Haulage in the UK: A Little Bit of History…

Haulage in the UK: A Little Bit of History…

Haulage in the UK has changed so much over the years. Which is understandable, as the cars and lorries we drive today haven’t always been around. As a haulage company in Cambridgeshire, Swannells Transport have been providing quality services in general haulage, warehousing and hazardous freight since 1981. This article will be taking us back in time and summarising the key changes and events regarding the beginning of haulage in the UK. 

Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire
Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire – Haulage History

The Very Beginning…

For most of human history, people did not travel – everything was within walking distance so vehicles or any type of transportation weren’t necessary. If people needed to travel to different cities for work or visitation, there would usually be a horse or a mule involved. It was unusual to travel more than 10 miles away from home.

When the 1600s arrived, carriages became available to hire in London, causing the beginning of traffic jams within the United Kingdom. At first, it was considered an embarrassment to be seen in a hired carriage, but people eventually became more comfortable with it after a footman was introduced. 

In attempt to prevent highway robbery and improve the safety and comfortability of travel in England, the “Highways Act, 1663” was introduced in Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire and Cambridgeshire. This encouraged the UK to begin travelling longer distances!

The Creation of Roads…

By 1700, private companies had been developing and maintaining roads to encourage more and safer travelling. Also known as the “turnpike system”, the road network grew rapidly as more roads were built and maintained.

30 years after the first road was maintained, there was a large number of “turnpikes” in England and Wales. Furthermore, this influenced the urge for more road safety and organisation – which is where transport technology comes in.

1800’s

After trains and railways were invented and it was discovered that coal can be used for transportation, it was time for the industrial revolution. At this time, steam engines were the most common way of transportation and importantly, haulage jobs to be undertaken. After the first steam engine was built in 1895 by John Thornycraft, road transportation became a common occurrence. 

Railways and steam engines were used to transport heavy, large and lots of items within short and long distances. In 1879, Karl Benz invented the first internal combustion engine i.e. the first engine for a car. 7 years later, the production of the first vehicle began. After this huge breakthrough, it didn’t take long for other car companies and organisations to begin using combustion engines in their vehicle production – creating a growing industry… Welcome to the world of cars!

1900’s

Let’s fast forward slightly – the 1900s was best known for the world wars, moon landing and some groovy dancing. The first lorry was invented in 1896 in Germany by automotive pioneer, Damlier – but by the first World War, there were over 25,000 heavy vehicles driving around. These trucks caused organisations to further improve the quality of roads, making transportation in the UK more laid out, organised and safe!

By 1960, there were over 600,000 lorries in the UK! During that 60-year interval, infrastructure, agriculture and the UK’s economy had grown substantially. More businesses were around, transportation were more reliable and communities became more entertaining and social!

Swannells Transport launched in 1981, by Andrew Swannell and his wife, Karen. With just one lorry, the couple had a vision to succeed and grow. Almost 40 years later, Swannells Transport is a successful haulage company in Cambridgeshire – providing our service in general haulage, warehousing and hazardous freight.

Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire
Swannells Transport History – Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire

Road transport is now essentially known as the “backbone” of the economy. More than 80% of all goods we consume and use – including food and clothes, are transported by HGVs!

Contact Our Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire

We are Swannells Transport. Contact our friendly team today to discuss your haulage needs and requirements – whether it regards delivering, storage needs, or carrying hazardous freight.

For more updates and information on Swannells Transport and the haulage industry, give our Facebook page a like!

Thanks for reading.

How The Police’s “New Breed Of Vehicle” is Catching Dangerous Driver’s on The M1

How The Police’s “New Breed Of Vehicle” is Catching Dangerous Driver’s on The M1

Swannells Transport is a haulage company in Huntingdon – operating warehousing, deliveries and general haulage on a daily basis. Due to its significance and our passion for the industry, we like to stay/keep you up to date with HGV news – and this one we find extremely interesting…

12 months ago, the police introduced ‘supercabs’, three unmarked HGVs driven by police forces, as a new method to catch dangerous drivers – and have proven to be a great success so far.

Haulage Company in Huntingdon
Police Forces Using New HGV “supercabs”

These unmarked HGVs have allowed officers to gather evidence of unsafe driving behaviour by pulling up alongside vehicles, filming the evidence and then the drivers are then pulled over by police cars that were following a short distance behind. For safety reasons (or in case of an emergency), the supercabs have a de-restricted speed limiter and hidden flashing police lights.

Due to the size and type of vehicle, it offers a lot of benefits to the police forces. For instance, it provides the perfect height advantage they need to see inside other vehicles, and the majority of drivers that are committing these crimes wouldn’t be suspicious of a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) driving nearby, so it’s a great opportunity to catch them off-guard.

Haulage Company in Huntingdon
Swannells Transport – Haulage Company in Huntingdon

Funded by Highways England, the head of road safety Richard Leonard said: “Hundreds of thousands of drivers use our roads everyday and the vast majority are sensible behind the wheel but some are putting themselves and others at risk. 

We introduced the three new HGV supercabs last year to help keep the roads safe and tackle dangerous driving by people who have either got into bad habits, or are simply ignoring the law.”

