Flogas Fleet Manager Steve Moir and Vision Techniques Sales Manager Steve Smith with the first BrakeSafe installed tanker.
Flogas Britain, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), has become the first gas supplier to install VT BrakeSafe on its vehicles, preventing any risk of a vehicle roll-away on its tanker fleet.
Covering the whole of Great Britain from a network of 53 depots and utilising a fleet of over 400 vehicles, the safety of its drivers and customers is an important issue for fleet manager Steve Moir.
Moir said: “Being compliant, and safe, is important to us and, whilst we manage our fleet very closely, we cannot be there 100% of the time. The potential for a vehicle roll-away is something we have acknowledged but, until recently, it was an event that was very difficult for us to protect ourselves against. With the arrival of BrakeSafe® we have found a robust and cost-effective way to apply this protection.”
Flogas had originally looked at visual and audible alerts, but as they still required the input from the driver, they were not considered to offer a high enough level of protection. That is when Flogas approached Blackburn-based vehicle safety provider, Vision Techniques, having heard about the innovative anti-rollaway system, BrakeSafe®.
Moir continued: “I never want to take the call telling me that one of our vehicles has rolled-away and been responsible for serious injuries or deaths. No fleet manager would ever want to deal with that.”
The BrakeSafe® handbrake failsafe system was the answer for every requirement Flogas had for rollaway prevention. Rollaways are an issue faced by every fleet manager across the nation, from business with single vehicles to companies with thousands. BrakeSafe® is the only system on the market that automatically applies the handbrake if a driver forgets to when leaving the vehicle, helping prevent a vehicle runaway, unlike competitor products which can only give a visual and audible warning to the driver.
One of the key features Flogas required was the ability to link BrakeSafe® to its in-cab camera system, giving the ability to review footage of any potential rollaway and assist with retraining drivers and investigating incidents more thoroughly.
“To be able to capture footage of what was occurring at the time of a rollaway was vital for us.” explained Moir. “It will give us unambiguous and impartial evidence of what was going on in the seconds leading up to an incident, which is invaluable in helping us ensure that similar events do not happen again.”
One feature critical to Flogas is the fact that BrakeSafe® requires no interaction from the driver and under normal circumstances only requires input once the system has been activated.
Having been in the transport business for some years, Steve Moir knows that rollaways can be a common occurrence, although fortunately, not at Flogas.
“Drivers will, understandably, never admit to having forgotten to apply a handbrake, so as a result, operators may feel that they do not have a problem. I know from experience though, that they do happen and with devastating implications. The potential for rollaways should be on the radar of every fleet manager – BrakeSafe® makes sure you do not receive ‘that’ telephone call and gives us the tools to retrain and monitor every potential incident.”
Flogas trialled the system first; this was an important exercise for them to ensure it worked effectively with all the other safety devices fitted to their vehicles. It was also reassuring for them that it met all the criteria required for operating in an ADR environment.
Following the trial, Flogas made the decision to fit the system more widely across the fleet, something which Steve Moir was really happy about. “I demonstrated BrakeSafe® to members of my senior management team and they acknowledged its benefits immediately. With the added ability to monitor and report on all activations through a web-portal, I am looking forward to working with Vision Techniques on, what I consider to be, a very exciting development for Flogas.”