The team at Dyce Carriers has chosen to sponsor Scottish motocross racer, Elaine MacEachern, in the upcoming 2021 season of the WMX British Championships. DCL’s founding family, the Moir’s, have been involved in motocross sports since the ’80s, and have lent their support to a number of teams and riders throughout the UK.
The motocross season is now well underway with Covid restrictions continuing to lessen over time. Elaine kicked off the racing season at the end of April after her long-awaited return to the sport after three and a half years.
After speaking with another experienced rider, she decided to start her training by racing every weekend at various events across the UK in preparation for the first round of the WMX British Championships at Lyng, Norwich on the 23rd of May.
The first round of the WMX British was held on a brutal hilly sandy track and despite some first race jitters, MacEachern got off to a great start qualifying second for gate pick.
“In my first race I managed a great kick-off and was first off the start, but straightaway I realised my left-hand grip was loose and my hand was slipping off as I approached corners, causing me to crash and finish in 3rd place.
“It was a frustrating start to the day, but I knew I had it in me to recover and come back stronger in the second and final race of the day.
“I started out strong again in race two, making it round the first corner in the leading position. After a bad line choice, I found myself in second but was able to pace myself catching up with the leader and making a pass for the top spot. I was ecstatic to pull a comfortable lead bringing home first place in the second race.”
MacEachern finished in second place overall for the day, only 2 points behind the first-place competitor. With the support of her sponsor, Dyce Carriers, she is now preparing for round 2 on the 26th and 27th of June at Little Silver near Exeter.
Discussing her training for the second round MacEachern commented:
“I have not slacked in preparation for the second round, my dad and I have continued to work hard each weekend and will continue to do so.
“I know I am able to win this British and I will push to achieve this for my sponsors, my family, and myself.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dyce Carriers sincerely for all their help and support in making this possible. It has been an incredible return to the sport, and I will continue to push my limits and give my all each week.”
Commenting on the sponsorship, Dyce Carriers’ director Jason and Candice Moir said:
“We are thrilled to be supporting young motocross talent like Elaine. Her passion and drive for the sport shines through on the track.
“It was great to see her coming in second overall in the first round and we’re looking forward to watching her race next weekend as round two gets underway. Of course, we wish her the best of luck for the race. She’s got the whole team at Dyce Carriers standing behind her.”
The third and final round will be held two weeks after Little Silver at Whitby, Yorkshire on the 10th and 11th of July.
Mental health is a serious topic for many people. It’s something that we don’t often want to talk about, but the reality is, when you work with others and are in a position of leadership, it cannot be ignored. When you’re in charge of people who rely on your guidance and direction for their livelihoods every day, you have a responsibility to make sure they know what resources are available if they need them. That’s why Dyce Carriers take the time to ensure drivers understand mental health issues and know where they can get help if needed – all while making sure drivers feel comfortable discussing mental health topics at work.
What is mental health awareness in the workplace?
Mental wellbeing is being able to cope with the day-to-day stresses of life, being able to work productively and positively with others, and realise one’s self-worth and potential.
The stress that Covid-19 has placed on our lives, coupled with financial and job insecurity has had a huge impact on people’s mental wellbeing.
At Dyce Carriers, we were fortunate in many ways to be classed as keyworkers, and while our office staff were able to continue working from home our drivers remained out on the road, transporting essential cargo for businesses all over the UK.
Some people have struggled to adapt to the “new normal” of working from home as they may develop feelings of isolation, anxiety, or depression. Others find freedom and flexibility in remote working, preferring this to office life.
HGV drivers experience something similar. On one hand is a sense of freedom, out on the road, soaking in the scenery; on the other loneliness and a lot of time to be left alone with your thoughts. It is understandable why drivers might feel anxious or depressed, particularly at a time when our country has been surrounded by such uncertainty.
Add to that a stigma around mental health and culture which has traditionally encouraged men to suppress their emotions and “toughen up”, it is easy to see how truckers may struggle to open up about their mental health.
At Dyce Carriers, we make it our job to ensure the wellbeing and happiness of our team. No one gets left behind.
Why should employers care about mental health at work?