Out of the 29 police forces that have used these vehicles in the last 12 months, they have recorded more than 3,500 offences – 167 in the South West! From using a mobile phone while driving to not wearing a seatbelt, supercabs have enabled the law to be one step ahead of dangerous drivers.

Here are a few offences the forces have already caught evidence of in the last year:

  • 8 motorists caught using mobile phones.
  • 31 people caught not wearing a seatbelt.
  • 32 traffic offences.
  • 21 penalty notices issued.
  • 4 dangerous drivers prosecuted.

Whilst the vehicles have been mostly operating in the Bristol area (M5), throughout this week the supercabs are being used to improve safety on the M1. Hopefully within the next few years more of these vehicles will be introduced and expanded to more of the UK’s roads.

As a Haulage Company in Huntingdon…

As a haulage company in Huntingdon, our drivers are highly experienced and trained to ensure safety is the first priority on the roads we drive on. If you are looking for a company who specialises in hazardous freight, warehousing and other general haulage, get in contact with us today to begin your journey!

For more news and information on our business and industry, give the Swannells Transport Facebook Page a like to be kept up to date!

For now, keep driving safely!

How Our Warehousing Services Can Be Convenient For You

How Our Warehousing Services Can Be Convenient For You

Here at Swannells Transport, we offer our quality service in general haulage, hazardous freight and warehousing in Cambridgeshire, Huntingdon and Warboys. In this blog, we are focusing on how Swannells’ unique warehousing providers could be personally beneficial to you and your organisation.

Warehousing in Cambridgeshire
Swannells Transport – Warehousing in Cambridgeshire

A Warehouse is a building that is used specifically for storing goods. They are used by manufacturers, importers, exporters, customs and transport businesses (like us!) etc. Warehouse teams are responsible for the loading, unloading, distribution and overall safety of these stored goods. 

In addition to this, here are 5 reasons why our warehousing services can be particularly convenient for you.

1. 60,000 square foot of storage available

Swannells Transport boasts 60,000 square feet of storage space at our new warehouse facilities. Set in 4 acres of land, we have a wide amount of space available for you to safely and securely store your goods with great convenience. After all, investing in a warehouse provider whose facilities aren’t up to sizeable standards can cause dramatic problems within your whole organisation – due to the inconvenient size, it can cause issues within your management of timing, loading/unloading and clientele. 

2. Our locations are suitable to most

Our business operates warehousing in Cambridgeshire, Huntingdon and Warboys – so one of our facilities are appropriately located for businesses with Cambridgeshire. Keeping your warehouse provider local keeps the communication fresh and allows you the opportunity to visit on a regular basis without having to take out hours of significant time on your schedule. Furthermore, our secure facilities are perfectly placed with quick links to the A1 and A14, so we are easily accessible and our delivery routes are gentle and convenient. 

3. We are completely qualified

As obvious as this should be, we’d like to point out that the Swannells team are highly trained and qualified to store hazardous goods (including chemicals) in our warehouse in Warboys, along with the strong capability to store palletised goods in our Huntingdon warehouse. 

Warehousing in Cambridgeshire
Swannells Transport – Warehousing in Cambridgeshire

One of the biggest responsibilities our professional drivers have are transporting dangerous goods in a large, heavy vehicle, both internationally and nationally. Fortunately, they are qualified by the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road association, also known as ADR. ADR ensures that these road transportation vehicles can cross the borders freely, in compliance with its goods, vehicles and driver rules. These safety measures ensure trust and reliability between business to customer. 

4. We have our own in-house qualified DGSA personnel

A Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor (DGSA) is a certified person responsible for providing advice and management to those undertaking activities including transportation, carriage, consignment, packing, loading, unloading, filling etc. Here at Swannells Transport, our service in warehousing in Cambridgeshire, Huntingdon and Warboys also provide us with our own in-house qualified DGSA personnel, so we have the capability to transport dangerous goods safely, both internationally and nationally.

5. Nothing is ever too big (or small) of a challenge for us!

Due to our friendly team, qualifications and quality equipment, we are confident that we can provide general haulage, hazardous freight and warehousing services to both high profile clients and small businesses. We are dedicated to helping anyone who asks, with an ability to perform as a leading logistics partner.

Warehousing in Cambridgeshire…

Here at Swannells Transport, we offer warehousing in Cambridgeshire, Huntingdon and Warboys. To begin your journey, get in contact with us today or for more information on Swannells Transport, like our Facebook Page!

Thanks for reading.

The UK’s Road Records

The UK’s Road Records
Haulage Company In Cambridgeshire
The UK’s Road Records – Haulage Company In Cambridgeshire

Without roads, there would be very little organisation and less safety in driving a vehicle. Additionally, they are highly important to businesses within the haulage, warehousing and delivering industry etc. As a haulage company in Cambridgeshire, we are interested more interested in roads than the average Joe.

That is why we have created this article which discusses some of the UK’s road records.

How Do Roads Affect Haulage? 

