Branston’s big fuel saving down to driver training course

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A Volvo driver training course looks set to one fleet operator more than £60,000 a year in fuel.

Potato business Branston has revealed the savings across its 33 Volvo vehicles. 

For example, the company boosted average driver scores by 10 points using the Volvo Connect system.

In addition, it improved fleet efficiency by one mile per gallon.

That translates to more than £1,000 a week and, therefore, over £60,000 a year.

The idea to use the driver training course came from group transport manager Luke Braddow.

Together with Crossroads Truck & Bus, a plan was formed and implemented across the business.

Branston has drivers based in three depots: Lincoln; Ilminster and Abernethy.

“We knew by improving driver behaviour we could have a real impact on our business,” said Braddow. 

“With fuel costs getting higher, it’s important to squeeze every penny out of the trucks.” 

Continuing, Braddow revealed that the company is now monitoring driver performance, thereby ensuring standards are upheld.

Branston’s fleet of Volvo FH 6×2 tractor units average 180,000km a year. 

Specifically, they collect potatoes from farms across the UK and deliver into supermarket regional distribution centres. 

The company’s latest model FHs were acquired last year, coinciding with Braddow’s arrival at the company. 

In other words, it was the catalyst for the training programme. 

Via the Volvo Connect app, each driver is given a fuel efficiency score out of 100.

That score is based on performance in four key areas.

The areas are: engine and gear utilisation; speed adaptation; anticipation and braking and standstill. 

Those marks are closely monitored, with additional support and guidance given to those drivers with the lowest rankings. 

“We’ve colour coded the scores into green (99-90), amber (89-85) and red (below 85),” explained Braddow. 

“We have conversations with those in the red to help them.”

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