We spend a considerable amount of time at work so it is really important that people are able to reach out to their co-workers when they need support, and that employees can recognise the signs of a colleague who is in need of help.
Discussing mental health openly in the workplace helps to wash away the negative stigmatism that is associated with mental illness making it easier for staff to be honest about any issues they may be experiencing.
Apart from being the right and humane thing to do to make sure everyone in your team is valued and cared for at work, it is also good for business and long-term productivity as it prevents employees from reaching mental exhaustion or burnout.
We seek to minimise sources of unnecessary stress and promote good mental health and wellbeing at work so our team will always be at their best, both personally and professionally. This is particularly important for our drivers who shoulder an immense responsibility and regularly use heavy and dangerous equipment to lift, transport and offload precious cargo for our customers.
How do we do it?
There are several ways to reduce stress at work, including promoting healthy living and a strong work/life balance, addressing any practices that may cause avoidable stress to employees, and making our operational systems more effective.
Our Aberdeen Yard Manager, Gary Kinnell, goes above and beyond in his role. Gary completed a number of mental health training and suicide prevention training courses with the NHS a few years ago which he puts to good use.
Gary runs a series of mental health awareness presentations, which continue to play on a loop through our TVs and provides support materials to staff that can be found posted around the premises. He utilises materials from the NHS team in Aberdeen, posters, leaflets and so on that promote healthy wellbeing.
Perhaps most importantly, he speaks regularly with the drivers on his team in a one-on-one to check in on how they are doing. Often our drivers will come to him if they are having any issues. It takes a lot of confidence for an employee to raise concerns about mental health issues they may be experiencing before it gets out of control. This is only possible if the working environment supports that.
“It helps if you have an open-door policy,” remarked Gary, “which all the staff knows I have.”
“During the pandemic, I was calling the drivers on a daily and weekly basis as there was a lot of anxiety going about, which the team was really grateful for, including the management in the depots.”
“I am hoping to get on some mental health ambassador training courses now that classroom-based training is starting to come back.”
“Gary has done a lot to help open up a dialogue about mental health in the workplace and encouraged our team to be more thoughtful about the impact they have on each other and allowed us all to talk honestly about difficult topics.” said Jason Moir, Managing Director. “Every workplace should have someone like Gary.”
Another way to support employees is by investing in state-of-the-art equipment that will make their time at work easier, safer, and enjoyable. The trucks we deploy for national haulage journeys are fully equipped with a top-of-the-range XXL cab which includes a fridge, microwave, TV, coffee maker, and leather interior for maximum comfort. It’s so important to invest in equipment that is both efficient and reliable so that our team can be sure it will not fail them.
How to help a colleague who is struggling with mental health
Step 1. Reassurance:
The first step is to reassure them that it’s OK to talk about these issues and that their feelings will be respected. If they are not ready to open up or are worried about speaking to a manager then let them know that you care and will be there for them when the time is right.
Step 2. Encouragement
The next step is to encourage them to speak with the manager or supervisor one-to-one about their mental wellbeing and ask for support. Remind them that help is available.
Step 3. Avoid making assumptions.
Everybody experiences mental illnesses in different ways. Avoid making any assumptions about a person’s symptoms and their ability to carry out their work. There are many people who are able to manage their mental health problems and function highly at work.
Step 4. Respect confidentiality.
Ensure their privacy is respected by not discussing anything they have revealed to you in confidence.
Our final thoughts
Being able to talk openly about mental health in the workplace is essential. Like physical illness, mental illness must be treated with equal severity and steps must be taken to ensure employees feel safe and supported at work. Work is where we spend most of our time, so having strong relationships with our co-workers and reducing unnecessary stresses in the workplace goes a long way to helping improve the mood and productivity of your team. Make sure to do what you can to create an open culture at work where staff feel confident enough to speak truthfully about any struggles they may be experiencing and get the help they need.
Dyce Carriers Ltd, have increased their fleet with the addition of five new MAN Trucks to be distributed between their various depots.
One TGX XXL 510 44 Ton, an XLX 510 44 Ton and an XLX 510 65 Ton are bound for the DCL depot in Poole, Dorset. Another TGX XXL 510 44 Ton is headed for the Dalgety Bay branch and a third one will remain at Aberdeen headquarters.
