile personnel to create a set-up that does exactly what we want it to. Truckfile is the high-tech solution with a human face.”
Truckfile is the brainchild of Magic Internet Technologies. Based in Redditch, Worcestershire, the company was formed in 2006 to create an innovative and user-friendly fleet and workshop management system for the commercial vehicle and transport sectors.
With well over 200,000 individual vehicle records stored for more than 24,000 users, Truckfile is the largest document store of its kind in the marketplace. Customers can access the system from any internet-connected device, with no need for additional investment in servers or extra hardware. All documents are available around the clock and are securely protected against loss or damage.