Authorisation cut by a third after double wheel loss

Ashleigh Wight
November 18, 2016


A company that immobilises and collects untaxed vehicles has had the authorisation at its Peterborough operation cut following a double wheel loss.

Traffic commissioner (TC) Nick Denton said practices had become lax at NSL’s Peterborough operation, particularly because its transport manager was based elsewhere and did not visit the operating centre.

The company, which holds a number of O-licences across the UK, has had its East of England O-licence curtailed from three to two vehicles for four weeks from 1 to 29 November.

Denton found that missed vehicle safety inspections, the appointment of an ineffective maintenance provider, and the lack of walk-around checks being carried out by a driver over a considerable period of time had contributed to the loss of two rear wheels from a loaded truck in May 2015.

An investigation by the DVSA into the Peterborough operation found that routine safety inspections had been missed on several occasions. Some vehicles had not been checked for 
21 weeks, rather than the eight the company had agreed to when it applied for its O-licence.

Driver defect reports showed the same defects being highlighted numerous times and such defects were also identified on vehicle inspection sheets. Furthermore, defects identified at routine safety inspections were not shown as rectified.

Forward planning of vehicle maintenance was not regularly monitored and the company changed its maintenance provider without telling the TC.

A truck was issued with a prohibition for a defective rear stop lamp at its annual test in March.

The TC found that the transport manager appointed in 2013 had not concerned himself with the O-licence at all.

He said: “Although others were in theory carrying out the tasks of the transport manager, no one at the [Peterborough] site held a CPC qualification and practices became lax.

“While I recognise the operator has instigated considerable improvements to ensure against a repetition, there remains work to be done. A more rigorous system of auditing driver defect checks is required, and needs to include the recording of such audits,” Denton added.

“Driver training needs to be enhanced – it is not always enough to provide more written material.”

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