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Keeping archive collection and delivery running in bad weather

The recent heavy snow that affected areas of the United Kingdom have been a major problem for delivery and collection drivers travelling on the roads. The South East / West and London all have major traffic headaches on any working day of the week, but add snow and ice to this and you have big problems for drivers.  This becomes even more of an issue if you are a driver who is responsible for delivering files and paperwork back to a company who has requested them back from their archive storage. Most companies will require their documents, tapes or archives back within a few hours, so this adds additional pressure to a driver when battling with the traffic in central London.

Saracen managed to keep pick-ups of documents, tapes and archives running to schedule because of preparation. Retrievals and deliveries of paperwork and tapes were kept on time because of careful advanced planning by our drivers, warehouse people and transport manager.

All the Saracen vans are our own. We prepare them every autumn ready for any bad weather over the winter. Winter serving of vehicles is part of the Saracen procedure. The experience of delivering archives and documents to customers in London over the last 20 years has enabled us to plan for bad weather and be prepared once it arrives. 

All our vehicles have snow socks fitted if there is a heavy downfall, which enables us to actually get out onto the road as normal. Slightly less severe than snow chains, the snow sock is ideal for the amount of snow we would receive in the Home Counties or London and gives the vans enough traction to keep moving. The main problem for Saracen in past bouts of heavy snow has been the issue of other drivers who are not prepared for the bad weather causing traffic flow problems. During the cold winter of 2010 Saracen introduced up-to-date route guidance into our vans, with a live location fix being sent back to our Transport Manager in Leatherhead. The Transport Manager can use this software to overlay a weather and live traffic map over the top of the vans position. We can route our vans around any heavy traffic areas by using quieter back streets.  

The recent snow of 2018 was actually a reasonably easy period for Saracen as once the main snow had fallen, many people didn’t travel into London to work – staying at home for snow days! This left the streets in London much quieter than normal, making it even easier for our drivers to get their vehicles to customers for collection and delivery as normal!