Company director banned from operating vehicles after failing to follow 'basic rules'

Commercial Motor
January 5, 2018


The director of a West Bromwich civil engineering firm has been banned from operating commercial vehicles for two years.

Liam McGilloway, director of Danson (Midlands), appeared before West Midlands traffic commissioner (TC) Nick Denton in Birmingham, where the firm’s O-licence was revoked.

Denton found that Liam McGilloway failed to adhere to basic rules, resulting in one employee driving an articulated vehicle without the right licence and a vehicle being found with all 10 wheel nuts loose on one of its wheels.

Addressing the loose wheel nuts at the public inquiry (PI), Liam McGilloway said that he kept a mental record of wheels that had been removed, instead of using a proper “wheel off” and torque register.

He had previously told DVSA that a written record could be used against him by the agency.

Denton described this lack of proper records as “astonishing” and also noted that the driver failed to identify the loose wheel nuts before starting his journey, despite the fact that the wheel nut indicator device was severely distorted.

Denton said: “The public has the right to expect that a medium-sized operator with a standard licence for 16 vehicles will have someone who is professionally competent overseeing operations and ensuring compliance.”

The TC said his approach was partly responsible for a number of compliance issues, including the loose wheel nuts; a driver recording numerous instances of driving more than 4.5 hours without break; the company’s failure to download driver cards or vehicle units; and an offence where a trailer was found to be 16% overloaded.

He concluded that the firm’s named transport manager, John McGilloway, was effectively an absentee name-only occupier of the role.

Denton said that Liam McGilloway had arrogantly assumed he could operate without a qualified transport manager and had “scant regard” for the basic legal requirement of professional competence.

The TC said: “There is no evidence John McGilloway [the transport manager] has ever exercised any of his functions or been present at the operator.

He was not there during any DVSA visits; when he was supposed to be present for a meeting it was cancelled the day before by Liam McGilloway; he was not present during an audit [conducted in September 2017]; he did not attend the PI or contact me to explain why not.

“There is no doubt from the audit report that Vincent Hutchins [the auditor] thought he was dealing with the transport manager and consequently marked the operator as having a transport manager. Liam McGilloway never corrected that erroneous impression,” he added.

Denton added that in practice Danson (Midlands) had been without a qualified transport manager since at least March 2017.

On balance, the TC concluded that Liam McGilloway had knowingly operated without professional competence.

As well as the operating ban on Liam McGilloway and the O-licence revocation, John McGilloway was disqualified indefinitely from acting as transport manager.

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