Gate Checks during COVID-19

30 Jun 2020

How deliveries are accepted onto site has changed since the outbreak of Covid-19. But how much and will things ever be the same again? We talked to two of our CLOCS Champions - a Principal Contractor and a Fleet Operator - about how this issue is being tackled at the Gate.

For many, managing Covid-19 transmission risk has slowed things down on site because of maintaining social distancing. In some instances, the capacity in the delivery bays is reduced in order to allow larger vehicles and the correct walk-around distance - enabling the Gate Check process to continue (i.e. inspected in and out again) but only one HGV can be permitted on site at a time.

HGV drivers are asked to remain in their cabs while the Gate Team walk around doing their CLOCS vehicle safety checks, which some projects have said makes things easier to manage during peak times. Photographs of advisory sheets are taken if required, scanned and returned to the supply chain partner.

SGV (smaller goods vehicle) drivers will unload their own deliveries (furniture, fixtures and fittings for example) but will often travel in teams of two or three. There is then a reliance on the respective supply chain partners being as stringent with their own transmission risk reduction policies; and hope pinned on the fact that these colleagues are timetabled to always work together on shift.

The most significant day-to-day difference since C-19 has been no more signing of paper. Gate teams and drivers recognise that a ‘physical’ exchange is no longer appropriate - so no more sharing pens, handing over tablets and clipboards or socialising during drop-offs. Becoming paperless has long been desirable but not always achievable. For some smaller delivery companies, paper is still required. In this case, some sites have a designated box at the Gate where delivery notices are stored for up to 48 hours before being handled and processed.

Further changes:

  • Many are already using online delivery systems, with approval processes in advance of every delivery to a project becoming even more strict.
  • Visiting Driver Inductions are kept to a minimum, in many cases only once - with many drivers being photographed holding their signed documents, which are stored electronically on the gate system, to be used as reference the next time that person delivers.
  • The Gate is making verbal agreements to sign the delivery note of behalf of Drivers or vice versa. These are scanned or photographed and returned to the Haulier.

It is difficult to ascertain the long-term impact of Covid-19. We are still ‘rolling with the punches’ trying to keep up with the everchanging Government guidelines. People are still deciding what the new normal will look like.