Midlands operator RM Commercials has had its O-licence suspended for 28 days from 1 July after a public inquiry (PI) heard of a string of offences, including running a vehicle with an AdBlue emulator.
The emulator was identified after a roadside stop last November.
The PI in Birmingham heard that the firm, based in Stone, Staffordshire, was also failing to complete safety inspection records, had a poor annual test pass rate, and an ineffective driver defect reporting system.
The PI was told that at an earlier roadside stop, in June 2017, it was found that a driver had driven without a tachograph card for one hour and 40 minutes three days previously in an attempt to disguise a daily driving hours offence.
On five further occasions one driver’s card had been inserted into the tachograph unit very shortly after another’s had been withdrawn.
Another visit to the operator in August last year found that no data had been downloaded from either driver cards or vehicle units.
Proprietor Richard Morrin told the DVSA in April that none of his first three transport managers had been effective. He was now handing the job over to Derick Lewis, who was booked on a course to understand how to use the appropriate software.
The company also organised an audit by transport consultant Christopher Davis in May. His conclusion was that the new transport manager had started to put systems in place to improve compliance.
Solicitor Harry Bowyer, acting for RM Commercials, accepted that most of the operator’s effort had been made since the call to PI, but said this was better than waiting for the inquiry itself. He said the company had not been aware of the AdBlue emulator.
The company must also undertake an independent compliance audit.