All five trucks were leased from Norscot MAN Truck & Bus Aberdeen. These 510bhp vehicles are designed to provide high levels of driving and living comfort, a lot of torque and low fuel usage. This ensures journeys are both economical and safe.
Two of the XLX MAN Vehicles will be placed into a full-time contract at Wytchfarm while the remaining three trucks will be used on National Haulage journeys. These vehicles are fully equipped with a top of the range XXL cab which includes a fridge, microwave, TV, leather interior, and a coffee maker. Boasting efficient performance and total reliability in all fields of application, these vehicles are perfectly designed for extreme performance within long-haul and distribution transport, making them a great new addition to the DCL fleet.
The trucks will soon be DVS approved for Greater London deliveries with audible left turn warning, proximity sensors, and a three camera DVR system supplied by Kinesis.
Managing director, Jason Moir is hopeful that the addition of these new trucks will allow Dyce Carriers to keep on top of the growing demand for haulage and transport over the coming year as well as aiding Dyce Carriers in their pursuit to gain Silver Accreditation from Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS).
“After the first lockdown hit in 2020, we shrunk in size, but continued to operate as key workers,” says Jason. “Now we are hopeful that the UK will gather strength again in 2021 and we want to be prepared to provide our customers with the same level of service that they have come to expect from Dyce Carriers Ltd.”
As Lockdown measures begin to lift in 2021, haulage companies will need to adapt and move quickly as various industries begin to recover at different rates. Businesses’ will be looking to sure up their supply chain resilience post lockdown and investments in infrastructure will be critical to the recovery of the UK economy.
Dyce Carriers will be well prepared for this shift, operating a modern fleet of vehicles and trailers and offering a first class, reliable service to clients up and down the UK.
Every year there is greater demand for renewable energy sources across every sector of industry. Road transportation is no different, with a drive for more energy-efficient trucks becoming a greater priority for both manufacturers and haulage companies like Dyce Carriers.
Some of the biggest developments that are set to take place across the haulage sector in the next decade will lead to trucks not only being more efficient, but also quieter and more environmentally friendly.
As the demand for alternatives to diesel and hydrocarbons in general, rises, one of the most promising solutions is biofuel. Created from hydrotreatment of vegetable oils (HVO), the result is a substance with a chemical structure very similar to regular diesel, but one that releases 90% less carbon dioxide when used to power a vehicle.
These biofuels come with a large variety of benefits which can make them an attractive alternative to conventional fuel. Being made from renewable materials means that the price of using it as fuel is not linked to the price of oil. This stability and predictability around the price, has a significant advantage when budgeting for a fleet of vehicles.
Additionally, due to the chemical design of these fuels, many of them are completely compatible with diesel engines, meaning that haulage companies wouldn’t need to update their fleet in order to take advantage of this innovation. Truck manufacturer DAF has ensured that all it’s trucks from the newest generation going forward, are totally compatible with HVO.
Having a truck that is compatible with biofuels, but is also still a standard diesel engine means that they can retain the inherent advantages of a diesel engine, such as reliability, durability, operating costs and re-sale value, but at the same time, releases 89% less Co2 into the environment when running on HVO.
However, whilst biofuels such as HVO offer a persuasive and viable alternative to using traditional fossil fuels, the higher cost of purchasing the fuel, and running a fleet of trucks on it, means that this environmentally friendly option is still out of reach for many haulage providers.
Whilst some governments in Europe have introduced incentives and tax breaks to help haulage companies with the transition to HVO, making an important step towards a carbon neutral future, many countries, including the UK, have yet to do so.
Another alternative to using petrol or diesel for fuel is to use electric engines. Electric vehicles have been in use for decades, and have been growing in popularity since developments in lithium batteries have improved the distance that an electric vehicle can travel on a single charge.
The batteries in modern electric trucks have enough power to allow travel of up to 300 km, with fast charging that can be used to re-power the batteries during loadings and unloading.
Amongst other big truck manufacturers, DAF is again blazing a trail in the electric truck sector. They currently have two fully electric trucks on the market. Intended mostly for inner city distribution, where silence and low emissions are particularly critical. The DAF LF electric innovation truck features a 195kW/266 HP electric motor, which is powered by a battery pack of up to 222kWh, which means it has a range of 220 kilometres, when the truck is fully laden.
