Bronze award for vehicle fleet

BM Stafford and Sons LTD have retained the Bronze award in the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS), a voluntary certification scheme that aims to improve road safety by ensuring fleet operators work lawfully and to best practice.

Developed by a range of stakeholders including Transport for London, the Department for Transport, The Metropolitan Police, the Health and Safety Executive and the Road Haulage Association, FORS aims to improve the standard of fleet activity across the country. Receiving accreditation from FORS means the Company’s fleet operates at a standard that is above the legal requirement.

FORS auditors check the Company has a comprehensive understanding of all the requirements for a safe and legal operation. The audit checks for, among other items, staff training, health and safety, resourcing, incident reporting, communication and daily vehicle inspections and maintenance.

The bronze award was initially gained in March 2015, and a re-audit takes place on an annual basis to ensure standards are still being met.

“We take health and safety, including the driving and quality of our vehicles, very seriously. As a company, we continually strive to achieve the very highest standard in the procurement and management of our fleet. This latest accreditation with FORS enhances our Driving at Work policy as well as our commitment to identifying areas where we can improve the performance of our fleet,” said Mark Stafford, Managing Director of BM Stafford.

New Antos are up to the marque for BM Stafford

February 2015

BM Stafford works its trucks hard – the latest additions to its fleet are on intensive, multi-drop duties and often double-shifted. The North-East operator is certain they’ll be up to the job, though, because its three new 18-tonners wear Mercedes-Benz stars.

The Antos 1824s are assigned to Houghton le Spring-based BM Stafford’s Palletforce contract, as well as making collections and deliveries for other customers. “The mileages are not huge but there’s no let-up,” explained Managing Director Mark Stafford. “These trucks are stopping and starting again all day long and regularly into the night, and the tail-lifts are in constant use. Their drivelines – and particularly the gearboxes – have to be strong to stand up to it.”

The Antos arrived via local dealer Bell Truck and Van and have ClassicSpace S day cabs and well proven 175 kW (238 hp) 7.7-litre engines, which drive through smooth-shifting Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmissions. Their curtainside bodywork, meanwhile, is by Robinson Truck Bodies, of Blaydon.

They have replaced vehicles by another manufacturer, which couldn’t take the pace. Mr Stafford continued: “We expect a seven-year working life from our trucks but the previous ones were completely worn out after just three. Bell put together an attractive package, so I was very happy to switch to the Antos. I’ve run Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the past so I know the build quality is excellent, and that they’re very robust. I’m highly confident they will give us the length of service we need.”

The new Antos have also impressed when it comes to fuel efficiency. “These are still early days but they’re already returning between 12 and 13 mpg,” said Mr Stafford. “That’s a good 1-1.5 mpg better than the trucks they replaced.”

And he added: “We’ve also been impressed with what we’ve seen of Bell’s service operation. We can’t afford anything more than the absolute minimum of downtime, so it’s a big help that the dealer’s Gateshead workshop is open through the night, because it means a driver can drop off his truck late in the evening, then collect it ready to start work again at 6.30am.

“This level of back-up, coupled with the fuel savings we’re making, means the total cost of Antos ownership is very competitive.”

Mr Stafford has also purchased a dynamic Vito Sport-X Dualiner from Bell Truck and Van. Used for occasional urgent local deliveries, it has a muscular V6 turbo-diesel engine, aggressive Brabus styling and a second row of seats. “My Vito is lovely to drive, as good as any car,” he enthused. “But the useful cargo capacity means it’s also extremely practical.”

BM Stafford enters it’s 80th year

January 2015

BM Stafford is gearing up for an extra special year, as it moves towards its 80th anniversary.

The family run general haulage and transport company in Co. Durham was founded by Mark Wakefield in 1935, later being taken on by Benjamin Milburn Stafford after the death of Mark Wakefield.

Over the last 80 years, the business has grown from Threshing Contractors with steam engines to an established modern day transport company, with a fleet of 20 vehicles employing 34 staff. They now have an annual turnover of over £3 million.

“2015 will be a special year for us and I’m extremely proud that, 80 years on from when my great grandfather founded the firm, we remain a successful family business dedicated to the same values of high quality service,” said Mark Stafford, Managing Director of BM Stafford. Today the business remains very much a family firm.

“Strong growth and retention of many of our customers is testament to the fact that we recognise the importance of providing the very best in customer service, said Mark.

“We might not be the biggest transport business but the firm is successful because, unlike many larger firms, we can offer a flexible service to customers’ needs and can respond quickly and efficiently when they need us to. But during our years in the industry we are also proud to have gained a reputation for reliability, flexibility of operations as well as exceptional personal customer service. This is in no doubt down to the hardwork and dedication of all members of staff.

This quality of service is what sets us apart and why I am confident the future will continue to be bright.”