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Eleonora Malacarne


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Use of mobile phone behind the wheel: driver skips sanctions thanks to legal loophole

by Eleonora Malacarne on Sep 19, 2019 9:02:00 AM

Use of mobile phone behind the wheel driver skips sanctions thanks to legal loophole

There is still no clarity by the British government regarding the modification of part of the highway code dedicated to the use of mobile phones behind the wheel. The law has come under recent scrutiny in August after two sentences set a new precedent.

Ramsey Barreto had a conviction quashed for filming a crash on his mobile phone. The 51-year-old was prosecuted and found guilty after police saw him driving past an accident while using his phone to record a video. However, he had the conviction overturned at Isleworth Crown Court, last October, after his lawyers successfully argued that the law only banned the use of mobile phones to speak or communicate while behind the wheel. Publishing its decision last month, the High Court dismissed an appeal by the director of public prosecutions (DPP), agreeing with Barreto’s lawyers’ initial argument. The High Court Judge, Lady Justice Thirlwall, concluded with this statement: “The legislation does not prohibit all uses of a mobile phone held while driving. It prohibits driving while using a mobile phone or other device for calls and other interactive communication (and holding it at some stage during that process).” An incredibly literal interpretation of the law that placed doubt on what we could consider as irresponsible or unsafe driving or its opposite. However, the Judge made it clear “that you could still be prosecuted for driving without due care or dangerous driving, which carry potentially far higher punishments.”

The second case concerned Chief Constable Kerrin Wilson, who appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court. It followed a crash involving a Mini Countryman and a Hyundai i30 that took place at 5.33pm on December 21, 2018 on Deepdale Lane in Nettleham. While Wilson was driving her Mini Countryman (which she’d only had for a week), she apparently got distracted with Bluetooth controls and when trying to make a call with her hands-free system, ending up drifting onto the wrong side of the road and crashing into the oncoming Hyundai i30. Wilson entered a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity when she was charged with driving without due care and attention; then was promptly refused entry when she turned up ten minutes late for a driver improvement course on June 17th, 2019. Chief Constable Wilson was given seven points on her license and fined a total of £1,460, including a £125 victim surcharge and £85 in court costs.

The law regulating the use of devices behind the wheel is now 16 years old. The two cases have brought up the necessity of putting a prohibition on any possible physical activity on a hands-free device, mobile phone, tablet or smartphone behind the wheel even if it does not include communicating. At the time of writing, the law still stays the same.


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Topics: fleet safety

When fleet safety is airport safety: ground handler fined for cutting in front of moving plane

by Eleonora Malacarne on Sep 17, 2019 9:03:00 AM

When fleet safety is airport safety ground handler fined for cutting in front of moving plane

The perception that airport ramps and runways are only occupied by aircraft servicing our travel requirements is obviously not the whole picture, as other aircraft and a multitude of motorized and non-motorized assets are manoeuvring at the same time according to specific timeframes to make air travel possible. And as such, airports are definitely not exempt from the need for safe driving—rules have equally to be respected in this environment or your licence can be revoked...

This is precisely what happened to a ground handler working for the company Saigon Ground Services at the airport of Tan Son Nhat in Vietnam. The news reported that a ground handler drove his vehicle onto the runway, forcing a Vietnam Airlines plane to make a sudden stop on August 19. The driver, whose name has not been made public, has been fined the equivalent of $172/€156 for not maintaining a safe distance from the plane on the runway. The Vietnam Airlines plane was forced to stop suddenly.

The incident was not the only near-miss to occur at the airport last month, as a driver of a mobile boarding ramp lost control on August 21 and hit an aircraft waiting to depart for Osaka, Japan. The collision caused a dent in the aircraft’s fuselage and postponed the flight for one day, with the aircraft now having been sent for repairs and checks. The driver, who has not been named, said the vehicle “suddenly shifted gears” and crashed into the plane.

When on the ground, aircrafts face far more risks from the various other agents operating in the shared airport space—not only other airplanes but fuel trucks, tugs, support vehicles, catering trucks, buildings, obstacles and so on. The ground area of an airport is a very busy place indeed… where the kind of unsafe practices just mentioned ought never to happen.

