Operator wakes up and addresses failings

Chris Tindall
June 9, 2021

The traffic commissioner has allowed a partial increase in licence authority for a Norfolk haulage operator, after it addressed shortcomings in its compliance systems.

Attleborough-based Skillplane sought an increase from four HGVs to 11 and to add another operating centre in Hackford, but concerns were raised about the findings in an earlier RHA audit that revealed maintenance weaknesses, as well as a failure to inform the TC about a change in transport manager. In addition, one of the company’s lorries was stopped by the DVSA and it was found that the driver’s Driver CPC had expired two months earlier. A follow-up DVSA assessment also uncovered an initial annual test pass rate of only 60% and concerns that PMI intervals were being exceeded.

At a virtual public inquiry before TC Richard Turfitt, Skillplane director Ivan Stubbings said its drivers would all be employed in the future and not classed as self-employed. Licences would be subject to systematic checking going forwards, PMI checks had been tightened up and the operator had implemented its own driver defect reporting forms. In addition, the company had employed a transport consultant to provide regular consultancy services and assist the transport manager.

In his written decision, Turfitt said the operator had “woken up to shortcomings” and allowed an increase to seven HGVs.


About the Author

Chris Tindall

Chris Tindall started writing for the haulage and logistics industry in 2002 and quickly realised there was enough going on to keep him busy for a very long time. He’s covered a broad range of significant issues, including GPS jamming by criminals, platooning, Brexit and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the lack of safe and secure lorry parks and he helped secure the release of a lorry driver in a Polish jail due to misuse of the European Arrest Warrant.

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