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The Role of the Transport Manager

The role of transport manager varies from company to company. This article sheds light on Traffic Commissioner guidelines for transport managers.

Haulage companies that run a fleet of lorries will often have a fleet manager whose main task is to ensure that the company and its employees strictly adhere to all regulatory requirements. Dependent on the size of the company, this person may have a part time or a full time position. In some instances, the task is taken on by one of the existing drivers, in others by another qualified employee.

Traffic Commission Transport Manager Guidelines

The Traffic Commission recently published a series of guidelines (Statutory Document No. 3 – Transport Managers) that attempts to regulate and define the duties of a company’s Transport Manager. The guidelines are based on the assumption that the person fulfilling this position will have passed their Transport Manager Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) - Road Haulage examination. This certification is required by current EU directives for all those who want to enter the field of transport management or want to be sure they meet all the requirements for an operator’s licence.

Haulage companies differ considerably. Some are general contractors, other specialise in a specific field. Because of these differences in operation, formulating one, definitive definition of what is expected of a Transport Manager is not possible.

However, the Traffic Commissioners have set down a series of guidelines that all who have passed their CPC exam are expected to be familiar with. These guidelines include:

1. Regulations regarding the maximum driving hours allowed, including minimum rest periods etc.
2. Laws and regulations relating to vehicle maintenance and safety.
3. Road safety legislation.
4. Health and safety regulation both for drivers, their vehicles and all other company employees.
5. Requirements for driver training programs.
6. Laws and regulations relating to employment.
7. Contract law (including the CMR Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road).
8. A firm grasp of financial and business management skills.

Full Time or Part Time Transport Manager?

As these eight points show, the role of the Transport Manager can be an extremely complex one, demanding a wide scope of knowledge, expertise and skill. The larger the haulage companies, the larger the responsibility and scope of the job role.

This fact has been recognised by the Commissioners, who have put in place a formula for the number of hours per week that must be devoted to the job. For companies with 2 or less trucks, eight hours a week must be devoted to the corresponding tasks. The more trucks, the more time is needed. Therefore, companies with 15 – 29 trucks must have a full time Transport Manager, and companies with over 30 trucks must have a full time manager assisted by other employees.

Are There Exceptions to These Time Requirements?

Since there is no hard and fast definition of the Transport Manager’s role, putting in place a specific number of hours can also be problematical. In general, the number of hours is a function of the number of vehicles being operated by the company. If the company allows other employees (planners, compliance auditors, tachograph experts etc.) to aid in the tasks, the Traffic Commissioners may be prepared to accept fewer working hours for the management function. Additionally, if the person assigned to the role has proven compliance experience and a good “track record”, further flexibility may be allowed.

Article Tags: Transport Manager, Haulage Companies, Full Time

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Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage companies with jobs in road transport and haulage work. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment. 

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