According to the whitepaper Solutions to the High Costs of Aircraft Ground Damage, occupational hazards, injuries and absences from the workplace result in multi-billion dollar costs close to $4B to the aviation industry and more specifically in the ground operations sector. In terms of aircraft ground damages, the $4B figure is closer to around $12B when the ancillary costs related to injuries, staff shortages, insurance-related costs to both employers and employees and other factors are taken into consideration.

If your ground handling organisation doesn’t want to be part of these statistics (and we assume that’s invariably the case), talk to us to see how to streamline your airport ground operations and run a safe airport fleet.



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Topics: fleet safety, Airport fleet management

The A-Z series: let’s talk about U for Uptime

by Eleonora Malacarne on Sep 12, 2019 8:59:00 AM

The A-Z series let’s talk about U for Uptime

We may be running short of letters to complete our A-Z series of fleet management, but never topics. Uptime, according to standard definition, is the period of time which a computer, piece of machinery, etc., is operational and available for use. It goes without saying that in the case of fleets, uptime, when specifically referring to vehicles, is one of the eternal quests of fleet managers—to make vehicles ready to perform as much as possible, as opposed to downtime, in order to maximise profits.

Fleets have only quite recently begun to abandon a type of reactive maintenance, which seemingly worked for ages, in favour of more adequate planning that involves other factors than just facilitating the transportation of material from point A to point B. This may include the consideration of the customer perspective, the need for precise quality standards and conformity and also the nature of the business producing revenue.

Now, in order to prevent a problem suddenly arising and forcing vehicles into downtime, fleets know that they have to stay ahead of the game, on the lookout for anything related to potential issues, fixing them before they actually cause a problem while the vehicle is on the road. Apart from the usual pre-trip checks or walk-around checks that are legally required, some specific checks on particularly troublesome features can be conducted with a degree of regularity to avoid issues in the long run. Another concept that has only recently been considered by fleets is the idea of having a comprehensive check after the vehicle reaches a certain threshold in terms of mileage, with the same aim of anticipating possible problems.

Technology has also started to provide the means to gather data and notify fleets regarding the perfect timing of servicing a vehicle, offering a heads-up regarding a potential malfunction or simply capturing vehicle performance in terms of fuel consumption, number of services and similar metrics to help establish the regular checks to be carried out to preserve vehicles and help prolong their uptime. The information, often given in real time, can also help establish whether the vehicle can continue on the road without risk or if it is preferable to take it off rather than waiting for the regular check. And the increased connectivity of a vehicle can, according to numbers shared by Volvo Trucks, reduce incidents of unplanned downtime by 80%.

It has been calculated by LeasePlan that the average cost of having a van off the road is between €785/£700 and €1122/£1,000 per day. Nevertheless, according to data shared by Autoglass, a substantial number of fleet managers appear to be unaware of the financial impact, with 40% of them unable to estimate the business cost of having a vehicle off the road. Those who were able to give a figure said the average cost in terms of lost business revenue was €815/£727 per day per van. No surprise then why the focus has changed in fleets in favour of a more proactive approach to maximise uptime, though it still has yet to become standard practice for some of them.





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Topics: Fleet Management, fleet maintenance

3 unique challenges that airport fleets are expected to overcome

by Eleonora Malacarne on Sep 10, 2019 9:01:00 AM

3 unique challenges that airport fleets are expected to overcome

When thinking about “airport fleets”, it may for most people automatically bring to mind the bright and colourful fuselages of different aircrafts; from the impressive A380, to the A320 or Boeing 747 that we are accustomed to board for our short-haul and maybe low-cost flights for either business or leisure. But the truth is that aircrafts are not the only fleet involved in smoothly conveying us to our destinations—there are ground fleets in airports that help to make this possible.

Just like any other ground fleet based organisation, airport fleets come with a set of challenges typical of them all, plus an array of unique ones peculiar to commercial aviation. Now that we have clarified the kinds of fleets we are specifically focusing on in this post, let’s have a look at three airport fleet challenges that ground services, handling and air transport businesses tackle every day!

