Zellwood Ltd is a family run business, set up by William Flanagan and his brother Mark in 1995 and going from strength to strength ever since. Located in North County Dublin, employing 70 drivers and 200 staff in total, and operating three depots, Zellwood is one of Ireland’s leading contract management and logistics solutions providers, specialising in temperature-controlled distribution across Ireland and the UK. Zellwood have been using CameraMatics Video based safety solutions across their fleet for over five years.
Owner William Flanagan has worked in refrigerated transport and logistics for over 30 years – 25 of them running Zellwood Ltd. He knows the industry inside out and is right at the heart of the day-to-day running of the business, getting stuck into whatever is needed.
In over a quarter century operating Zellwood, William has seen many changes to the industry. A major change has been the improvement safety procedures, from driving hours legislation to the explosion in vehicle technology. He has welcomed these and sees the safety and wellbeing of his drivers as a top priority – but they have led to a significant amount more administration and compliance. Zellwood employ three full time staff on compliance alone.
William has always been ahead of the game with regards to safety, and it is now over five years since Zellwood decided to explore equipping the trucks with camera technology.
“In this business you have to always be looking at safety, looking ahead to what can stop an accident,” says William.
We asked William what he feels are the other key benefits, besides safety, to using CameraMatics on his fleet.
The answers can be summed up in two words: visibility and protection.
Being so busy and often out on the road himself, the alerts and visibility CameraMatics gives are a real help to William and his team.
“If there’s a harsh-braking incident the CameraMatics system will automatically alert me and auto upload the footage (5 seconds before and 5 seconds after),” William says, “with just a couple of clicks we’re taken straight to the footage and can review it identify what the issue was. I can see if it was a one-off, or of there’s a pattern where a driver isn’t anticipating as well as they could do and may need some specific coaching or training.”
The system proved itself early on when it was a major help in an accident in Northern Ireland.
“The video proved we weren’t at fault. The camera showed me that our driver did everything right,” William tell us, “Insurers will almost always put the fault on the HGVs over a car driver, but the camera footage proves time and time again when my drivers are not at fault.”
The CameraMatics system has also protected Zellwood from crash for cash scams and false claims. In one incident a driver was sitting at traffic lights and the car in front kept moving forward and then quickly applying the brakes, trying to force a collision. The footage from the CameraMatics system proved it was a fraudulent claim and the company – and the driver – was exonerated of any blame.
There’s also another form of protection as the cameras act as a deterrent against theft. “The Park Mode feature is really important to us,” says William “and provides an extra layer of protection against fuel or cargo theft.”
Refrigerated transport is a non-stop operation; Zellwood’s highly trained drivers work 12-hour shifts, 4 days a week. The trucks are in almost constant use - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Zellwood serve a number of high-profile customers, including Gist (Starbucks and M&S delivery partner), DHL and Lidl. In fact, Zellwood hold the largest contract for Lidl in Ireland. Working with fresh produce brings an extra pressure to an already pressured industry. William needs his vehicles on the road to deliver the goods safely and on time to fulfil his contracts.
The Zellwood fleet covers around 30,000km each week and knowing the drivers and vehicles are protected on the road is very important to William and his team.
He needed a camera solution he could rely on to help keep his vehicles on the road - and he found it with CameraMatics. With the trucks being so heavily operated, the Proactive Email Alerts System(where our software surveys every bit of hardware on every vehicle each night and sends a report) is extremely helpful.
We asked William if he’d go back to a time before having CameraMatics across his fleet. The answer was an unequivocal “NO!”.
Going back to a life without cameras on vehicles would be like going back to life without a mobile phone! I’ve come to rely on them. They are very, very beneficial.
“What happened is there in black and white. There are no ifs and buts.”
What’s more, Zellwood’s insurers are fans of the technology too.