When suppliers can set your standards

When things get tough and the pressure’s on, use our high standards to maintain yours, says John Fletcher, managing director, Dawson Group

Milton Keynes, UK: During Covid-19, the UK road transport sector has experienced unprecedented pressure and turmoil. Some businesses have fallen by the wayside. Equally concerning, however, has been the number of official investigations into compliance breaches.

In an environment where the government relaxed its monitoring of vehicle maintenance standards by suspending MOTs for all HGVs for up to 12 months, some businesses have buckled under the pressure of Covid-19 by allowing themselves to drift into cutting corners and letting standards slip.

John Fletcher, managing director, Dawson Group

The media have reported on cases where businesses have failed to ensure the roadworthiness of their vehicles or where there has been a lack of preventative maintenance inspections, poor training or a failure to keep proper records. Even a minor breach puts an operator outside their ‘O’ licence conditions – and worse, could lead to potentially lethal consequences.

At Dawsongroup truck and trailer, crises and challenging times have come and gone over our 45-plus years. However, when things have got tough, we’ve always made it a priority to carry on supporting our customers and provide a first-rate service. This was never more so than during the 2020 lockdowns and also now that we’re looking ahead to the return of some sort of normality.

We’ve kept going throughout the pandemic and we’ve never lowered our standards. All our 23 branches across the UK have remained open and we’ve provided our support services as effectively as ever. More importantly for the future, we haven’t held back on our commitment, customer service or investment in our staff, depots and fleet.

Keeping standards high through usership
Opting for asset usership rather than ownership is an effective way of mitigating against falling standards. Rental, for example, relieves you of the complexity and cost of fleet management, and the hassle of maintaining its compliance.

Usership passes those responsibilities to your supplier. Here at Dawsongroup truck and trailer, we have the infrastructure and expertise to take on this role with a care and dedication that’s second to none.
As such, we can help to protect your ‘O’ Licence and provide you with peace of mind so that you can concentrate on your core activity – managing and growing your business.

Our exacting approach to compliance means that we can meet vehicle maintenance standards required for DVSA Earned Recognition Status. As a result, you can bring vehicles onto your fleet with confidence and in the knowledge that their maintenance, breakdown and compliance is managed to the highest standards.

Compliance is underpinned by safety and safety is at the forefront of everything we do. We are industry-leading investors in this area and we consistently meet and exceed the demands of the UK’s regulators.

We supply the safest trucks and trailers on the road and we help keep our customers’ fleets and employees safe, legal and compliant. It’s an important and serious job. Because we have thousands of vehicles on the UK’s roads at any one time, a lot is at stake.

  • Reputation, profit and survival are all at risk – not just ours but our customers’ as well – so it’s in our interest to maintain our high standards of service:
  • Dedicated engineering support 24/7/365, backed up by an established network of over 1,100 approved service outlets across the UK.
  • An average age profile of two years for trucks.
  • An average age profile of four years for trailers.
  • A 98% first-time MOT pass rate.
  • A 98% first-time roadside fix rate.
  • An average attendance time from first call of 75 minutes.
  • Management of all our customers’ compliance issues and paperwork – PMI sheets, MOT certificates, roller brake tests, plating certificates, tachograph documentation.

Also during these difficult times, we continue to provide added value services such as driver training, which provides a range of key benefits. These include the potential to save thousands of pounds on fuel, improve driver well-being, minimise vehicle downtime, improve load sympathy and reduce servicing costs, thus helping to reduce damaged goods, accidents, insurance premiums and the impact of your business on the environment.

How Dawsongroup truck and trailer can ease the pressure on your business
At a time when standards are under increasing pressure and it’s tempting to cut corners, it’s as important as ever to choose the right fleet provider. Our advice is to look for:
Effective account management founded on a partnership approach and local relationships.
Regular reviews and comprehensive Service Level Agreements measured against agreed levels of performance.
A history of excellent customer service that’s sustainable well into the future.
Providing independent advice and taking integrity and transparency seriously.
Supplying the right vehicles to meet each individual customer’s needs.
Close relationships with manufacturers and their technical support teams.
A thorough understanding of any engineering and technical requirements.
A bespoke and comprehensive 24/7/365 maintenance and breakdown service.
Dedicated, well-trained and experienced engineering staff, focused on maintaining peak fleet performance and minimising vehicle downtime.
State-of-the-art management systems monitoring breakdowns, work in progress, recalls and supplier performance.
Detailed knowledge of the latest legislation – for example, on emissions, Brexit and safety.

Conclusion
We are robust and experienced enough to survive both the Covid-19 pandemic and any other challenging situation that comes our way.

Even when the forecast is uncertain, we’re well-prepared. Our ability to understand what fleet operators need – together with our breadth of skill, ingenuity, grit and determination – enable us to continue supporting our customers and keep our standards high.

If you need support for your business, why not set us a challenge? Let’s see how we can add value to your business. With a genuine ‘can-do’ approach, we thrive on finding solutions to our customers’ problems.

As always, we’re ready to make our expertise and award-winning services available to help you face an unforeseeable and shifting future and get you back on the road to recovery and the brightest possible future.

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