#1 – Managing an incredibly diverse fleet. Again, we can bring to mind a mental image of the familiar service vehicles such as cars, vans or pickups that we invariably find in the perimeter of an airport—and also the buses/shuttles that transport passengers between terminal buildings, to departure gates or to and from aircraft. But these vehicles are just a small part of the fleet operating inside an airport, on runways and ramps. Airport fleets are in fact comprised of both motorized and non-motorized assets that are all of equal importance in the task of transporting goods and people by air; that all have to be precisely located to ensure efficient and fast operations and maintained so as to guarantee swift service. Airport fleets might just about have almost every means of conveyance: think about baggage tractors, cargo tractors, cargo loaders, mobile assets, power units, trolleys, passenger steps, elevators, escalators, conveyor belts, pushback tractors...

#2 – “Phenomenal cosmic powers—in an itty-bitty living space” is no fun: this is not only Aladdin’s genie’s motto, but it’s the bread and butter of airport fleets. Aircrafts, vehicles and assets move around a limited space in a precise way to ensure timings and slots are respected, that there is no delay caused by operations on the ground and everything is obviously happening in a safe, compliant way flight after flight, after flight.

#3 – Diverse assets in a reduced space—actually, in a LOT of reduced spaces. If we consider airports as reduced perimeters and handling companies with multifarious challenges depending on how many airports they control, airport fleets have to operate in a consistent, standardised way all around the world and comply with different regulations in different markets at the same time and with different stages of development or maturity depending on the airport they work in.


Airport operators: contact us to book a visit at the Inter Airport Europe show


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Topics: Fleet Management, Airport fleet management

Driver behaviour rank: who are the worst drivers in Ireland and the UK?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Sep 5, 2019 9:01:00 AM

Driver behaviour rank who are the worst drivers in Ireland and the UK?

If you are worried about driver behaviour and are afraid somebody from your team might engage in unsafe driving style habits, you should not only contact us as soon as possible to seek help, but also, meanwhile, make sure to continue reading this post, as Fleet News recently revealed Britain’s worst drivers and it might interest you - although we seriously hope your fleet is not involved!

Vantage Leasing, an associate of Lex Autolease, recently shared data on the worst drivers in Britain, which sees Halifax having the most motorists with penalty points on their licence (9.62% of the local driving licence holders), followed by Bradford, with the 9.46% of its driving population being the second highest points holders in the UK. Third place has been conquered by Huddersfield, with 9.04% of drivers having penalty points on their driving licence, while in terms of best practices, Canterbury seems to host the safest drivers: only 3.72% of the drivers of the town do have penalty points.

We are still not aware of a similar rank being made public for Ireland, though we can remember two related pieces of news about "worst drivers". In year 2009 Ireland was hunting a mysterious offender who repeatedly collected speeding tickets and parking fines throughout the different Irish counties. Apparently, every time the offender was stopped he was able to bypass justice by giving a different address. The enigma of the unknown transgressor was then solved once Garda officers realised that "Prawo Jadzy" was not actually the driver they were looking for, but the Polish translation of "driving licence". No secret motorist then, just a consistent error in copying the first name and surname of the driver, which had led to the creation of a "Mr Prawo Jadzy" with over 50 identities.

Driver behaviour rank who are the worst drivers in Ireland and the UK 2

Learning from making mistakes brings benefits
, they say. But some people might never learn the lesson - and Ray Hefferman is probably one of them, at least until his next try. This Cork man has been defined the worst driver in Ireland and failed his driving test for the 20th time on the last week of August. Hefferman has even taken the Department of Transport to court eight times to challenge the results of his tests, but lost every time and his car still displays an "L" plate...

Kidding aside, there is definitely room for significant improvements and plenty to learn if you start monitoring driver behaviour - you will be surprised how many savings can be achieved and how easy it can be to run a safe fleet. Talk to us if you wish to learn more!


