The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has been a major force in the transport industry for more than 75 years, representing hauliers’ interests at government level and providing a wide range of essential benefits and services to truck operators. With the continued growth in the light commercial vehicle market, as companies move increasingly to online sales and last-mile home and office delivery, the RHA has created a dedicated Van Membership option, specifically for smaller LCV operators.
With almost 8,000 members, 300 of which operate vans, the RHA has reacted to the increase in the van sector by developing RHA Van Membership, which was launched in August 2020. It is aimed at those companies that only operate light commercials, offering a range of benefits and services, along with guidance to assist those businesses.
“Our core Van Membership fleet is 2-5 vans,” said Martin Dean, key account manager and van lead at the RHA.
Services on offer include a dedicated area manager and a telephone help desk, that answers more than 10,000 calls a year, providing assistance with employment law, EU Drivers Hours and tachograph regulations, driver licensing, Operator licensing, vehicle maintenance and compliance issues. Companies that use their vans for international journeys for hire and reward, may not be aware that from May 2022, they will need to have an International Operator’s Licence to take vans onto the Continent, including into Ireland. That will mean regular maintenance reporting and one person within the company will need to hold a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).
“Operators should be aware that RHA Training has only three more CPC Management courses available before May 2022,” said Dean.
The RHA also has an Operator’s Licence Application Service, to assist with the process. As applications take an average 12 weeks to complete, the advice is don’t leave it to the last minute. Van Membership also includes an accreditation scheme, for those operators that would like to incorporate the recognised standards of an RHA audit of compliance and adherence to best practice. As part of the accreditation, the company is audited every two years to ensure compliance.
“We would expect all firms to operate to this standard,” said Dean. “We see it as a way for van operators to set themselves apart from their competitors in an increasingly crowded market and demonstrate best practice. This is where the RHA can add real value to the van sector.”
Member companies have access to the RHA’s legal services team, to RHA Insurance Services and to RHA Leasing and Rental, which is provided in partnership with Alliance Asset Management Group. Indeed, RHA Leasing and Rental will launch a new initiative at the show, in conjunction with membership.
“Our aim is to offer a one-stop-shop for van operators, living up to our strapline of Driving Business on our Roads,” said Dean.