A Ledbury haulage firm has been officially recognised as an ‘exemplary’ operator.

ABE Ledbury was accredited on the DVSA’s Earned Recognition Scheme, a government-backed endorsement that shows its drivers and vehicles meet a high standard.

The firm, which is owned by Palletline, has made a number of improvements over the past couple of years to earn the accreditation.

These include the introduction of a new truck maintenance system, Truck File, which uses tablets to record and store information previously kept on paper.

ABE also introduced a new driver management tool called Smart Analysis to ensure compliance with drivers’ hours, working time legislation and tachograph regulations.

A considerable investment was also made to update its new telematics system with CCTV cameras to help build reportable data instead of relying on paperwork.

Jeff Pryce, ABE’s transport compliance manager, said: “While we already operated to a high level, we had to take it up a gear to gain the accreditation. A lot of work went into getting this earned recognition, but it’s worth it.

“We have pretty much moved everything from paper to digital, which makes it so much easier and robust when we have our audits.

Anti-terrorism policy

“By getting this accreditation, you are really putting your head above the parapet and making the business very transparent, but we knew that we already performed to a very high standard, so had nothing to worry about.”

Mr Pryce also put himself and two colleagues through an Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) course to ensure ABE was up to date with DVSA policies.

The online modular course enabled the business to create an anti-terrorism policy and deliver toolbox talks to drivers and members of the transport team.

Clive Brooks, managing director at ABE, said: “There is a lot involved in gaining the earned recognition status, including demonstrating high levels of compliance with the latest legislation.

“The level of detail we have to submit every four weeks is high, but it is a great way to prove our high standards are consistent.

“The DVSA’s scheme is in place to encourage operators to be the best of the best and that is exactly what Jeff and the team have been able to prove.”