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Topics: Fleet Management, driver training, driver behaviour

Airport Fleet Management: Transpoco at the Inter Airport Europe Show 2019

by Eleonora Malacarne on Sep 3, 2019 9:01:00 AM

Airport Fleet Management: Transpoco at the Inter Airport Europe Show 2019

Who said intelligent fleet management is just for logistics, public transportation or couriers?
Transpoco's suite of SaaS tools can offer real benefits to GSE fleets, ground operations, support equipment and services. From cutting costs to assessing risks, from maintenance to compliance management, Transpoco will present all the latest innovations and updates targeting the aviation sector at the Inter Airport Europe Show 2019.

The international exhibition has this year reached its 22nd edition. The event, organised as its tagline claims, for Airport Equipment, Technology, Design & Services, is welcoming digital transformation in aviation and airport operations (so, who better than Transpoco to show how interconnected airports can work - efficiently and effortlessly?).

Manufacturers and suppliers of airport equipment will showcase their new, revolutionary products that will find different airport uses and applications, from technologies to predict passenger flow to digital service platforms for operators to access and analyse data across the airport and software solutions to enhance both safety and quality management.


Airport Fleet Management: Transpoco at the Inter Airport Europe Show 2019_2

We are now just 5 weeks away from this important appointment: Transpoco will exhibit at the stand number 2262 in Hall C6 from October 8-11, 2019 - come talk to us if you wish to have smoother airport operations!

Airport operators: contact us to book a visit at the Inter Airport Europe show


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Topics: Fleet Management, News, Stats & Facts, GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

Logistics Associate Apprenticeship extends its consortium to include CIT School

by Eleonora Malacarne on Aug 29, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Logistics Associate Apprenticeship extends its consortium including CIT School

The Logistics Associate Apprenticeship consortium is extending its network in the fields of Process, Energy and Transport Engineering with the inclusion of the  Department of Mechanical Electrical & Process Engineering in the Cork Institute of Technology, scheduled for 18th September 2019.

The Logistics Associate Apprenticeship, launched in 2018 by the Technological University Dublin, provides academic Education and practical training across the Freight, Logistics, Shipping and Distribution industries. Apprentices enter a contact of 2 years duration, where they will work with an employer and spend one day a week in the TU Dublin or Cork Institute of Technology for their academic studies. Completion of this programme leads to a Level 6 Award on the National Framework of Qualifications.

The apprenticeship programme was set up to have a long-term view of making the freight distribution and logistics sector more competitive for talent, highlighting the diverse and exciting career opportunities within the sector and attracting more diversity into the workforce.

According to Aidan Flynn, Chair of the Consortium and General Manager for the Freight Transport Association Ireland, “The Logistics Associate apprenticeship, to date has garnered great support from employers and this is vital to the future success of the programme. After all, without employers interest this blended learning opportunity will not be sustainable. The apprenticeship offers great opportunities to both employers in the freight distribution and logistics sector and employees, with upskilling opportunities for existing employees and attractive ones for new entrants who are looking for vibrant, challenging and rewarding careers.

Key Benefits of the Logistics Associate Apprenticeship for employers include upskilling, building a loyal staff, offering career progression opportunities and attracting new entrants into the industry with the opportunity, especially in the current shortage condition, to fill vacancies.

In the month of September 2019, over 80 new apprentices will start this programme in TUDublin Aungier Street and CIT. At a time when pressure is mounting within industry on operational costs, the threat of Brexit, and skills shortage, this positive story is one where collaboration and commitment can provide pro-active solutions that will help in the future of the sector.



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Topics: News, Stats & Facts

CPC compliant drivers’deadline of September 9th worries fleet professionals

by Eleonora Malacarne on Aug 27, 2019 9:01:00 AM

CPC compliant drivers’ deadline of September 9th worries fleet professionals

The CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) deadline is fast approaching for UK companies operating heavy and light goods vehicles, as their drivers have to complete their mandatory training and renew their CPC licences (drivers are obliged to do 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years). If the deadline is missed, employees will be unable to continue driving HGVs and LGVs legally from September 9th onward.  

