Bretts Transport has joined forces with leading video telematics and fleet safety providers Fleet Focus as it readies itself for the incoming changes to the Direct Vision Standard which are set to roll out later this year.

Specialising in the storage and distribution of ambient food across the UK, Bretts will have the latest DVS-compliant technology, supplied by Fleet Focus, fitted to 50 per cent of its fleet over the next seven months.

As of 28th October, this year, TfL will be enforcing its latest changes to the DVS permit scheme. Under the new requirements, the minimum star rating will increase from one to three stars, meaning HGVs over 12 tonnes operating within Greater London which are rated zero, one or two stars will be required to have a Progressive Safe System fitted.

Fleet Focus, which offers a full end-to-end solution by supplying, maintaining, and installing DVS systems for customers, has been appointed as Bretts’ designated DVS partner as a result of their experience in helping deliver thousands of DVS solutions for trucks of all makes and models since the scheme was first introduced in 2021.

Fitted onto Bretts’ fleet will be a near side camera linked to an in-cab monitor, an audible left turn warning speaker, as well as the two products which are at the heart of the new standards: the Blind Spot Information System (BSIS) and the Moving Off Information System (MOIS) Radar systems.

Bretts Transport will be investing £25,000 into both the installation as well as the cost of the DVS systems and will be one of the first of Fleet Focus’ new customers to take proactive steps to ensure DVS compliance well in advance of the official rollout.

With a reported 180,000 vehicles requiring PSS upgrades come the 28th October deadline, Graham Plummer, Commercial Director at Fleet Focus has highlighted that hauliers which operate vehicles within Greater London should follow Bretts’ example by implementing a calculated and considered DVS plan to ensure a seamless transition to the new regulatory changes.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Bretts Transport to help them fit complete DVS solutions onto their fleet over the coming months, said Graham. Once we met with Bretts we quickly realised that they were keen to get ahead of the curve. Their proactive approach, in terms of making a managed plan with a trusted supplier over a six to seven month window, places them in the best position to be ready for the incoming changes without preparations having a detrimental impact on their day-to-day business operations.

“The importance to have a strategic plan in place cannot be understated. During the last round of DVS regulations in 2021, the industry was largely unprepared, and many left it until the last minute to fit the required solutions onto their vehicles. Due to the lack of kits and engineers available, exacerbated by the number of vehicles in need of retrofitting between now and October, hauliers will simply not be able to benefit from the same luxuries this time around. The harsh reality is that due to this shortage, thousands of vehicles that previously operated within Greater London will be rendered non-compliant, even when taking the conditional grace period into account.

“There also seems to still be much confusion around what systems actually meet the new specifications. We are seeing and hearing first hand evidence of hauliers installing new technology onto their fleets which simply does not comply with the TFL’s technical specification documents or standards and will likely need to be replaced come October.”

Graham continued: “To avoid this we have reviewed all technology currently available, completed our own in-house testing against all TFL mandated specifications and testing procedures, to ensure all our customers are fully compliant without any risk. For Fleet Focus, it is not about simply ticking a box, it is about ensuring compliance and keeping people safe on the roads which is why we have enacted the necessary due diligence to ensure customers such as Bretts are provided with the best technology available which meet the regulatory standards.”

Wayne Minney, Transport General Manager at Bretts Transport commented: “From the outset the key for us as a business was to hit the ground running with DVS and ensure we did not get stuck in the inevitable backlog for retrofitted kit by implementing a sensible and strategically thought-out plan with a trusted supplier. The fitment programme we have put in place with Fleet Focus, has given us total confidence moving forward that we will meet TfL’s new requirements well in advance and therefore avoid running the risk of non-compliance.

“Given their expertise with supplying, installing, and maintaining DVS systems on behalf of their customers as well as their extensive knowledge of the marketplace, we felt from our first conversation that we would be in safe hands with Fleet Focus and have total confidence that come deadline day our vehicles which operate within Greater London will be good to go.

“As a transport operator we have also always placed a high priority on road safety therefore felt it was a no brainer to take proactive steps to fitting our fleet with the latest DVS solutions not only for the benefit of our drivers but fellow road users as well.”