This is essentially an obvious one – roads are built to create complete organisation and safety for the public, ensuring there are standard, allocated routes for vehicles to drive through towns, cities and countrysides etc. In terms of haulage, our HGV and other used vehicles rely on the roads to deliver goods to customers within the right time frame and of course, safely!

The Top 3 Longest Roads In The UK?

So, what and where are the longest roads in the UK? And how long are they?

3. A30 – this road leads from Land’s End, Cornwall all the way to London. It is approximately 457km, which is 284 miles!

2. A38 – this road leads from Bodmin, Cornwall to Mansfield in Nottinghamshire! With a length of 498.6km (309.8 miles), you would be on this road for ever!

1. A1: Probably the most well-known road in the country, this leads from Central London to Central Edinburgh, which is an extraordinary distance of 396 miles (637km)! 

The Top 3 Longest Motorways In The UK?

A motorway is a road that only allows motorised vehicles and permitted drivers onto it. Therefore, no pedestrians or cyclists can enter onto the motorway road. Here are the 3 longest motorways in the UK:

3. M4: This motorway runs from Chiswick, London to Post Abraham, Carmarthenshire. This is probably the only road in this blog that includes a little bit of Welsh region, the M4 travels from West London all the way down to South Wales, which is more or less the whole width of the lower UK! With a massive length of 191.9 miles, this motorway is particularly busy during the Summer peak season.

2. M1: Linking London to Yorkshire, the M1 remains one of the key road connections in the UK. With a length of 200 miles, this motorway begins at Staples Corner and makes it’s way through Milton Keynes, Leicester, Sheffield and Leeds.

1. M6: The longest motorway in the UK, the M6 has an outstanding stretch of 236 miles. Starting in Catthorpe in Leicestershire and ending in Dumfriesshire, this motorway is not only the longest, but it is also the oldest and probably most important connection in the UK.

The Top 3 Most Congested Roads In The UK?

Believe it or not, but road congestion is one of the most expensive road situations in the economy. Costing nearly £8bn annually, drivers are losing a lot of money each year from just sitting in traffic. So, what are the most congested roads in the UK?

3. A34: This road stretches from Highfield Road to Highgate Middleway, which are both in Birmingham. This road has been proven to waste approximately 44 hours a year, which is genuinely a significant amount of time and money.

2. Saltaire Road: Located in Leeds, this road links Harrogate Road to Bradford Road, where again, approximately 44 hours of time, money and petrol is wasted.

1. A406: From Chiswick Roundabout to Hanger Lane, in West London, is believed to be the most congested road in the UK, wasting an average of 61 hours a year.

As a haulage company in Cambridgeshire, who deal with deliveries and transport services, it should come as no surprise that we deal with traffic every once in a while! Make sure you keep safe & alert whilst sat in traffic.

Other Facts Of The Roads

  1. The steepest sign-posted road in the UK is located in the Snowdonia National Park. The road is called Ffordd pen Llech and has a maximum gradient of 36.63% (we wouldn’t recommend cycling up here!).
  2. On the 5th April, 1985, there was a huge traffic jam on the M1 that was 40 miles long!
  3. Elgin Street in Bacup is not only the UK’s shortest road, but it is also the world’s shortest road! Measured at 5.2m in length.
  4. The highest road in the UK is a private lane in Cumbria. With a 847m altitude, the road leads to an Air Traffic Control Installation, so it is put into good use! A permit is required to drive on it.
  5. The A1123 is claimed as the bumpiest road in the UK! The road joins Haddenham to Earith and even after being closed for five weeks surface improvement, it’s still claimed to be a risky road.

How To Prepare For A Trip With These Roads?

It doesn’t necessarily have to involve one of the roads I have listed above, but any long, congested or potentially dangerous road should be taken with care, and there are plenty of ways you can do so:

  • Prepare a safety kit in your car incase anything goes wrong. This includes petrol, water, spare coat, oil or any other car essentials.
  • Clean your car! This might not necessarily make it safer, but it will put you in a much better mood, more motivated to drive safely and concentrate.
  • Be sure to check out our blog, ‘How To Enjoy A Long Journey’ for a complete guide on safely entertaining yourself during your drive. 
  • Be aware of all dangerous or congested roads you may approach during your journey. You can find this out by plotting your journey into your Maps app before you leave. The majority of these apps show you any construction or temporary traffic going on nearby and on your route.

We are a Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire…

Offering general haulage, hazardous freight, warehousing and transport services, Swannells Transport are a haulage company in Cambridgeshire here for all of your haulage needs. Get in contact with us today to start your journey!

Alternatively, for more information about us, like Swannells Transport’s Facebook Page for daily news and updates!

Thanks for reading.

8 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Warehousing Provider

8 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Warehousing Provider

Having a warehousing provider is a big step in your business – because not only is it an important factor in the logistics chain, there are a variety of potential roles within a warehouse that is required to maintain a controlled and effective environment. Therefore, it’s important you find the right provider for your business because of the process that is at stake. 

Here at Swannells Transport, we are a reliable haulage company who offer services in storage, transport and warehousing in Cambridgeshire. We want to ensure you get the best possible service, so below are 8 important questions you should be asking your warehousing provider – these should help you determine whether your current provider is right for you!