According to an independent study carried out recently, after the deadline there will be a massive decrease of CPC compliant drivers, as over half (53%) of the operators and fleet professionals interviewed were worried about a possible reduction in fully CPC-trained drivers next month as a third of drivers still had the full 35 hours of mandatory training remaining.

According to Nick Caesari, CEO of Fleet Source, the independent organisation which carried out the study, “The majority of transport managers who responded to our survey—some 71%—said their contracted drivers had already completed their 35 hours, which is good news, but the deadline is fast looming for those drivers who still need to complete their training. The bigger picture is that there is a clear concern in the industry that there will be a shortfall in CPC-compliant drivers after 9 September.”

It is the drivers’ responsibility to complete the mandatory training but employers play a key role in checking that their drivers are compliant and, therefore, do share some of the responsibility.

The result is that the capacity of courses and trainers has decreased in recent months and consequently some suppliers have also increased their price as the deadline approaches.

Nick Caesari added that “It is vital that employers, drivers and training providers work together to ensure we minimise the risk of a shortfall in CPC-compliant drivers and create a contract-ready workforce to meet the growing client demand across our industry.”



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Topics: News, Stats & Facts

Electric Vehicles: there is now more EV charging stations than fuel stations in the UK

by Eleonora Malacarne on Aug 22, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Electric Vehicles there is now more EV charging stations than fuel stations in the UK

The number of charging stations designed for Electric Vehicles in the UK has now surpassed the number of fuel stations in the UK. Data shared by Fleet News few days ago confirm the presence of 9,300 EV charging locations in Britain and a total of 8,400 fuel stations.

The news comes around 100 years after Britan saw its first fuel station opening, in November 2019, at Aldermaston in Berkshire. Since then, the number of fuel stations has grown dramatically, then declined, and has now been officially overtaken by the one of the EV charging stations. 80% of UK fuel stations have closed since 1970, while EV charging locations have increased from just a few hundreds in 2011 to the current figure of 9,000.

The data shared have been made public related to a forecast made by car manufacturer Nissan back in 2016, through its Nissan Insider website, according to which public locations to charge electric cars in the UK would have overtaken petrol stations by the summer of 2020. At the end of 2015 it was estimated that there were 8,472 fuel stations in the UK, while the total figure was of 37,539 in 1970. Nissan predicted that the number of UK fuel stations would fall under 7,870.

The numbers shared confirm the commitment towards zero emissions and the introduction of the new Ultra-Low Emission Zone in April 2019 and the attempt to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles. It seems now the next challenge will be keeping the pace with the growing presence of electric vehicles and the infrastructure needed to make them operational.



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Topics: News, Stats & Facts

Free van operators dedicated event by the FTA tomorrow in Belfast

by Eleonora Malacarne on Aug 20, 2019 9:03:00 AM

Free van operators dedicated event by the FTA tomorrow in Belfast

The FTA is hosting tomorrow a free event in Belfast with the title "Van Operations: Your responsibilities" under the project Van Excellence.

Van Excellence is a programme created by the FTA in the UK to support van operators of all sizes and industry sectors. At the heart of Van Excellence is the Van Excellence Code; a code of practice written by the FTA along with many of the UK’s best van operators to describe what we think good looks like when we’re operating vans.

The Van Excellence scheme is active in Ireland with the name of Van Safe, promoted by the FTAI: a scheme designed by some of the best van operators in Ireland; facilitated and managed by FTA Ireland to recognise excellence and improve operational standards. At its heart is the VanSafe Code which is a Code of Practice outlining 'what good looks like' in van operations.

Main speakers at the event will be Rosie Leech MBE from the Police Service of Northern Ireland who’ll be discussing the results of recent enforcement activities and how operators could improve and Mark Cartwright, Head of Vans from the Freight Transport Association.

The event is taking place tomorrow, Wednseday 21 August 2019, from 08:30 to 12:30 BST, at the following location:
26 Harbour Court
9 Heron Road, Sydenham Business Park

Registrations are open on Eventbrite at the URL



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