Mr Bickerton was one of three award winners in the association’s presentation made at its 2022 annual networking dinner and award ceremony at the Grand Pavilion Building in the Rosehill Garden Raceway in NSW that was attended by 450 people.
Other award winners are the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, which won the Fleet Environment award, and Central Coast Council took the Fleet Safety award.
AfMA said that the winners were “truly deserving of praise for making great strides and exhibiting innovation and excellence in fleet management”.
“We hope you keep on inspiring other fleets and continue making a difference in our industry and beyond.”
The awards were supported by sponsors Geotab, BP Australia, Teletrac Navman, Innovation Group, Hyundai and Mix Telematics.
AfMA also thanked its major event partners and dinner networking sponsors Toyota Motor Corporation Australia and Toyota Fleet Management Australia.
In accepting the award, Mr Bickerton said: “I was honoured to be named as AfMA’s Fleet manager of the year for 2022 but I could not achieve this without the great work done by my fleet team and support from senior management.”
AfMA said that Mr Bickerton has been a strong advocate for safety and that this was central in his fleet policy introduced to cover all vehicle types including motorcycles and large line-haul prime movers.
“Australia Post operates vehicles across Australia in regional towns and major cities and I need to ensure all our team members are kept safe when behind the wheel or handlebars of our vehicles,” Mr Bickerton said.
“It goes to exhaustive lengths to ensure the vehicles are as safe as we are able to make them, adding many of the additional safety features as possible to the vehicles. We also carry out exhaustive testing and consultation with drivers prior to any vehicles taking to the road.”
He said that vehicles are also equipped with telematics to assist in better vehicle management, driver safety and maintenance.
Australia Post has introduced in-cab safety cameras for heavy vehicles in the fleet, which allows them to “work with drivers, coaching and developing them to become safer road users”.
This has reduced collision-leading risk by 64 per cent and heavy vehicle collisions by 21 per cent.
Another key aspect of managing Australia Post’s fleet is sustainability. Since 2017, it has been lowering its carbon footprint through zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) and hybrid technology.
Today, it has more than 2500 ZEV delivery vehicles which has helped reduce the impact on the environment.
Mr Bickerton’s key achievements included the introduction of fleet policy covering all vehicle types, the development and introduction of telematics and camera systems for the motorcycle and electric delivery fleet and a single-call support centre for fleet covering breakdowns, tyres, accidents and emergency management.
These have led to Australia Post recording 600 days injury free by in-house workshops, having reduced accidents in heavy vehicles and providing a safer, more reliable fleet from continued investment.
Winner of the 2022 Fleet Environmental Award was the NSW Government Department of Planning and Environment (NSW DPE) with the award accepted by senior manager of fleet operations, John Barlow.
Central to the NSW DPE’s approach is implementing an environmental fleet action plan which was designed to not only reduce emissions but to also make lasting changes.
Mr Barlow said that the department closely aligned the environmental fleet action plan to its motor vehicle policy.
“Through the use of our telematics data we have taken significant steps to right-size our fleet, it has also allowed us to address areas such as poor driving behaviour as well as vehicle idling that contributes to poor fuel efficiency,” he said.
“COVID has definitely impacted the kilometres travelled over the last few years, however we have been proactive in encouraging the use of public transport, carshare services, ridesharing through our booking system and the use of technology as a way to conduct meetings as opposed to travelling all in effort to reduce our km’s travelled.
“Vehicle purchasing is another area where we have been able to not only reduce emissions but to make lasting change. As part of our policy, we no longer order ICE vehicles and the most appropriate alternative fuel vehicle whether it be an EV or hybrid is provided.”
The NSW DPE has invested in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure with 25 EVs currently in its regional-based fleet.
“The department has invested significantly not only in vehicles but charging infrastructure at various sites where we know staff regularly travel and where EV’s can be satisfactorily used,” he said.
“With the targets we have to meet, it is important that staff have the opportunity to drive an electric vehicle as it will be the type of vehicles that they will be driving in the future.”
These efforts have resulted in significant savings for the NSW DPE in terms of fuel and road maintenance costs. It has also saved on fuel costs, received retrospective fuel tax credits, and reduced the CO2 emissions.
“The right-sizing of our fleet has resulted in savings of over $2 million a year; the fuel savings has been over $500,000 a year and we have been able to receive retrospective and on-going fuel tax credits of over $250,000,” Mr Barlow said.
“From an environmental aspect, we have reduced our carbon emissions by over 300 tonnes annually.”
Central Coast Council has been awarded the 2022 Fleet Safety Award at the AfMA ceremony.
The award was received on behalf of the council by plant and fleet unit manager Peter Armour.
The council’s director of corporate affairs and chief financial officer, Natalia Cowley, said: “Achieving this award is very special for our council, as it is clear recognition that the systems and processes implemented for our drivers are not only innovative for local government, but of a high standard, aimed to reduce risk and support a safer and more accountable system of work and driving culture. This award is something that we are all extremely proud of.”
The Central Coast Council’s dedication to establishing a safer and more efficient fleet meant implementing a wide range of initiatives including incorporating GPS and its many uses into their fleet assets including driver identification, pre-start checks and defect reporting.
“The incorporation of GPS into the fleet was an important part of the council’s fleet safety strategy, as it enabled us to begin managing the fleet in a more proactive manner than at any time in our Council’s past with the ability to easily produce safety reports in a timely manner.”
Driver training and a rigorous review process had also been a key part of the council’s safety strategy.
They have conducted GPS driver and system user training for over 800 staff members, and they continue to implement driver compliance and vehicle use reviews, which are then reported to stakeholders.
Among the Central Coast Council’s key achievements in fleet safety include implemented GPS into 620 tool of trade fleet assets; implemented crash cameras into 100 trucks with GVM greater than 10 tonnes; implemented GPS-based electronic driver identification, pre-start check and defect reporting processes; conducted GPS driver and system user training to over 800 staff; and centralised pool car management and implemented electronic vehicle booking and key access system.
Over a three-year period, it has resulted in a 49 per cent reduction in driver-at-fault as a percentage of accident claims; a 47 per cent reduction in accident rate per million kilometres; a 30 per cent reduction in average cost per accident claim; a 21 per cent reduction in distances travelled; and a 16 per cent improvement to driver pre-start check completions.
By Neil Dowling