Kirkcaldy haulier given four-month ban for drivers' hours and tachograph offences

digital tachograph

 

Kirkcaldy-based Peter Henderson, who trades as City Pallets, has been disqualified from holding an O-licence for four months after showing indifference to drivers’ hours and tachograph rules.

He will lose his O-licence on 11 August after failing to act on advice and formal warnings given on multiple occasions since 2010.

Henderson was called to a public inquiry (PI) following multiple roadside checks, which revealed continued incorrect use of the tachograph mode switch and poor vehicle maintenance.

Analysis of 101 charts between 1 June 2015 and 12 November 2015 found 10,846km were missing. Break offences; daily rest offences; exceeding maximum daily driving limits; and incorrect use of the mode switch were also detected.

Henderson admitted to DVSA examiners that he had not been using the mode switch and was looking into getting a vehicle fitted with a digital tachograph. He denied intentionally breaching drivers’ hours rules and intended to complete refresher training.

However, analysis of a further 204 charts revealed more insufficient daily rest, break offences, incorrect use of the mode switch, weekly rest offences and 6,171km missing mileage.

A DVSA examiner claimed it was difficult to determine if sufficient breaks had been taken as he was not recording them on the tachograph.

In March, a truck was found to be overloaded on one axle. A weight prohibition was imposed, but the load was redistributed and the prohibition was cleared.

It emerged the vehicle had been driven without a card on several occasions.

A PI last month was told Henderson did not have a company card so the vehicle unit could not have been downloaded.

He conceded that the regulations had been explained to him but he had not been following them. He had lost his digital card and started writing down what he was doing, but these records were not completed.

Scotland’s traffic commissioner (TC) Joan Aitken said Henderson was no stranger to the O-licensing requirements as he had previously attended a PI in 2010 and had received a warning letter from the Office of the Traffic Commissioner in 2014.

“Patently, he had not mended his ways in the intervening period, despite the issue of missing charts being put to him,” she said.

She suggested his lack of understanding of the drivers’ hours and tachograph rules was “deliberate and self serving”. By not keeping accurate records he had brought on suspicions of being a “fiddle”.

The standard of vehicle maintenance was also poor, with vehicles often failing their annual test.

She said: “Why should he get this pallet work? Why shouldn’t this go to other operators who know and obey the drivers’ hours rules and have their breaks and rest and get their vehicles through the annual test?”

“Mr Henderson has had chances to be compliant; he has been trusted and he has failed.”