Warehousing in Cambridgeshire, warehousing companies in cambridgeshire
Warehousing in Cambridgeshire – Swannells

1. “What Types of Products do You Deal With?” 

When you are working with a warehouse service, it’s important that they are capable of working with your types of products. This includes their understanding of it’s fragility, weight (and overall size) and packaging requirements. In addition to this, your impression towards the response of this question should vary, depending on what types of product you deal with. For example, dealing with general merchandise might not be as crucial, whereas dealing with products that expire or contain liquids may cause a slight issue.

This question is quite important because after all, you are paying for this service to store, handle and deliver your goods correctly, and if they haven’t got much experience or even the right equipment for it, it’s better to know and reconsider before you make a deal rather than finding out in the long term.

2. “Have You Had Similar Clients Like Me?”

Corresponding with the first point, experience is very important, especially if you are a company within a strict industry or who deal with hazardous, fragile goods. If they haven’t had similar clients like you, this could end up being a huge learning curve for them, because they can learn about your industry and how to deal with your products. But if experience is a key essential to you, you might want to consider looking elsewhere. 

As a company who deals with warehousing in Cambridgeshire, for decades we have worked with a number of different industries and have adjusted to expand our warehousing potential, including hazardous goods and chemicals.

3. “What is Your Process?” 

Whether you ask just out of curiosity or as concern, this is a great question to ask. Their answer not only allows you to test them of their professionalism, but also become aware of what happens to your products. As a business owner, it is significant information to know. 

4. “How Big is Your Space?”

This is an important question because if the provider’s space isn’t big enough, it can result in a lack of organisation, damage to your goods and can even make things look unprofessional. Furthermore, your required space should depend on the amount and size of your product, so think logically rather than just asking for a big space. 

Here at Swannells Transport, we offer warehousing in Cambridgeshire, Warboys and Huntingdon all under 60,000 square feet of storage space at each warehouse facilities. We have a large space available for all clients and products, so let us help you!

5. “Can You Deal With Market Spikes?”

No matter what product or service you offer, your demand rate is never going to be a straight road. Maybe your product is only required during a particular season? Maybe your marketing strategy improves? Maybe it becomes a trend? You never know what could happen! In terms of warehousing providers, when this happens it is important the team are always prepared for a sudden high demand in product, meaning they have to pick up the pace. Asking them this question also gives them some sort of ‘warning’ of how popular your company is and that these market spikes may occur.

6. “Do You Offer Other Services?” 

Warehousing in Cambridgeshire
Warehousing in Cambridgeshire – Other Services

Whilst you are benefiting from their warehousing services, make sure there isn’t any other services that can impact your business significantly. Here at Swannells Transport, as well as offering warehousing in Cambridgeshire, Warboys and Huntingdon also provide transport and storage services also!

7. “Are You Qualified?”

Now, this question might be fairly obvious, because they must be qualified if they have their own company, right? It’s always reasonable to ask the question, and more specifically, ask what it is exactly they are qualified for. It can be asked just out of curiosity or even for the safety of your company.

8. “What Equipment Do you Have?”

Last but not least, working with a warehousing service means that someone is dealing with your products and goods using their own equipment – it is always a good idea to know what particular types of equipment is being used to handle your products, and the condition it is in. Also, if that warehousing provider doesn’t have a required piece of equipment needed to store and transport your products, this can be a huge inconvenience for you. 

Warehousing In Cambridgeshire…

We are Swannells Transport, a friendly and reliable team offering general haulage services such as storage, transport and warehousing in Cambridgeshire. For all enquiries, get in contact with us today!

Additionally, for more information about what we do, visit Swannells Transport’s Facebook Page!

Thanks for reading.

The Benefits Of Warehousing For Businesses

The Benefits Of Warehousing For Businesses

Warehousing is the process of storing goods that will be sold or distributed later. It is an important factor in the logistics chain and many businesses put it to good use. There are a variety of potential roles within a warehouse that helps maintain a controlled and efficient environment – For example, you’ve got your Warehousing Managers who ensure stability and efficiency throughout the operation, Quality control teams ensure products are distributed correctly and in the right conditions, skilled technicians ensure technology is properly maintained within the warehouse, and finally, packers and loaders ensure vehicles are packed and loaded within the correct time. All of these roles contribute to ensure protection, inventory and management happens within a business and there are many other benefits that go with it! 

Here at Swannells Transport, we are a haulage company offering many useful services such as warehousing in Cambridgeshire. Warehousing services can be very beneficial to businesses, big or small! Let’s discuss a few reasons, shall we?

Warehousing in Cambridgeshire
Swannells Transport – Warehousing in Cambridgeshire

It’s Necessary For Even Small Businesses!

Small businesses usually means small property and working environment, which also means there probably isn’t enough room to store and distribute goods. So firstly, warehousing provides extra space and a central location for your products to be stored! Secondly, small businesses comes with a small team with big responsibilities, so they probably don’t have the time or capability to be your own version of a warehousing manager. As a result of this, investing in a warehouse passes those particular responsibilities to the warehouse personnel, saving you more time to find business for the warehousing etc. 

