Hearse struck by wheel that came off William Tracey refuse truck

Ashleigh Wight
July 11, 2016


Recycling firm William Tracey has had its O-licence curtailed for 10 weeks after two wheels fell off one of its refuse collection vehicles. The operator had its O-licence authorisation cut from 144 to 121 vehicles, leaving it without a margin, for 10 weeks from 19 June.

Traffic commissioner (TC) for Scotland Joan Aitken’s decision followed an incident in which the two nearside rear wheels came off a truck as it left the M8. One hit a hearse and the other travelled into the central reservation on the M8.

The driver, who had worked at the firm for just over a month, had not completed his daily walk-around checks and had not re-torqued the wheels as per instructions given after one of them was removed and cleaned the day before.

In May the Paisley-based operator told a public inquiry (PI) that the driver, William Brownlie, had received induction training and was taken on as an experienced driver. However, the TC found that the sheets that showed the driver had been trained were “flawed” because they appeared to show he had received the training before he had officially started the role.

The driver was dismissed on the day of the incident. Director Michael Tracey told the PI it was regrettable the driver had been dismissed on the spot because it left the company without information about the incident.

Prohibitions were issued for a road spring fracture, due to the type of work the company carries out, and an oil leak. However, the TC looked favourably on the operator’s forward planning system, maintenance facilities and above average first-time pass rate at annual test. She said: “Had there been proper wheel security processes the loss of these wheels would not have happened.

“This will serve as a marker to the operator of the seriousness of adhering to the licence undertakings and that compliance measures have to be credible,” she added.


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