Posted: December 2020
Founded in 1993, Vac-Ex is a civil engineering company specialising in vacuum excavation. Vac-Ex’ fleet of trucks is FORS silver accredited to include fitment of safety devices to reduce blind spots including; camera systems and sensors. However FORS silver does not require van fleets to fit equipment, despite having large blind spots, particularly at the rear. The firm wanted to extend the standard across the van fleet to provide all employees with the same high level of safety.
The service vans in particular work on sites with tight access where good visibility is of high importance. The drivers also require extra assistance during tight manoeuvres.
Chris Cunningham approached SMUK, a Brigade Service Partner based in Leeds, to find a solution for the van fleet. SMUK provide and fit Brigade equipment to an exceptionally high standard. With two workshops and a team of mobile engineers, they can support nationwide fleets with multiple depots. Under their Type Approval, installations can even be carried out pre-registration, so vehicles are ready to go from day one. SM UK also supply racking, lighting, hand wash systems, inverters, on-board power, and other van related ancillaries.
The combination of Brigade’s active and passive vehicle safety devices provides greater driver visibility, but also warns the driver if there is a vulnerable road user in a blind area. Brigade’s white sound reversing alarms (bbs-tek®) provide a “ssh ssh” warning sound to vulnerable road users without causing a noise nuisance and are approved by the Noise Abatement Society. They are also directional, so unlike traditional beeping alarms, you can actually hear the direction the vehicle is travelling in, which is safer for the visually impaired. Furthermore, because white sound alarms emit a broad range of frequencies, those with hearing impairment who cannot detect single tone frequencies, are more likely to detect the sound. This makes them the safest reversing alarm on the market.
This reduces incidents and vehicle damage thus reducing insurance premiums. It also provides peace of mind for the operator and increases moral for drivers.
Brigade’s digital recording services provide footage in the event of an incident and are also useful for driver training, load monitoring and to prove that drivers have completed walk around checks. Operators can also use the GPS tracking facility to reroute a driver in the event of an incident or traffic congestion.
Chris Cunningham, Fleet Manager, Vac-Ex said: “Since having the Brigade equipment installed, we have been able to take the service vans to sites across the UK without issue, resulting in confident and happier drivers. The quality of the products, installation and service from SM UK has been amazing.”