Additionally, electric motors come with significant advantages over conventional engines. Due to the nature of the engine, electric vehicles are very responsive and have very good torque, making them safer and easier to drive. Moreover, electric engines have a smaller number of moving components within the actual engine, compared to traditional internal-combustion engines, which contributes to a lower maintenance cost as well as decreasing the likelihood of a breakdown.
However, despite these advantages, there are still issues that hold electric trucks back from becoming the staple vehicle of the industry.
There is still not enough capacity in even the most advanced lithium batteries to allow for uninterrupted, country-wide trunk routes to be completed by electric vehicles, without having to stop and recharge.
The technological advances do represent a step in the right direction though. In the coming decades, as this technology is developed further, we may see a wide variety of new improvements made to batteries and power efficiency, making electric trucks that can travel the length of the country un-interrupted, a reality.
While not a completely carbon neutral method of creating fuel, a half-way step towards a more renewable future may be in form of gas-to-liquid fuel. Gas-to-liquid or GTL is a process where natural gas -the least polluting fossil fuel- is converted into high quality liquid fuel which would otherwise be made from crude oil.
One of the main advantages of this type of fuel is that they contain almost none of the impurities found in crude oil, such as sulphur or nitrogen. This in turn means that when it is burned in order to power a vehicle, less airborne pollutants are released, making it less harmful to the environment and significantly less toxic.
Much like biofuel, the fuel that is created through GTL is already compatible with diesel engines and thus requires no switch over of equipment for haulage companies. Additionally, due to the higher cetane number of GTL fuel, using it in trucks can lead to better starting performance in cold conditions.
Whilst GTL represents another more environmentally friendly source of fuel for the haulage industry, it may be sometime in the future before we see Dyce Carrier’s trucks benefit from this technological advancement. Currently there is limited production for this type of fuel, and while this is expected to change in the future, there is currently no scope for distribution to trucks in the UK.
While there is still progress to be made on each of the technological fronts that this article has covered, inroads have been made with alternative and renewable power clearly becoming an achievable goal for the road haulage industry. While there is still a length to go, it is clear that the future of road haulage is bright.
Like all major haulage firms, there is a lot of language and vocabulary that is specific to our industry, to those unfamiliar it can be confusing, so we’ve written a short guide to help you understand a few of the more obscure terms, that are critical to our business.
What does Hiab mean?
Hiab is technically a brand name – Hydrauliska Industri AB. Since that is a bit of a mouthful, most people abbreviate it to simply Hiab. Founded in Sweden in 1944, it was founded by Eric Sundin, who created a way to use a truck’s engine to power hydraulic loader cranes. This provides an obvious advantage as it means that trucks can effectively load and unload themselves, provided the drivers are as skilled as the drivers we employ at Dyce Carriers!
Since 1944 the company has gone through many different acquisitions and name changes, and now the name Hiab enjoys the same sort of ubiquity and universal use as words like ‘hoover’ which are technically brand names but are used to describe the generic product, like “truck mounted crane” or “hydraulic loader”.
It should be noted that we at Dyce Carriers Ltd use Fassi Cranes, which are fitted to our vehicles at Macs Trucks.
At Dyce Carriers we have 4 self-load Hiab vehicles, with cranes offering a 14-ton lift, which can make for a substantially easier, safer and less costly job.
What does Hotshot mean?
With our close ties to local industry, ‘hot shots’ are something that Dyce Carriers specialise in. In the simplest sense, ‘hot shot’ means transporting smaller and usually time critical loads to accessible locations. At Dyce Carrier’s this often takes the form of offshore equipment for the Oil and Gas sector.
The trucks used for hot shot work are generally of a smaller scale since time sensitivity is more important than carrying a heavy load.
At Dyce Carriers we offer 24/7 support to all our clients and can marshal the necessary resources to transport whatever cargo is urgently needed, at extremely short notice to unsure that the client’s needs are met.
What does Ad-hoc mean?
