Keeping our drivers safe on the road is at the core of what we do, so when it came time to review our total unit design, the focus was on improving the safety of our team.
At Regal, one of our key values is to ‘be safe’. Each year, our drivers spend approximately 200,000 hours on the road, which makes their safety and the reliability of our vehicles important.
As a company, we have installed Vault, a health and safety compliance platform, which helps us manage risk. We also regularly review our operations to see what other changes can be made. That’s when we decided to give our total unit design a major overhaul.
Given the distances our drivers and units travel each week, regular maintenance and service checks are essential. We are constantly looking for ways we can do things better, not only to ensure our drivers are working in the safest environment possible, but also to look at ways we can simplify production whilst improving our service.
Data from both Vault and records pre-Vault highlighted certain areas of our business that were causing regular issues for our drivers. This information formed the basis of a full design review.
To improve the safety of our team and our vehicles, our review focused on three key areas:
Steps: We needed to minimise, or preferably eliminate, the risk of drivers slipping and falling from the body’s mounted steps.
Auto covers: We wanted to develop a cover system that allowed drivers to cover their loads faster and more easily with less physical impact.
Volvo remote: Drivers were operating various aspects of their truck from in the cab, but this meant they couldn’t see any potential issues, such as hitting the roof of a shed when tipping. We wanted to implement the Volvo remote feature but needed to evaluate the cost of doing so.
Our design team liaised closely with our drivers to ensure any modifications and adjustments we made not only improved the safety of our units, but were advantageous to them out on the road,"
With safety in mind, Alan Pye, Regal’s driver trainer, explains the adjustments our design team made to our units:
Steps: The existing units had steps fitted to the outside of the bin. These allowed the driver to climb into the body of the truck. We removed these from the design which meant there was no longer the option – or the risk – for drivers to climb up the outside.
Auto covers: We developed a system whereby our existing manually operated roll over cover could be operated from the cab of the truck or remote control if fitted. A pneumatic (air) one touch driver motor and gear box was fitted to our cover system. Various timers and relays were required to make this a simple one touch operation for the driver from the comfort of his cab. Other refinements in the cover design were also required to ensure it rolled in and out straight.
Volvo remote: The new Volvo truck platform offers an in cab remote that can be programmed to perform multiple functions of operation. The Volvo comes prewired with a ‘body builder plug’, a wiring loom that runs from the truck computer to multiple connection points in the chassis of the truck. This meant we no longer needed to run our own controls into the cab which was a big job requiring significant disassembly of the cab interior.
A complete redesign of our whole control system was required, but tasks such as cover operation, tipping off loads, and rear door tripping can now be performed from the Volvo remote. This can either be operated from the in cab cradle with the driver in his seat, or the driver can take it with them and control these functions from outside the vehicle, thus allowing them a better view. This has reduced the risk of damage to our units and delivery site facilities.
The end result is an example of the Regal team working as one. “Our design team liaised closely with our drivers to ensure any modifications and adjustments we made not only improved the safety of our units, but were advantageous to them out on the road,” says Brett McHardie, Regal joint managing director.
“An example of this was the one touch system we created for our auto covers. Not only did this system remove the need for the driver to exit the cab and manually crank the cover open or closed, it also resulted in faster vehicle turn around on repetitive tip off work. It is much easier for drivers to operate and has reduced lost time caused by injuries”.
Delivering vertically integrated logistical solutions is what Regal does, and with reviews like these, our drivers deliver them safely.