New free Managing Abnormal Indivisible Loads training for FORS members

Specialist haulage operations may be well-used to the mechanics of transporting ‘Abnormal Indivisible Loads’. Such oversized and heavy loads present safety and logistical challenges considered so significant they are covered by specific government legislation.

But for many operators, the rules in place to ensure safe transportation of Abnormal Indivisible Loads (AILs) may be an unknown quantity. Working out what is needed to move these loads, who needs to know about such movements, and the advance notice required, can cause problems for the unfamiliar.

FORS has recently launched new specialist training, free of charge to FORS members, to help them get to grips with the requirements in place around AILs. The training is suitable for all operators, even those who may not regularly transport such complex loads.

AILs are officially classified as loads which cannot, without undue expense or risk of damage, be divided into two or more, in order to transport more easily. Because of their unusual and hard to move size and weight, AIL movement is rightly covered by specific government legislation, and this does vary around the UK. 

The Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) has responsibility for the enforcement of relevant legislation that regulates the use of special types vehicles and abnormal loads on Northern Ireland’s roads. Depending on the type of load, operators should engage with both the DFI Abnormal Loads Office and the PSNI in advance in order to reduce associated risk to all other road users.

While transporting AILs is quite a specialist activity, we encourage all members to attend the course, as the learning will arm operators with the knowledge needed to ensure safe transportation of AILs, beginning with learning what type of load is classified as AIL. 

The four-hour FORS Professional remote training looks in detail at how operators should plan AIL movement to meet these regulations and how and when other agencies involved in the planning process should be notified. The course launched inFebruary 2021 and is delivered via the FORS Professional Virtual Classroom, accompanied by a new downloadable toolkit.

Fee Reduction for all FORS members

Throughout the coronavirus outbreak, FORS has consistently helped members maintain their focus on best practice, including the provision of free remote training courses for drivers and fleet managers, and a move to remote auditing.

In the latestin this series of measures designed to assist fleet operators during the current health emergency, FORS has announced a reduction in annual subscription fees for new and existing members from 1 March 2021.

The fee reduction comes after FORS has frozen annual fees for operators for five consecutive years and has been in place since 1 March 2021. Reductions are offered to all existing members renewing their membership, and to anyone registering with FORS, with revised costs calculated according to fleet size.

During the coronavirus pandemic, FORS has maintained its commitment to members, moving all of FORS Professional training portfolio and other services – including audits – to online platforms. 

We have worked hard to maintain our service levels during the health crisis, and we have strived to deliver some financial respite that’s fair to all members based on their fleet size and regardless of whether they are new to the scheme or existing members. 

2020 was extremely tough for many in the transport sectorand only now are we seeing genuine signs that the movement of goods by road could return to normal levels in the second half of 2021. Our members already know that FORS best practice can deliver real operational savings, and we urge all operators to maintain their focus on safety and efficiency.

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