In comparison to your office, Swannells Transport boasts approximately 60,000 square feet of storage space entirely for warehousing in Cambridgeshire – so we’ve got the space, time and expertise for you!

Saves You Time as a Business Owner

As a business owner, you probably don’t have a lot of time on your hands. That’s why investing in some warehousing in Cambridgeshire is probably your best option! Furthermore, if you own a business that tends to distribute products on a daily basis, who simply has the time or hands for that? A Warehousing team will handle the operation entirely for you and your business. With each shipment arrival, they will work to identify, sort, pack and dispatch the goods whilst you can focus on other tasks to improve business and income. 

Cost Efficient

Sure, warehousing isn’t exactly a small dip in the pockets, but if you think about it, the cost provides you with efficiency, capacity, economical benefits and a secure destination to keep your goods. Additionally, without the services of warehousing in Cambridgeshire, for example, you are left with multiple deliveries and destinations, requiring a suitable vehicle, packaging, petrol costs and overall organisation under one or two people. However, with a warehouse, it’s all packed and loaded more swiftly and safely under one or two large vehicles, saving money, time and having economical benefits, too!

It Makes Your Business Look Impressive

Owning your own business? That’s cool, but who doesn’t these days? If you want your small business to stand out warehousing in Cambridgeshire can help do just that. Sure, loads of businesses have warehouses, but with such an investment provides organisation, a bigger team, space and more reliable distribution, which is impressive to a customer or client. 

Gives You an Opportunity to Expand

If you aren’t looking to remain a small business, investing in a warehouse can give a great head-start! Like I mentioned earlier, potential customers and clients will be impressed by a warehouse, so firstly; it can earn you more business (and that’s always the most important step on expanding your company).

If the operation has been running smoothly these last few months, you should hopefully be seeing business improving. This gives you the fun opportunity to expand your business – from using your warehouse to only store and distribute materials to actually producing them! Moreover, you can introduce a whole new manufacturing section when business begins booming, so more products are being produced and distributed but this time, all under one big, successful roof!

Warehousing in Cambridgeshire
Swannells Transport – Warehousing in Cambridgeshire

Warehousing in Cambridgeshire…

By getting in contact with Swannells Transport today, we can provide you with a variety of different haulage services that can benefit your business, including warehousing in Cambridgeshire. To learn more about us and the team, visit our website or Swannells Transport’s Facebook Page!

Thanks for reading.

What Life-Saving Technology Can Your Vehicles Have?

What Life-Saving Technology Can Your Vehicles Have?

Due to the size and weight of an HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle), it would come as no surprise at the severe consequences it can cause if something goes wrong. That’s why, like most companies in most industries, haulage companies and departments have been integrating live-saving technology into these vehicles to assist drivers for about a decade now, and it has seriously changed the game for these qualified drivers.

We are Swannells Transport, a haulage company in Cambridgeshire, and we ensure our qualified drivers are healthy and safe to drive these large and heavy vehicles. Your safety is our main priority, so you can rely on us to have full concentration on the road and for any knowledge on how to keep the roads safe for you and me.

How to prevent accidents?

Before we get into the ground-breaking technology that has helped us save lives, let’s talk about the common and simple ways we can prevent accidents. Obviously, this will probably only concern you fellow HGV drivers, but it’s always interesting to know! A high percentage of HGV accidents are fatal, and this is because of its huge weight and potential. Furthermore, a lorry travelling just 50mph can tear straight through a house, so imagine what it could do to a car.

Although you should be medically checked during your training course, it is important to keep your company and the DVLA updated on your healthy self. Due to this profession, it is crucial you always check up on yourself, and genuinely look after yourself, to ensure you are fit to drive an HGV. Failure to do so can cause serious, life-changing accidents that probably won’t just affect the driver and the lorry itself.

Another thing to reconsider is road rage. Sure, you have a deadline, the vehicle you have is large and slowly responsive, and the car tail-gating you are probably getting on your last nerve. However, the thing you must remember is your actions can have serious consequences, and the safety of yourself and others should be your main priority, NOT the deadline. Think about this – which sounds less harmful? “You caused a pile-up because to try and be on time, but didn’t make it anyway” or “He was late because he was driving legally and safely”? Safety is key. As a result of this, get plenty of sleep, have a healthy meal before you leave and allow plenty of time for your journey.

Finally, just remember the basics – stay legal. Keep to the speed limits, check your mirrors and just take your time. You can really save lives.

Vehicle Technology

Now… let’s talk about vehicle technology. HGV Safety Technology has helped and will continue to help make roads safer for drivers and nearby pedestrians. After all, Heavy Goods Vehicles are incredibly useful and saves huge amounts of time, despite their risks, so it’s not like they are going to be taken off of the roads anytime soon. According to a 2017 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Study, many of these technology breakthroughs could help prevent 63,000 lorry crashes a year. This includes:

Video-Based Safety Monitoring Systems

This technology is like a CCTV surveillance system for HGV drivers. Where cameras, sensors and other recording devices that allow the monitoring of a driver’s behaviour. Like a black box, the devices detect when a person is driving carelessly, whether it is speeding, not keeping within the lanes or just generally increasing the risk of an accident. The haulage company is then contacted, and the consequences are then dealt with. AAA estimated that this system can help prevent up to 293 deaths a year.