Ad-hoc is a Latin phrase, essentially meaning ‘when needed’. In haulage this means a one-off transportation of a particular cargo or goods. Whilst this can sound like a straightforward, move A to B, it can quickly get complicated when cargo can weight several tonnes and needs to be loaded and unloaded.
Clients often approach us at Dyce Carrier’s with these sort of haulage headaches, which we have significant expertise in solving and making simple.
This blog of course only covers the tip of the iceberg with regard to the wide variety of specialist words that we use as a leading haulage provider in Scotland. We offer a wide variety of different services for our clients, to find out more why not look through the rest of our website?
As a leading haulage provider, it goes without saying that at Dyce Carriers, we take road safety extremely seriously. As our drivers carry loads of up to 44-tons the length and breadth of this country every day, the safety of our staff, cargo and equipment is firmly at the front of our minds.
The department of transportation has recently published their ‘Road Safety Statement’ for 2019 in which they evaluate what is being done to help prevent tragic accidents on the road. Despite the UK having the third lowest number of fatalities on the road out of every country in Europe, coming behind Norway and Sweden, there is naturally, still more to be done to prevent these horrific events from occurring.
The statement sets out a 74-point plan on how road safety can be improved even further, and we’ve written up a handy guide as to how these proposed changes could affect the day to day life’s our truckers and haulage professionals.
Broadly speaking the report aims at four types of motorists, Young Road Users, Rural Road Users, Motorcyclists, and Older Vulnerable Road Users. Whilst none of the changes directly affect truck drivers, that does not mean that the proposed changes won’t indirectly affect them, hopefully making life on the road safer.
Proposed changes include greater penalties for those caught not wearing their seatbelt, as well as increased usage of photo capable devices such as dashcams to catch people who are driving recklessly. This could contribute to a safer road environment for everyone, including HGV drivers.
The bottom line for truckers
The report has a whole section dedicated to the safety of people who drive for a living, within it is a section of guidelines concerning how the safety of HGV drivers can be promoted. Of particular concern in the statement is to ensure that all trucks are fitted with sideguards, that can work to deflect vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, who get to close to the vehicle. At Dyce Carriers we always make sure our vehicles are up to code and fitted with all the required safety equipment.
Whilst the fitting of these sideguards have been mandatory since 2014, there have been historic exemptions which permits the removal of these guards from specific vehicles, including car transporters. The suggested change is to close these exemptions, to ensure that all HGV’s are fitted with them.
Hopefully, if the items addressed and suggested in this report are carried out, then 2019 will see less crashes and collisions then ever before, meaning a greater level of safety and security for truckers. At Dyce Carriers we take our safety extremely seriously, with the lives of our staff, our cargo and other road users always being our primary concern. You can read the full report from the department of transport, here:
Dyce Carriers Ltd are saddened to announce the passing of co-founder, David Moir, after a lengthy, courageous battle with vasculitis on the 18th April 2019 at Donbank, Inverurie Hospital.
From the beginning, way back in 1973, David, along with Jean built up a successful haulage company, Dyce Carriers. In 2013 he handed the reins of the company over to his son Jason and daughter in-law Candice, to enjoy early retirement travelling the world and spending time in his holiday home in sunny Spain.
R.I.P 12th October 1951 – 18th of April 2019
A new map was released this year revealing the UK’s most dangerous roads.
In July this year, Teletrac Navman released a map which indicates fatality data gathered by the Department of Transport and the Police Service of Northern Ireland over a 5-year period. It identifies the UK’s most dangerous highways, routes that our drivers take on a daily basis.
Between 2012 and 2016 a scary total of 8,534 fatal road accidents occurred across the UK. The worst being on the A6 between Luton and Cumbria, where a total of 70 fatalities were recorded. These statistics make this road the deadliest in the UK.
Moreover, the most hazardous road in the UK is the A6, connecting London to Holyhead with 67 fatal accidents, and the A40 from London to Fishguard is not far behind with 65 fatalities.
The map shows the deadliest roads from country to country. As previously mentioned Rutland, England has the highest number of fatal incidents with 5.181 per 10,000 residents, followed by Powys, Wales with 4.312, Fermanagh & Omagh, Northern Ireland with 4.150 and the Orkney Islands, Scotland, 4.110.
