A plant hire and muckaway operator has had its licence cut by one lorry for two weeks after relying on an unauthorised operating centre and evidence emerged of vehicle inspection failings.
Corn Plant Hire was subject to a DVSA maintenance investigation after one of its vehicles was involved in a fatal collision in November 2019. The vehicle examiner found that the operator and sole director Patrick Lavin could not demonstrate up to date knowledge of O-licence requirements; there was no evidence of brake performance assessments on some safety inspection reports and unauthorised use of an operating centre.
The company appeared before traffic commissioner Richard Turfitt at a Cambridge public inquiry and Lavin explained that it was using an unauthorised base in Bedford due to increased criminal activity at its site in Luton. Since the investigation, the director and his office manager had attended O-licence awareness training and forward planning had been overhauled, with regular downloads of vehicle units and driver cards.
However, TC Turfitt also heard how a vehicle had been fitted with the wrong tyre size and the last valid annual test for one of its trailers had expired in 2017, which suggested a repeated and continuing failure to inspect vehicles to required standards. He acknowledged that the firm had made changes, but added that the case fell into the “moderate” category and curtailed the licence.