Founded in 1973 with a single vehicle, Grist Environmental has grown to become one of the leading waste management businesses in the South West.
Today the company employs over 160 people in around its home town of Devizes, Wiltshire, and runs a growing fleet of over 70 trucks of various sizes and configurations.
Industry – waste management
Sector – waste management and materials recycling, vehicle maintenance, end-of-life vehicle processing, event services and agricultural cleaning.
Fleet size – 74 trucks, including 44-tonne artics, 6- and 8-wheeled refuse collection vehicles, hook loaders, and skip loaders from 7.5 to 18 tonnes gvw
Transport Manager – Paul Forth
Workshop Manager – Tony Little
Keeping all maintenance records up to date using paper forms was proving to be an increasingly time-consuming task. This was set to get ever more onerous as Grist Environmental’s fleet grew, with more vehicles being maintained in its own workshop rather than under service contracts with supplying dealers. A solution, to make fleet management easier as well as more efficient, was clearly required.
Some of Transport Manager Paul Forth’s team – with their background in an ‘old school’ environment – were concerned there would be a lot to learn, and that operating the Truckfile system would be difficult. “But within a few months we were all wondering how we’d ever managed without it,” he reported.
Paul Forth said:
“We asked several suppliers to bid for Grist Environmental’s business but from the early stages, the Truckfile tender stood out clearly from the crowd. The key difference was that while other packages were quite rigid, and would have required us to adapt the way we work to fit the system’s design, with Truckfile it was the other way around.
From the beginning, the Truckfile team were able to tailor their offering to our needs. We run a diverse fleet – trucks, their trailers and body equipment as well as various plant vehicles. We also have technicians working remotely, at our five sites around Devizes, as well as in our purpose-built main workshop.
Crucially, Truckfile works equally well for the different recording requirements of our various vehicle types, and for the team too. The fact that there is more than one way to input information is a big help – so a mobile technician looking after the plant at our satellite sites can carry a hand-held tablet device, on which he records everything he does as he goes about the job. Details are stored, and then automatically uploaded to our computer via mobile internet as soon as the device picks up a signal. The guys in the main workshop, however, prefer to use a dedicated workstation terminal to record their jobs. Both methods knit seamlessly together.”
“We wanted to keep on top of the ever-increasing requirements for compliance, and at the same time reduce the time and hassle spent on administration. Truckfile has proved to be a winner on both counts.
The ongoing support from the Truckfile team has been fantastic too – they don’t just sell you a system and then walk away. They were on hand throughout the installation phase to help us adapt to the change, but it didn’t end there. We’ve continued to refine our procedures and worked hand-in-hand with Truckfile personnel to create a set-up that does exactly what we want it to. Truckfile is the high-tech solution with a human face.”
“The system is so simple to use. I have a full overview, while our technicians can select jobs easily – which means job cards are always raised and accurately completed, in a timely manner. As Workshop Manager, I can easily trace all vehicle or trailer maintenance and parts that have been fitted, when reviewing a vehicle’s history.”