Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sainsbury 50mph Trucks Not Popular With Drivers

Supermarket giant defends move
Shipping News Feature

UK - Sainsbury, the nationwide supermarket chain, has come under fire from delivery drivers over their decision to limit their trucks to a top speed of 50mph.

Airing their views to Handy Shipping Guide via the Professional Drivers Association, members of the forum concerning the issue have expressed uniformly negative views on the move.

One member commented that: “It may be good for the companies' image but bad overall.

It's going to lead to more congestion as trucks limited to 56 all overtake on the motorway reducing the lanes available to cars down to one. This in turn will lead to frustration for motorist and will eventually catch the 50mph in the tailbacks

The only way limiters are going to have any chance of working efficiently is if ALL vehicles are limited to the same speed.”

Another said that: “Last year my company conducted a month’s trial [at 50mph], but never got any difference in the fuel returns. It can say it’s very tiring and boring at that speed.”

One was doubtful that Sainsbury would long enforce the policy, stating: “Wait until the RDC’s (Regional Distribution Centres) start having to send drivers home because they can't do a second run in the allotted shift time, or have to double man. It'll quietly die the death.”

In response Sainsbury’s told HSG that: “After analysing our fuel consumption and having taken advice from police road safety experts with regards to how various speed limits would affect our drivers and other road users, we decided six months ago to set our fleet's maximum speed at 50mph. This is designed to have a positive affect on safety, reduce our fuel consumption and reduce the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere.

We are also carrying out a trial to see if we can achieve a 50mph approach to driving from our driver colleagues without limiting their vehicles. This will allow us to assess if the same fuel consumption and environmental benefits can be realised without the need for vehicles to be restricted.”