SMR specialist Epyx has added a scheduling compliance module to its 1link platform following VOSA’s announcement that it intends to drive-up standards in the van sector with more roadside checks and compliance-enforcement activity.

Phil Franklin, business development manager for Epyx’s 1link Service Network, warned that “traditional methods” of compliance were not enough: “VOSA’s statement is probably no surprise to the industry.

“There is a large gap between the strict enforcement regime for HGVs and the relatively lax one for LCVs, especially considering the growth in recent years of home-delivery and utility-company fleets.

“While the standards of service and maintenance among some. LCV operators are very high, in others, there is a degree of very high mileage, heavily used vans being maintained in a fashion that is simply not as thorough.

“The industry has moved to address the matter with the FTA’s Van Excellence scheme, which is a superb initiative, but there is still more that needs to be done. It is an issue.”

“We visit a surprisingly large number of fleets that rely on processes based around poorly maintained spreadsheets or even T-cards.

“Our belief is that in the 21st century, these methods are unlikely to deliver the kind of thorough van maintenance regimes that are now needed. They are too prone to user error.

“Certainly, it is very easy using these procedures to forget to check whether a van has been serviced on time or undergone a basic check by a driver.

“This is true whether you are working to minimum legal standards or want something more comprehensive.”