Truck and Track Spring 2023 Spring 2023 Truck and Track 13 BUSINESS NEWS Research reveals women aged 20-29 achieve highest HGV pass rates New research from Pallet-Track has revealed that young women are in top gear when it comes to passing HGV tests, with female drivers aged 20-29 gaining the highest pass rates. The pallet network’s analysis of Department for Transport (DfT) data shows that women in this age category have gained the highest Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) practical pass rate in Britain every year between 2010 and 2022. While women make up only a small proportion of HGV drivers, 67.9% of 20-29-year-olds successfully passed their practical test in 2021-2022, compared to 63% of men in the same age category. The overall pass rate for all drivers taking a practical HGV test in 2021-2022 was 58.7%. Pallet-Track’s analysis also shows that, if the same number of women had taken tests as men in 2021-2022, based on the overall female pass rate of 62.4% for drivers aged 18 to over 60, there would now be an extra 48,931 qualified HGV drivers on the road. This would almost erase Britain’s current shortfall, which stands at 50,000 drivers according to calculations by the Road Haulage Association. With young women accelerating ahead in HGV tests, addressing the current gender imbalance could be key to reducing Britain’s shortfall of lorry drivers and future proofing the industry. In total, women made up just 9.1% of those taking tests; 8,731 tests were completed by female drivers compared to 87,146 taken by male drivers. Further research from the DfT’s Domestic Road Freight Statistics 2020 report found the gender split of HGV drivers in work as 99% male and 1% female – a figure that has not changed since its first inclusion in the annual report in 2016. Caroline Green, chief executive at Pallet-Track, said: “Our research should be a real eye opener for the industry as it demonstrates the value of diversifying the logistics workforce. “The results of the analysis show that Britain has the talent and skills to overcome any remaining driver shortages and the resources to future proof our workforce. “However, there are some key changes the logistics industry needs to make if it wants to attract more women into driving roles, starting with driver facilities and bathroom access. “The majority of truck stop facilities are woefully inadequate and require major improvements; we welcome the government’s recently announced match funding initiative and hope that this will be a positive step forward for the industry. “Education is another area where major improvements are needed if we are to inspire younger generations to enter the profession, particularly young women. “Logistics plays a major role in all our lives and is the fifth largest employer in the UK, but we need to engage with schools more to demonstrate the breadth of careers that the industry can offer. “Being an HGV driver offers a range of perks, such as flexible hours and independent working, and great opportunities for progression. It’s time we started showing young people how rewarding a career in logistics can be.” The analysis is based on Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) driving test pass rates published by the Department for Transport and Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, whose data covers tests taken by male and female applicants in six age brackets, from under 20 to 60-plus. The terms LGV and HGV are used interchangeably in this analysis, as under UK and European law, an LGV licence and HGV licence are the same licence, covering all commercial vehicles with a gross combination mass of over 3500kg. Caroline Green, chief executive at Pallet-Track A new fleet of vans, featuring the latest electric and next generation diesel vehicles, has arrived at Somerset West and Taunton (SWT) as part of the council’s plans to decarbonise its fleet and transition to sustainable vehicle technology. The vehicles, which will replace some of the council’s current fleet due for replacement this year, have been provided by Specialist Fleet Services Ltd (SFS) as part of a 7-year contract awarded in 2021. SWT’s Executive Member for Environmental Services, Cllr Andrew Sully, said, “We are focused on actions to meet our climate emergency declaration and the decarbonisation of our corporate fleet reflects this. Where possible we have selected an electric vehicle solution and for operations where this isn’t possible yet, we have opted for the latest generation of lower emission diesel technology.” The new fleet comprises: 3 x Vauxhall eCombo’s; 1 x Skoda Karoq 4x4; 3 x Ford Rangers; 6 x Ford Transit Tippers; 2 x Kubota F391’s with Trimax Flails (Vincent Tractors); 4 x Vauxhall eCorsa’s and 1 x Isuzu N75 Arborist Tipper. Northampton-based fleet management company SFS celebrates its 30-year anniversary this year and provides the complete range of vehicle hire and fleet management services to both the public and private sector, including contract hire, short term vehicle hire through its vehicle rental division CTS Hire, vehicle maintenance, workshop management, technical advice, and consultancy. It also runs its own network of workshops across the UK and a nationwide fleet of mobile engineers. Bob Sweetland, Managing Director of SFS, says, “We are pleased to be working with Somerset West & Taunton Council to help achieve its carbon reduction targets. This is the just the first step in creating a more sustainable fleet for the future and we look forward to continuing working together to enhance the new combined council’s vehicle provision.” Next generation fleet arrives at Somerset West and Taunton L to R: Bob Sweetland, SFS; Cllr Andrew Sully and Cllr Dixie Darch from Somerset West and Taunton Council alongside two of the new electric vans TRUCK & TRAILER SOLUTIONS WELCOME TOALLPORTS GROUP