JOINT STATEMENT BETWEEN ROYAL MAIL AND THE CWU ON THE USE OF 2-AXLE (4×2) MOTIVE UNITS ON DOUBLE DECK TRAILERS
Branches and representatives are informed that under an agreed terms of reference, proof of concept trial activity has been taking place at YDC and North West Walk Bundling Centre in relation to the use of 4×2 Motive Units with Double Deck Trailers.
Until now Royal Mail have operated a policy where only 6×2 motive units are deployed with all DDT’s except the older 75 DD York Double Deck Trailers (DDT’s), and as the trailer fleet now predominately features DDT’s the procurement of new motive units has centred on the 6×2 tri-axle specification.
The business believed however that there was substantial evidence that changes in the traffic mix, with the ongoing migration from letter to parcel products, had resulted in a reduction in the average weight of laden York containers and that this could enable a review of policy and allow the safe use of 4×2 motive units on some DDT services. A proposal to trial the use of the 4×2 to replace the 6×2 motive units was therefore tabled.
Capital expenditure restrictions have affected fleet renewal policies resulting in an ageing motive unit fleet profile, currently approximately 260 Units are now over 10 years old. Given that 6×2 motive units cost around £6k more than 4×2 units, Royal Mail believe that a change in policy could enable an enhanced fleet renewal programme.
Additionally environmental concerns are focussing attention on alternative fuel options as a replacement for diesel. Royal Mail had been trialling a dual fuel motive unit at NDC and the trial had identified benefits both environmentally and in running costs, with fuel costs reducing by circa 6 pence per mile. New 6×2 motive units cannot however have a similar duel fuel conversion due to space restrictions on the chassis, making 4×2 motive units a more compelling environmental choice.
The trial activity which involved the analysis of over 270 DDT services monitored by the Network Working Group and the CWU Health & Safety Department, confirmed that the average York weight was around 122kg or half the planned weight on which the existing policy was based. Given this, modelling on the outputs has confirmed that 4×2 units can be safely and legally used with DDT’s in certain circumstances.
Discussions have therefore taken place with the business at National level in relation to finalising a Joint Statement to communicate the permitted use. A copy of the document which has been endorsed by the Postal Executive is attached for your information.
Colleagues will note that the details of which services 4×2 units can be used are included in the table in the attached Joint statement and that there is no difference in Driver Operating Safety Standards between using a 6×2 or 4×2 tractor unit as specified in Royal Mail road operations.
Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to:
Logistics/Driving: Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org quoting reference number: 214.15
Health & Safety related issues: Dave Joyce, National Health, Safety & Environment Officer email: email@example.com
Davie Robertson Dave Joyce
Assistant Secretary National Health, Safety & Environment Officer