Logistics manager wins innovation award for industry first lorry safety solution
Published: 11 December 2018 - Rachel Tucker
In an industry first, a local logistics manager has been recognised for developing a winning solution which will help transform lorry safety.
Kirk Ennis, who works as a distribution improvement manager at British Gypsum’s East Leake site, has won an Innovation Award for his work on CoupleSafe™. He was challenged with finding a solution to prevent lorries becoming detached or ‘uncoupled’ from their trailers.
With British Gypsum carrying out 700,000 ‘coupling’ and ‘uncoupling’ operations each year, the company was faced with a major challenge to prevent trailers becoming detached. This would improve safety for both its drivers and other road users; and reduce product wastage when the trailers tip.
Working with the expertise of fleet technology manufacturers, The Vehicle Group, Ennis and his team worked towards a viable a solution which involves a three-phased sensor system to alert the driver to the trailer not being connected correctly and prevent the vehicle from being driven away.
“I am delighted to be recognised for helping to develop this innovative technology,” says Ennis. “But more importantly, it has been great to be involved in a project which has resulted in a ground-breaking system for those operating lorry fleets which will significantly improve vehicle safety.”
Elliot Goff, head of sales and marketing for The Vehicle Group adds: “This has been an exciting innovation to work on with British Gypsum. The logistics industry has recognised this as an issue for many years but there were no products on the market to address it. With the determination of British Gypsum’s team, we were able to take the system from initial concept to working demonstration unit within six months. Well done to Kirk for his well-deserved award - we look forward to seeing this safety technology installed on all British Gypsum’s HGVs in the near future.”
The CoupleSafe™ solution will now be rolled out to British Gypsum’s fleet of 200 lorries and It is hoped that it will now be adopted by the wider logistics industry.