Sponsored: How Avail is saving UK haulage companies up to £4,000 per driver
Manchester-based Avail Technologies is revolutionising the logistics industry and largely reducing its clients' driver agency costs. This has come at a much-needed time as the logistics industry has been hit by 40% since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Avail’s CEO Erin Short stated: “The temporary employment industry is currently dominated by the outdated traditional agency model where hauliers are still employing agencies to contract HGV drivers and paying over the odds, and that’s not right. We offer everything a normal agency does and more with a reduced cost."
Avail Technologies has set out to disrupt this by offering hauliers large savings in a time when they will need it most due to the disruption of services caused by the onset of the pandemic.
Short goes on to say: “Using Avail for your agency drivers will 100% make your contracts more profitable, and increase the driver’s wages, so it's a win, win.”
Avail’s technology has previously had notable features by Microsoft for the implementation of the Dynamics 365 and Azure cloud systems in its software. Microsoft Azure is currently being used by the Avail platform for advanced security and to assure compliance with industry regulations.
The disruption of the traditional agency model is what makes Avail innovative and needed in the logistics industry. Its straightforward platform spans across web, app and tablet formats, enabling hauliers to manage their drivers instantly from any device, 24/7. This is point of focus as the current regulations set out by the government surrounding businesses and the movement of individuals are continually changing with the Covid-19 pandemic. Avail’s CEO Erin Short goes on to explain how the platform can help hauliers adapt to current circumstances by the pandemic through the “user ease and friendly functionality of the platform” which is causing hauliers to “move away from traditional agencies to Avail”.
The process to employ temporary drivers is streamlined and transparent using Avail’s platform. Its intelligent algorithms match HGV drivers to jobs based upon the haulier’s preferences and requirements. A selection of drivers are then provided, detailing their driving experience and Avail star rating. Once selected, the driver completes the job, after which the haulier rates the driver and has the option to favourite the driver for repeat employment.
It’s been spot on, easy for me to set it up and organise everything.
Through the reduction of the high fees paid to traditional agencies, hauliers can save on average £4,000 per temporary driver a year. This is a large saving to hauliers affected by Covid-19, as it will free up resources to be used on developing their fleet as well as paying drivers a higher rate than agencies if they see fit.
Avail’s redefining of the temporary job market has come at a much-needed time as its charges are clear and the software easy to use. Avail is currently offering its services with an introductory free trial day for all hauliers whether they are suffering losses due to Covid-19 or not.
Avail’s previous clients had this to say about its free trial:
“I thought I’d give it a go as it was a free day’s work, it’s been spot on, easy for me to set it up and organise everything.”
“Using the app was quick enough and it saved me £400 on 1 driver last month in agency fees, so I can’t complain.”
Avail’s disruptive tech overall is the support the logistics industry needs right now, as hauliers are starting to feel the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
For more information on how Avail can reduce your costs visit availhub.com/hauliers
MAN TGS, TGL and TGM: review
Most of the attention at MAN’s New Truck Generation launch earlier this year was on the flagship TGX, but the TGS for the construction sector has also been updated, as have its TGL and TGM distribution models.
MAN is traditionally a strong performer in the construction sector and looks set to build on its reputation for toughness with increased driver appeal thanks to the new TGS.
Versions suitable for distribution and municipal operations are also included, and all new TGS models share the interior enhancements introduced on the long-haul TGX range. These include availability of the digital dashboard, SmartSelect rotary controller and improved multi-function steering wheel. Outside, aerodynamics are improved, and what MAN describes as car-inspired styling cues abound. All of the new models can be identified by their matt-black grille panels, which are said to be easier to paint in operator colours than the previous piano-black version.
The TGS comes with a choice of six engines based on its 9.0-litre D15 and 12.8-litre D28, with ratings from 330hp to 510hp. Off-road software for the TipMatic transmission enhances performance in challenging conditions. Riding on two, three or four axles, the TGS is available in just about every permutation of drive-axle possible, including the HydroDrive occasional on-demand hydraulically powered front axle, which saves up to 750kg compared with a mechanically driven axle.
All versions come with a variation of the narrow cab. The options include low- and medium-height sleepers, but the most popular will be the NN, an extended low-roof day cab, with extra storage behind the seats. In the more tightly packaged narrower cab, the relocation of the gear selector steering column stalk and the introduction of the dash-mounted electronic parking brake will be even more welcome than in the larger long-haul TGX models.
With safe urban operation of tippers a key issue at the moment, the improved blind spot performance of the mirrors and the Turn Assist blind spot monitoring should gain some Direct Vision stars. Progress in urban traffic will be aided by the Stop & Go function of the adaptive cruise control, which maintains progress, including restarts after up to five seconds of standstill, while its Congestion Assistant extension automatically steers and drives in motorway traffic congestion at speeds up to 60kph, providing the driver’s hands remain on the wheel. However, UK availability of some features has still to be confirmed.
NOT FORGETTING THE TGL AND TGM
The models at the relatively humble end of the MAN portfolio were not neglected in its full range makeover. They too have the cosmetic and aerodynamic improvements of their larger fellows. The two rigid middleweight models can really be considered together. They share the same cab options - all narrow - but cater for different ends of the weight spectrum. The TGL is available in GVWs from 7.5 tonnes to 12 tonnes, with the TGM overlapping to cover weights from 12 tonnes to 26 tonnes.
The TGL is the only model in the MAN portfolio to be offered with a 4-cylinder engine, the 4.6-litre version of the D08, in three ratings from 160hp to 220hp. Drivelines are just 4x2 on the TGL, while the TGM adds a 6x2 version and the 4x4 that will be popular with utility companies.
While the TGL and TGM are available with the same digital dash options as the larger trucks, it appears that not all vehicles control the dash with the SmartSelect device, some relying instead on an increased number of steering wheel buttons.