It’s a challenge for many fleet managers to decide how best to ensure that their trucks and trailers ‘stand out from the crowd’ and are visible in all weather conditions for the safety of all road users.

The DfT’s Chapter 8 guidelines will help as they specify the minimum requirement and best practice for chevrons used on the rears of work vehicles stopping on or using the UK’s highways. Although not a legal requirement, ignoring Chapter 8 guidelines can have serious consequences for operators judged to be negligent in terms of conspicuity in the event of accident.

Many operators also adopt ECE104 regulations, covering the use of retro-reflective safety markings on HGVs, the standard of the reflective materials that should be used and how they should be positioned on the front, side or rear of vehicles or trailers.

Using the recommended materials for livery to optimise reflectivity is something all fleet operators should be aware of. Rear chevrons should no longer be manufactured from RA1 and RA2 level reflective materials as these no longer meet the required level of reflectivity for vehicles on roads with speed limits over 40mph.

In England the recommendation now is that Class R3B retroreflective materials should be used on vehicles working on higher speed roads as these benefit from reflective properties that optimise vehicle visibility to other road users in all weather conditions; in Scotland and Wales it is mandatory to use Class R3B retroreflective materials.

Staying up-to-date with this changing conspicuity environment is not easy, so at Bluelite Group we set up a specialist commercial vehicle markings division – – some years ago to offer fleet operators of every size an easy route to specifying and ordering approved markings and chevrons.