Case Study - Operator Accreditation
Van Excellence Operator Accreditation assist the AA
The AA’s 2,800-strong van fleet works in challenging conditions. Although under 3.5 tonnes themselves, they go over this limit when towing breakdowns and, as such, work in the derogation zone of operator licensing; they respond to emergency calls; and they are distributed throughout the country with their engineers. Yet as a company which aims to keep motorists safe and mobile, the AA’s own compliance must always be beyond reproach.
“We’ve always been heavily involved with road safety and believed our own compliance procedures for drivers and vehicles to be well developed,” says Chris Wiltshire, Fleet Engineer. “However, we also think there is an important role for us in helping to cascade these standards to the rest of UK industry. Van Excellence was a good opportunity to show leadership and share our experience.”
Wiltshire says although the company was alreadyoperating with high standards, he believes the involvement with Van Excellence will benefit the company directly in the long run.
“It’s important to check that you are in fact reaching the standards you believe you are and external examination is a good way to do that,” he says. “But I also believe that over time we’ll be able to compare our practices in greater depth with those of other Van Excellence operators and maybe share and learn from different methods.”
The AA has extensive driver management systems in place and its vans, which are managed by BT Fleet, enjoy a 96 per cent first-time MOT pass rate.
“We have a high brand investment in road safety,” says Wiltshire. “Van Excellence is one way of demonstrating that.”