Insufficient records lead to O-licence ban

Commercial Motor
November 23, 2018

Allscaff SW has had its O-licence revoked after it was found to be operating vehicles without keeping adequate tachograph records.

At a public inquiry (PI) in Cardiff, traffic commissioner (TC) for Wales Nick Jones was told that on 20 December 2017 a police officer stopped an Allscaff SW vehicle driven by Ronald Yull and imposed a graduated fixed penalty for drivers’ hours offences. The vehicle was not covered by insurance and seized.

Yull told police that his driver’s digital card had never been downloaded and that Allscaff SW had told him it did not have the equipment to do so and it was on order. The officer also discovered that the vehicle was being parked in Gravesend, Kent - listed as a company address - on a regular basis.

However, Allscaff SW did not have an O-licence to operate in the South East & Metropolitan traffic area, only in the Western and Welsh traffic areas. In April this year DVSA traffic examiner Gregor Bell began an investigation into the operator, which found that:

  • in December 2016 one of its HGVs was issued with an S-marked prohibition; in January 2017 one of its trucks was issued with a prohibition and in April 2018 another vehicle was issued with an S-marked prohibition;
  • vehicles also had no insurance and were used over and above the authorised amount; and
  • in November 2017 there was an incident on the M4 in south Wales when a vehicle failed to stop when required by an authorised DVSA stopping officer, and avoided detection. Allscaff SW said it had sold the truck in question. Although the TC did not make a finding that the company was the operator of the HGV that failed to stop, he was critical of the company’s failure to keep proper records regarding the disposal of its vehicles.

Yull confirmed that there were three drivers who worked out of the Gravesend site and that one of his colleagues had driven for nearly three years for Allscaff SW without his driver card being downloaded. He told the TC that for a “substantial period” there were no driver defect report cards for drivers and he had to ask for one.

Bell said he was shown some evidence to demonstrate compliance and some vehicles did have successful downloads of data. Also, the traffic examiner felt that the company appreciated the seriousness of the issues and gave assurances to him, including a promise to hire a transport consultant.

However, the firm did not send the traffic examiner any correspondence relating to possible improvements, and one vehicle had operated regularly without a vehicle excise licence for a time. Jones noted that the company did not retain sufficient tachograph records and had failed to attend the hearing to address the issues raised.

He added: “I don’t trust this operator if it doesn’t respond to serious concerns.” The TC issued a formal warning to Yull, although he noted that he had at all times been honest and co-operative with the authorities.

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