Lane Departure Systems

A mechanism designed to keep the vehicle in the lane, and to warn the driver vividly if the vehicle sets off course. Using a series of cameras and sensors, the device monitors the position of the vehicle in the road and if it suddenly goes off course, it has the intelligence to alert the driver via noise or sign etc. It’s incredibly clever and is predicted (by the AAA) to prevent up to 115 deaths a year.

GPS Monitoring

Special GPS monitoring devices allow companies to check in on their driver before, during and after their journey. It detects their journeys and also alerts companies if their driver is speeding or driving carelessly, like a video-based safety monitoring system. With the added pressure, it’s much less likely an HGV driver would have the guts to drive in such a careless manner and will get the job done.

Self-driving Lorries

We know what you are thinking – this sounds a lot more dangerous than a person driving HGVs, however, they have turned out to be pretty successful. The process involves up to 3 lorries where they travel in a particular formation, where acceleration and braking will be controlled by the leading vehicle, whilst steering is controlled by the human driver. This highly-intelligent system will stop careless drivers on the road and will hopefully make people more alert when being around these type of vehicles.

Automatic Brake Systems

Also found in cars, these systems consist of highly-alert sensors that warn drivers of an impending collision. Whether it is occurring from the front, behind or side of the HGV, the device immediately and obviously alerts the driver to help prevent the collision. If the system doesn’t detect a response from the driver, it will automatically apply the vehicle’s brakes.

Air Disc Brakes

Brakes with air pressure and mechanical systems that help reduce a vehicle’s stopping distance. Although it is very vital that the driver is aware and responsive at all times, these brakes will take some pressure off of the driver, making them more relaxed knowing there is a back-up plan if something goes wrong.

There are so many more awesome, life-impacting technology that can help keep the roads much safer with HGV’s on their journeys. However, we felt that these past six devices were the most exciting and ground-breaking for the industry. To read more, you can check out our blog, “How New Haulage Safety Technology Has Saved Lives”.

Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire

Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire

As a haulage company in Cambridgeshire…

Here at Swannells Transport, whilst we have a passion for haulage and it’s tech, we are also a dedicated team of professionals offering a range of helpful haulage services. Let us help you! Contact us today or visit our Facebook page for more information about us!

Thanks for reading.

The Please’s and Thank you’s of a HGV Driver – Things to Remember…

The Please’s and Thank you’s of a HGV Driver – Things to Remember…

HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) Drivers are highly trained to drive a vehicle up to ten times the size of yours. We carry a large amount of heavy and important goods to deliver to a customer. Whilst we are in a rush to make the delivery in time, an HGV driver is mostly concerned with the safety of those they drive with. It’s no surprise that every year accidents occur regarding lorries and vans making deliveries, and while it is our responsibility, there are a few ways you, as a car-driver, can help prevent and decrease these accidents.

As professional hauliers, we want to offer you the best advice – So, as well as the offering of distribution and warehousing in Huntingdon and Cambridgeshire, we want you to understand the wishes of an HGV driver regarding the fellow drivers out there. As it is a huge vehicle, consider the fact that we need to be ten times more careful and aware of our surroundings than you, because we don’t want to cause an accident.

distribution and warehousing in Huntingdon

Distribution and Warehousing in Huntingdon and Cambridgeshire

As a result of this, here are our please’s and thank you’s of an HGV Driver i.e. things we please ask for you to remember, you will thank us later…

Please don’t park inappropriately

As a small vehicle, you can park more or less anywhere. All we ask of you is that you consider other drivers, including us and emergency service vehicles, that your space is appropriate. What we mean by this is it doesn’t cause too much obstruction for passing vehicles or even pedestrians. Therefore, please do not park on opposite junctions (unless it is completely safe to do so) or park anywhere that will block us large vehicles from passing by, as it can significantly disrupt our delivery schedule. Thank you…

Please keep a safe distance

Particularly on roads like motorways, there have been times where we have come across vehicles driving closely behind our Heavy Goods Vehicles, also known as tailgating. This can be extremely dangerous for the vehicle tailgating because if we suddenly need to break, you won’t have an efficient amount of time to react and stop your vehicle within safe time, and as an extraordinarily huge and heavy vehicle, your small engine probably wouldn’t stand a chance running into the back of us.

