Traction hauliers question faults case decision

Traction hauliers have questioned how they can be held responsible for hidden faults on their customers’ trailers after a company got its knuckles rapped by a Traffic Commissioner.

Deputy TC Simon Evans issued a formal warning to Morecambe-based JM Gorry & Son after hearing it had received a string of prohibitions issued to vehicles and trailers used by the firm.

The haulier had argued that the S-marked prohibitions were for faults undetectable by his driver at a first use check, but the TC said if it was unsatisfied with the arrangements then it should cease working for the client.

Craig Kirwin, owner of Craig Kirwin Transport in Scunthorpe, said it had received two delayed prohibitions from Vosa after his drivers had done a walk round inspection.

“We got one GV9 for a broken slack adjuster,” he said. “It was still working but there was a crack in it. There is no way on God’s earth a driver can climb under the vehicle and check things like that.

“If it’s something you can’t see, like a crack in the disc or a leak in the brake line then unless we took all the trailer apart I don’t know what else we can do.”

The Road Haulage Association said it wanted trailer owners to share the responsibility of maintenance; RHA policy director Jack Semple added it is making gradual progress on this issue: “We were discussing the issue with members again at a meeting this week. The discussion brought out strongly both the difficulties involved and the desirability of making progress. We have widened the scope of our discussions to include rented vehicles, where there are related issues.”

The Office of the Traffic Commissioners did not respond.