Posted on 25th Sep, 2019 by Charlotte Coop
A combination of a heavy workload and Friday traffic chaos meant a late evening arrival at Thruxton in Hampshire for the most ‘local’ round of the JEC Racing Saloon & GT Championship. With the gearbox finally sorted on Tom’s XJR after syncro issues at Anglesey, the mood in the Swallows camp was quietly optimistic. After all, Thruxton is the UK’s fastest circuit which suits the car, and this was where Tom had the best result of the season last year.
Glorious early Autumn sunshine greeted us for qualifying. Getting out first gave Tom a clear track and by lap two he’d laid down a time which would prove good enough for pole. The XJR developed a misfire on lap three and meant Tom returning to the pits on lap four and yet another alternator fault as we had experienced at Silverstone. A quick dash for Gary and Jack to the nearest Euro Car Parts in Basingstoke to collect a new alternator didn’t entirely solve the problem as the new alternator came with a fault also. Master Tech John Odam is always our go to man and soon he’d made one good alternator out of two faulty ones and we were back in the game with over an hour to spare.
Strangely pole isn’t always an advantage at Thruxton as second on the grid can offer more grip and a better line into Allards at the end of the straight. So it proved when Colin Philpott got a marginally better start putting Tom second through the first corner. With the XJR on song Tom was looking to take the lead going into Church corner, but perhaps with the tyres not quite up to temperature he span fortunately missing the on coming cars and dropping him back to ninth. Philpott was able to take advantage and began to open a healthy lead from Michael Holt’s X300 in second and Richard Coppock in the XJS third.
Tom had the bit between his teeth and determined to make up lost ground set a fastest lap of the race and had caught Holt by lap five and set about passing the Yorkshireman using the power of the XJR to find his way past. Behind Holt newcomer Michael Seabourne a surprise P4 in qualifying was battling championship leader Chris Boon’s XK8 for Class B and in the mix with Coppock Junior and Senior in the XJS’s and being caught by Tom Lenthall in the Class C XJS.
Lap elven and Tom’s brilliant charge back through the field saw him close within three tenths of a second of leader Philpott, the impossible now seemed possible but the Powebell man’s XJS is a strong car and digging deep he opened out the margin to a second holding on to deny Tom his first championship win. Holt was a fine third and winning Class C, new boy Seabourne with a great debut sixth overall and winner of Class B and drive of the day with Simon Dunford heading Class A in the XJS.
Heavy overnight thunderstorms left the track with standing water, but by the time the Jags were due out for the first race of the day some drying lines were emerging in places from the qualifying rounds of the CSCC series. Combined with on and off drizzle it made for very tricky conditions as the lights went out. Tom got good traction from second on the grid and took the lead into Allards for the first time, while Philpott and Holt were battling for second behind, Holt coming out on top, followed by the Coppocks, Seabourne and Lenthall.
In conditions that don’t suit the XJR Tom was managing to open a lead, and ahead of the battle for second between Philpott, Holt and Seabourne, the dark-horse Seabourne emerging and claiming second place in the ex-Gail Hill championship winning XJ40, Philpott third and Holt slipping back to fourth.
By the halfway point in the race, ex- kart racer Seabourne was clearly loving the slippery conditions and closed within a second of Tom and the pair were putting on a show twenty-four seconds clear of Philpott in third. Controlling the race from the front Tom continued to hold the finest of margins from Seabourne all the way to the chequered flag to seal a maiden championship victory in front of family and local supporters. Seabourne with a stunning debut weekend collected a second drive of the day trophy and Class B, Philpott hung on for third from a fast charging Tom Lenthall winner of Class C and GT drive of the day with Dean Sewell claiming Class A.
A truly sweet win for Tom in conditions that didn’t suit the car he proved that he can master the wet and put in a mature performance. Cue the celebrations in the Swallows camp.
We look forward to seeing friends at the JEC/Swallows track day at Castle Come on 15th October and for our final outing of the championship season at Donnington Park on 26th & 27th October, we do hope that you will join us.
Posted on 23rd Sep, 2019 by Charlotte Coop
Continuing to bolster their operations, innovative manufacturer of vehicle safety systems Vision Techniques has appointed Craig Flowers as their new Operations Director.
With over 19 years’ experience in the construction industry, he brings extensive knowledge and experience within the sector and he has a reputation for ensuring health and safety is at the forefront of all operations and compliance is to the highest standard.
Having started his career as an apprentice fitter, serving his time to become a qualified Mobile Plant Engineer, Craig quickly progressed, managing a large portfolio of plant, HGV and LGV’s with a value of £120m across the UK and Europe and in recent times he formed part of the senior management team as National Plant and Transport Manager at Aggregate Industries.
Steve Hurd Vision Techniques MD says “I am very pleased to welcome Craig onboard and look forward to working closely with him. Craig is passionate about people and understands the industry from both the frontline and the board room perspective, making him perfectly placed to ensure that the customer is at the heart of Vision Techniques strategy and operation”
Commenting on his appointment, Craig said: “I am delighted to be joining Vision Techniques at such an exciting time for the business and the industry. I look forward to working with the teams to encourage sustained success.”
Posted on 17th Sep, 2019 by Charlotte Coop
Vehicle safety technology has come a long way in the last few decades, and it’s evolving further with every passing year. (We should know!) Today, modern devices can improve the awareness of drivers, heighten overall visibility and even remind them of important tasks, like setting the handbrake when hill-parking. With all of this in mind, it might seem like technology is actually taking the hardest jobs out of the hands of drivers. But that’s not the case – these products are certainly designed to make life easier, but they’re no substitute for a diligent, careful driver.