Additionally, as a larger vehicle we have larger blind spots, meaning that due to the long length of our load, we probably wouldn’t be able to see you if you were tailgating us. This gives you much more reason not to drive too close as 1) there is a chance we could break suddenly and even after checking our mirrors you can still be in harms way and 2) the purpose of your tailgating would be completely unnecessary, as we can’t even see you to feel the slightest intimidation or pressure. So PLEASE be safe and keep an efficient separation distance from us. Thank you…

Please understand that we are also in a rush

distribution and warehousing in Huntingdon

Please take your time…

You might be in a rush to work, an appointment or to meet friends, and whilst your social life will be much important to you than our delivery, we please ask you to understand the fact that we too are also in a rush. We may not seem it because we are still driving below the speed limit and taking our time, but providing a successful delivery accurately on time is a huge priority to us. However, it is not our main priority – that is, in fact, the safety of the load, the driver, and the vehicles around the HGV. So whilst we are “taking our time” and “disrupting” yours, we are also taking great consideration into your safety and trying our best to prevent an accident. Thank you…

Please share lay-bys

Us HGV Drivers have strict rules requiring us to have a regulated break after four and a half hours of driving, and when the majority of our journey is taken up on motorways and dual carriageways, usually our only chance of a break is to park in a lay-by and relax. Lay-bys are ideally the easiest option for a large vehicle, as it is probably the most legal and safest place for an HGV to park. Now, we aren’t demanding our own territory here, as other cars and vehicles also have the rights to a lay-by in case of an emergency, but all we ask is to share. Furthermore, often when drivers approach a lay-by, they come across a car parked right in the middle of one, completely obstructing our rights to access. So please ensure you are parked with plenty of room (and more) for other vehicles to get through. Thank you…

Please indicate

distribution and warehousing in Huntingdon

Indicating Vehicle

Finally, please indicate your direction clearly to us. Whether you are in behind, in front or next to us, it is important you communicate with us where you are intending to go, so we can prepare and aren’t introduced to any surprises. Doing this genuinely keeps us at ease when driving, as we have a lot of pressure on us anyway. Failure to do so risks causing an accident or a slight scare for us, so please help us out. Thank you…

Here at Swannells Transport, we are a team of experienced individuals offering distribution and warehousing in Huntingdon and Cambridgeshire. We aim to offer excellent service, customer service and take responsibility for our actions – that is why we want a safe and easy ride, here was our advice to do so.

Thank you for reading.

Our Daily Responsibilities When Working For a Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire

Our Daily Responsibilities When Working For a Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire

Looking at the job description, being an HGV driver looks simple as all you have to do is drive and deliver… right? Well there is much more to it than that!

As a Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire, we can assure you that working in the haulage industry is no piece of cake – it requires organisation, concentration, safety, reliability and accuracy.

Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire

Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire

Whether you are just trying to understand or training to become an official HGV driver, we have gathered a few daily responsibilities and factors we have to consider before going on one of our journeys.

Basic Responsibilities

As a basic job template, your daily responsibilities working for a Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire would probably include:

  • Transporting finished, raw, important and fragile goods from point A to point B, to and from manufacturers or retail and distribution centres.
  • Inspecting your vehicle regularly to ensure safe delivery and the prevention of any harm.
  • Absolute safe and legal driving when operating the Heavy Good Vehicles, ensuring no harm comes to the loaded materials, surrounding vehicles and people including yourself.
  • Planning delivery routes and following the schedule accurately.
  • Ensuring all deliveries are made on time, respectfully and professionally – treating our customers with the best customer service possible.

These are just your basic responsibilities as an HGV driver, but there are also a lot of more in-depth responsibilities we need to consider before going on our journeys or even starting our day.

How To Join A Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire

Obviously, every professional job requires some sort of training and practice, so especially due to the risks and responsibilities of operating an HGV, loading and unloading goods and interacting with customers, you need to be properly acknowledged and experienced. We will just go over the bare minimum for this one, however, if you would like more information on how to join the Haulage industry, check out one of our recent blogs, “Becoming an Official HGV Driver For a Haulage Company”.

Firstly, employers must be able to evidently prove they are over 18 years of age, own a full valid driving license and a Certificate of Professional Competence. These are three incredibly important things to have (apart from experience) when applying for an HGV driver position, as they are legal requirements.

You also need to be skilful for the job, such as responsibility, good time management, respectful, problem-solving, driving skills, the ability to focus for a long amount of time, great judgement etc. Skills are required for any job, they look impressive on your application and they help get the job done significantly.

Finally, and probably most importantly, you need to understand the full risks and responsibilities of your designated job, and how you can manage them. For instance, you need to know how to check your vehicle, your mental and physical state, how to plan and organise a route and delivery etc. put your problem-solving skills to the test.

Checking Your Vehicle

Your HGV should be regularly checked by yourself and a professional – Ideally by an expert on a weekly/monthly basis whereas you should be checking the basics before leaving for a journey. This includes things like tyre pressure, lights, petrol, oil levels etc. just in case of an emergency. After all, your job is running on time quite crucially and running late can affect your clients’ impression on the company quite dramatically, depending on the level of your tardiness.

When working for a Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire, the majority of the time your designated vehicle is your responsibility, so you need to check your vehicle regularly and organise an expert inspection etc. whilst your company just covers insurance, damages or other factors. Again, it all depends on your contract and the organisation you work for.

Failing to check your vehicle at these times can increase the risk of any unexpecting breakdowns or vehicle emergencies. It just wastes time, creates stress and can cause the company to look unprofessional.

