Thursday, June 13, 2013

Any Road Haulage Operator Can Benefit from Compliancy Instruction (but not free M6 Tolls)

Non-Members of RHA Can Attend Instructional Conference but Complimentary Motorway Passes are now All Issued
Shipping News Feature

UK – Anyone operating in the road haulage sector will know just how hard it is to stay abreast of all the regulation changes that can occur and simply pass unnoticed when a commercial vehicle fleet manager is more intent on keeping the freight moving and the customers satisfied than reading the latest obscure directive. To avoid the potential banana skins on which many a road haulage operator has slipped up in the past, where does one turn to ensure the latest annual tranche of rules and regulations appertaining to training, safety, health and employment are met and understood?

Most operators know of the Road Haulage Association (RHA) but many smaller outfits worry if the cost of membership is worthwhile to them. What many fail to realise is that many of the organisation’s events are open to non-members, offering the opportunity to ‘taste and try’ before buying into full membership. Such an event is the forthcoming RHA Compliance Conference 2013 which will be held in the prestigious Chancellor’s Suite in the University of Warwick’s Rootes Building on Wednesday 18 September.

As the RHA is quick to point out, its main concern is the overall state and image of the industry and that means all operators at least being compliant with the essentials of the job, members or not, and if you’re not compliant, your days of running a successful haulage operation are numbered. Whilst admitting it would be impossible to cover all the compliance issues in one day, the RHA says nevertheless that by concentrating on some of the major topics, attendees will get a clear insight as to where to begin tackling the most important issues.

Chaired by newly-elected RHA Chairman, Peter Barber, the conference is aimed at those managers and owners who are responsible for day to day compliance within their businesses. It is also open to those whose work includes the management of regulatory issues relating to operator licencing and human resources. Speakers and experts will also be available throughout the day to offer one-to-one advice and guidance and the keynote speaker will be Senior Traffic Commissioner, Beverley Bell, who said:

“Compliance covers a vast area yet there are still operators out there who are under the false impression that as long as they comply with the latest Health and Safety legislation, all will be well. Nothing could be further from the truth. Only by being aware of and following the rules can an operator be truly compliant.”

Subjects to be covered range from employment (working time, contracts and disciplinary procedures) through the policies, procedures and testing for drugs and alcohol at work to legal and insurance issues, whilst attendees will also qualify for four hours’ worth of CILT-approved Continuing Professional Development.

Places on this first Conference are very limited and Non-members can apply for £65 + VAT (£10 less for RHA members) with a £10 discount for applications received and accepted by 31 July. To apply telephone 01733 261 131 or email  

Non RHA members will not benefit from the free travel afforded to those hauliers who applied in time for an M6 Toll waiver which affords the holder passage on the toll stretch of the motorway free of charge throughout July. All passes have now been issued and Pete Cleaver, Midland Expressway Director of Tolling Operations explained some confusion had arisen over the dispensations saying:

“All RHA members who registered for this offer before the closing date of 17 May have now been issued with their passes. Any members who attempt to use the M6 Toll without the official free pass will be required to pay the appropriate toll charge at the time of travel. It’s simple; no pass - no free passage.

“Despite stressing the fact that only members of the Road Haulage Association are eligible for this free trial, this key fact has become somewhat diluted; there have been reports that ALL trucks can travel free during July. This is most certainly not the case and, with only a couple of weeks to go until the offer starts, it is vitally important that this message is heeded.”