Posted on 11th Sep, 2019 by Charlotte Coop
The Direct Vision Standard is a vital consideration for any haulage operators moving through London, and something most operates are already preparing for. Alongside the ULEZ, it’s one of the latest sweeping regulations being applied across the city, aimed at reducing accidents and collisions within London’s boundaries.
Posted on 10th Sep, 2019 by Charlotte Coop
Deciding whether to invest in telematics? It’s not something to be taken lightly and is not something to purchase rashly. You’ve heard about the compelling benefits of telematics, it all sounds great yeah? Then reality calls, is this really what your business needs? Will telematics deliver all the benefits it promises? Will it be too difficult to implement and use? Who is the best provider?
Committing to a new technology can be daunting, especially if there is an investment needed, research is the key and if your looking for the best telematics product for your business, here are five of the biggest questions and answers before committing.
What type of contracting should I commit to?
A good way to know exactly what you’re paying for is to buy the vehicle tracking device and pay a monthly subscription fee. This option doesn’t require you to pay any fees upfront, there are no costs for hardware and no installation fee. All you have to pay for is the monthly subscription cost, it’s simple. VT FMS offers a number of packages to suit your needs, check them out!
Are there any hidden costs?
Hands up if you like hidden fees? Thought so. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for some telematics providers to use sneaky extras which can inflate the amount you pay across the course of your contract. There is no small print with VT FMS, no hidden charges such as installation costs, training and system customisation. What you see is what you get.
Is full training provided?
Ensure there is training offered and ensure it is free. Finding your way with an unfamiliar software a little guidance and support goes a long way. Training is also a good way of getting your staff on-board with telematics – especially if there are several people in your fleet management team. Some providers charge for training. We provide a full support service from in-depth training to full technical support, so there is no need to worry we are here to help.
Does your provider issue product updates and are they free?
Like most software, telematics technology evolves fast. Getting the best from your product and pushing continued cost-savings for your business requires a provider that keeps their product up-to-date – especially if you want to stay ahead of your competitors. Ask your provider how frequently the product is updated and whether updates are free. We provide continually update our software packages to ensure you are ahead of the curve and what’s even better is they are free!
Does the system give you all the benefits you need?
This does seem an obvious question, but sometimes the obvious things are forgotten. Does your telematics package deliver the benefits your business needs, you will need to think about the features you need for your organisation. Can the system identify individual and fleet fuel consumption? Does it monitor and report on individual driver behaviour and driving styles? Can the system respond to live traffic alerts and notify you of the most efficient alternative routes? VT FMS answers yes to all these questions and more check out our brochure
Posted on 9th Sep, 2019 by Charlotte Coop
Whatever your fleet VT FMS can help
All industries are reliant on all different types of vehicles, without them the world of industry and commerce would grind to a halt. Cars, vans, HGV’s, RCV’s plant machinery, you name it, all vehicles play an essential role in the efficiency of any business.
Whether you have a large or small fleet challenges need to be overcome and operations need to be dealt with quickly and efficiently. Careful, attentive workflow management is required otherwise this can disrupt productivity and become a drain on your resources.
When you have workers out in the field, the ability to communicate clearly and quickly is hugely important. Yet it’s an area of concern for drivers and fleet managers.
The inability for teams to follow the assigned schedule and slow communication between office and field teams can have a negative impact on the moral of the business.
VT FMS gives you access to multi map, Google maps, OSM ARCGIS or even incorporate your own maps to create specific zones giving you real-time information on road status and traffic information relayed via a 2- way communication with Garmin device. The platform can be fully customised so you can add business policies quickly and easily and create reports and alerts based on your business rules.
Be safe out there
While the value of clear communication is obvious, there’s another key workflow management issue facing companies that have workers on the road: visibility. How can you be certain that the people operating your company vehicles are doing so safely and efficiently?
VT safety products can be integrated with VT FMS so any activations will be relayed with an instant alert straight into your inbox and when integrated into our vehicle cameras journey playback can be a vital tool when investigating incidents.
The event and alert management area keeps you up to date with the performance of the vehicle giving you real-time engine information, tyre pressure and temperature monitoring with a driver management area reporting on specific driver behaviour giving you a deeper understanding of where additional training is required or to introduce driver incentives for safer driver practices.
Want to find out more? Check out our brochure or give us a call for a free demo on 01254 679 717
Posted on 29th Aug, 2019 by Charlotte Coop
Driver checks are an essential part of hiring or vetting a new employee, but they’re far more than just a box ticking exercise. As far as fleet managers are concerned, performing the appropriate driver checks is in everyone’s best interests – from the legal interests of the company, to the interest of the general public, to the interest of the driver’s personal welfare. (Even all the most advanced vehicle safety technology on the market can’t compensate for an inexperienced driver without the proper credentials!)
Posted on 22nd Aug, 2019 by Charlotte Coop
Forklifts are a mainstay vehicle of any warehouse or shop floor, and especially essential in large scale commercial businesses. However, even when driven competently and carefully, they have limited visibility when they’re carrying materials.
Posted on 15th Aug, 2019 by Charlotte Coop
We are please to announce our further expansion plans by strengthening their southern support services network. Together with industry specialist Munihire we unveil our plans to add a purpose-built service centre in Horsham, Surrey.
Posted on 5th Aug, 2019 by Charlotte Coop
HGV drivers are actually some of the most careful drivers you’ll find out on UK roads. To qualify as an HGV driver, candidates must undergo extensive additional training to help them accurately judge and handle the vehicle’s significant size and weight.
Although this means they’re typically responsible, careful drivers, they’re not immune to human error, and one unfortunate but fundamental fact of HGV driving is that even the rarest and most simple mistakes have a much greater potential to cause harm than those of any other drivers.