Planning Your Journey

Organisation is the true key to a stress-free drive. Being prepared hours before a journey creates relaxation and a happy driver ready for the day ahead. Want to know how you can achieve this, here are just a few ways:

  • Check the weather the night before and when you wake up. This way you can prepare for any dangerous conditions you are going to be driving in.
  • Have a nutritional, delicious meal about an hour before you leave – This way you have the right energy levels and it has time to settle before you leave.
  • What about time management? Work out how long it will take to get there, plan your route and then consider adding extra time to your journey duration in case of any emergencies or traffic that could arrive.
  • Will you need anything for the journey ahead? For example, water? snacks? entertainment (things that aren’t too distracting) such as podcasts or CDs etc.

This might be your job, but it is your journey, so make yourself safe, organised and comfortable ready for the delivery ahead.

Taking Care of Yourself

A huge responsibility you should be doing even if you aren’t an HGV driver is taking care of your physical and mental state. This includes eating properly, sleeping regularly, keeping yourself active and regularly exercising etc. Not being in a fit state can really affect your journeys and personal reliability, causing you to not only NOT enjoy the journeys but also potentially become an unsafe driver.

If this is quite a difficult challenge to you, ensure that you at least do it the night before i.e. have a healthy meal, a relaxing evening, a night of great sleep and an energetic breakfast ready for your journey.

As a Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire, where there are a variety of villages, towns and cities full of busy roads and construction, we understand the risks and responsibilities of loading, unloading and transporting goods to and from relevant locations. We are an excellent, experienced team of individuals that obey these daily responsibilities we have just listed above. If you are looking for a high-quality haulage and transportation service, contact us today!

Thank you for reading.

How To Enjoy A Long Journey

How To Enjoy A Long Journey

Warehousing Companies in Cambridgeshire

Warehousing Companies in Cambridgeshire

As a part of Haulage and Warehousing Companies in Cambridgeshire, experienced and reliable individuals are tasked with long journeys almost every day, with the responsibility of delivering potentially fragile and/or dangerous goods to a client. Due to the weight and the size of the vehicle, and the conditions you have to drive in, allocating the right driver for the job can be a difficult situation because they have to be properly trained and experienced as well as know how to be safe driving a Heavy Goods Vehicle.

For example, your mental health is extremely important to us, and it is essential that you have the right trust in yourself and are in an exceptional state to drive these huge vehicles a long distance. Not only will this build a trusty relationship between manager and worker, but will prevent more accidents involving HGV’s.

At Swannells Transport, we want our trained drivers to enjoy the journey, rather than tolerate it. There can be a real pleasure in driving long distances – despite the potential bad weather, congested roads and the risk of damaging the loaded goods, a healthy state will enjoy the freedom, the scenery etc.

We want to help out our fellow drivers who have to face long journeys daily, here are our top tips on how to enjoy a long journey when working for warehousing companies in Cambridgeshire:

Keep Yourself in Check

You can’t enjoy a journey if you are hungry or tired, it’s also really unsafe! Make sure you have a good nights sleep the night before and a good old breakfast in the morning. The energy will keep you going and focused on your long journey. Also, it might be a good idea to allow extra journey time, in case of an emergency or you need to stop!

Prepare Well!

To make the journey as enjoyable as possible you should have your vehicle checked over before leaving for your long journey, and if you do. You can do this by:

    • Having your vehicle regularly checked.
    • Making sure you have enough petrol, and that you take a route with a petrol station nearby.
    • Making sure your seatbelt works and you wear it at ALL TIMES.
    • Adjusting your head restraint so it is the right height for you – the widest part of the restraint should be in line with the top of your ears. Doing so can help prevent neck injuries in case of an accident.
    • The load is properly secure and spread in your vehicle.
    • You have checked the weight limitations of your vehicle and made sure the load you will be carrying is obeying those limitations.

Warehousing Companies in Cambridgeshire

Warehousing Companies in Cambridgeshire

Take Advantage of Your Radio

Depending on what vehicle you have can depend on the features provided for you. You can enjoy some musical entertainment by putting on the radio, you could download a podcast on your phone then listen to it in your vehicle using an AUX cable (although you need to have an AUX plug) or you could even listen to an audiobook! When you are driving a large, heavy vehicle you need to keep focused at all times, and these three activities are easy to set up and will keep you entertained for a few hours.

Stop Regularly

Like I said earlier, you will have to allow extra time by leaving earlier, but making time to stop driving, whether it is just a stretch and a walk or enjoying some food in a cafe, can really make all of the difference. You might just be sitting down and moving your arms for a few hours, but everyone can understand the struggle of a long journey, especially as you are constantly focused on the road and not damaging the load inside.

Keep Hydrated

On top of all of that, you should also have plenty of water and snacks close by. Driving can not only be exhausting, but your constant focusing can cause you to become hungry and dehydrated, and not having food and drink with you can make you quite irritable, where you, therefore, can’t enjoy your long journey. Keep yourself refreshed and energised with some food and drinks in arms reach.

At Swannells Transport, we aren’t just one of those warehousing companies in Cambridgeshire, we are an experienced, leading team of individuals ready to deliver the highest standards of professional service we could possibly provide. Contact us today for more information

Thank you for reading, enjoy your journey!