However, not all roads in the UK are bad. Scotland’s smallest City, Clackmannanshire, according to the map, has the safest roads in the UK and recorded no fatalities during 2012 and 2016. Cardiff, Tyne and Wear and Belfast City were next, with low fatality rates per 10,000 residents.
The map also provides important fleet operations across the UK with greater visibility and access to powerful fleet management tools that contribute to keeping our roads safer and more efficient. Check the detailed map out below or if you drive roads like these, use our handy insurance checker to ensure you’re properly covered.
If there is one industry across the world that people take for granted it’s the trucking industry. It is not only people across the UK that rely heavily on truck drivers but also businesses. We solely depend on the trucking industry and their drivers to maintain fast delivery, delivering products safety and securely to their destination.
We should consider carefully what it would mean if all truck drivers were taken off the road. It would be a catastrophe. It has been estimated that there would be a perishable goods shortage within 3 days; drinking water would disappear within 2 – 4 weeks; food supplies in hospitals would be gone in 24 hours and cash machines would be empty in 2 – 3 days. Quite a scary thought when you put into perspective. There is no doubting the significance of the trucking industry to the people of the UK and around the world.
It should be made aware just how important truck drivers are. After all, in recent years (since 2015) there has been a trucker shortage. In 2015, the UK saw a shortage in fully trained and qualified HGV drivers, meaning bad news for the UK’s economy. According to Mike Farrall (Chairman of Farrall’s Transport), “I can find a driver today, probably quite easy, but is he skilled? No way. I would go through quite a lot of people before finding a half decent guy.” Some of you may think that it is easy to become a qualified HGV driver. But, this isn’t the case, the UK continue to put up barriers to becoming a lorry driver. Many in the UK blame the proliferation of regulations for raising costs and complicating the driver’s job. The introduction of the Driver Certificate Competence or CPC training has also made it difficult for HGV drivers. This raised the cost of obtaining and maintaining a HGV license. Many were quickly put off by this new regulation in 2014.
2016 showed no signs of improvement. The Road Haulage Association says it is short of 60,000 drivers, with an aging workforce shedding another 40,000 in 2017. But is it the Government making it difficult to start a career in HGV driving or is it the employers within the trucking industry that are the problem? Few companies around the UK run their own training schemes and are requesting fully trained drivers with years’ of experience. Difficult for those just starting out their career as a HGV driver. Many new to the trucking industry are travelling abroad, with many countries mainly in Eastern Europe hiring 60,000 drivers.
Hopefully 2017 can turn things around for the trucking industry and the public gain more respect for truck drivers and realise how important they are to everyday life. More training is key, without the proper training the truck driver shortage will continue in 2017 and we all now know the continued dangers and threats this causes to the public and the economy of the UK.
There is nothing more important than sticking to the legislation rules set by the government to ensure HGV drivers like yourself remain safe and secure at all times.
As a HGV driver you will already be aware of the driving rules that surround the amount of time you can drive your vehicle at any one time. GOV.uk have outlined the number of hours and breaks you should be having when transporting goods on the roads.
According to GOV.uk, “A break is any period during which a driver may not carry out any driving or any other work and which is used exclusively for recuperation. A break may be taken in a moving vehicle, provided no other work is undertaken.”
You should drive no more than 4.5 hours, after this an uninterrupted break of 45 minutes should be taken unless you take a rest period. There are of course a number of ways you can take your 45-minute break. For example, one break of at least 15 minutes followed by another break of at least 30 minutes is allowed. You ‘wipe the slate clean’ if you have taken your 45-minute break (or breaks that make up 45 minutes) before or at the end of a 4.5 hour driving period. A reminder that this is only a very quick summary and you should look to the GOV.uk website for more information, www.gov.uk/drivers-hours.
It’s the tachograph that records all information about your driving time, speed and distance. It is used to ensure all drivers are sticking to the rules on drivers’ hours. There are 2 types of tachograph, analogue and digital. As of May 2006 all commercial vehicles must be fitted with a digital tachograph. Although an analogue tachograph can still be used. Take a look on GOV.uk’s website for more useful information on tachographs, https://www.gov.uk/tachographs