Recycling firm that had never performed a tachograph download has O-Licence removed

 

West Midlands firm Autoplas Recycling has had its O-licence revoked and two directors have been disqualified for a year from January 22.

The decision by West Midlands traffic commissioner Nick Denton follows a public inquiry which heard about several offences and breaches of regulations by the Handsworth company, which held a restricted licence.

Denton heard from the DVSA that one vehicle stopped last May was displaying the disc of another operator and the tachograph downloaded at this check showed several instances of the truck being driven without a card.

A follow up investigation found that director Krishan Lal knew nothing about the requirement for downloading drivers’ cards and tachograph units. None had ever been performed.

An interview with the driver established that he often drove without a card in order to fit all his work in.

He also drove the truck for his personal business without the knowledge of the operator. The same driver committed repeated several 4.5 hour offences.

Despite the inspection in May last year the same vehicle was still not specified on the licence when DVSA examiner Tracy Love visited the operator in September.

Lal admitted at the PI that he knew very little about the responsibilities of an HGV operator. He said had been busy with other things, developing the business. Affordability had also been an issue, he added.

Arun Luther, a transport consultant who represented the company at the inquiry, accepted that the company had not been complying with the regulations.

He added that a new director, Rakesh Kumar, had been brought in to help and the firm hoped to bring compliance up the expected standard by the end of January.

However, the TC noted at the inquiry that according to Companies House records, Kumar has been a director since 2011.

Denton said: “He therefore appears to be part of the compliance problem, rather than its solution.”

The TC added that he approved of the company concluding a contract with Greenman for tachograph analysis and maintenance “but these developments are far too little far too late”.

He said that the firm’s directors needed to build up their knowledge of licensing before applying for an O-licence again.

In the meantime any Autoplas Recycling vehicle carrying goods on public roads is liable to be impounded.