Heywood, Greater Manchester, based Schofield Haulage has had its national licence for 17 vehicles and 17 trailer revoked.
The company and its sole director Simon Schofield were disqualified from holding an O-licence for five years, after he failed to appear before Traffic Commissioner (TC) Simon Evans at a Golborne public inquiry (PI).
The TC said that a minute before the hearing was due to start Schofield was telephoned. He said he would not be attending and had not thought of notifying the commissioner. When told action could be taken he replied that he would like to keep the company’s licence.
Vehicle examiner Mohammed Saddique said that he had carried out an investigation after one of the company’s vehicles was given an ‘S’ marked prohibition last August for having an AdBlue emulator device fitted. The device told the engine that AdBlue was not necessary and it also showed the AdBlue tank gauge as if it contained AdBlue.
When interviewed, Simon Schofield had said that the vehicle concerned had had problems with the AdBlue system and he was told it would cost over £1,000 to have it sorted out. He was unable to say who had fitted the device but admitted that he had arranged to have it fitted.
Asked whether other vehicles had had emulators fitted he had said about half the fleet.
The company’s former transport manager Stuart Jones said that he had been unaware of the ‘S’ marked prohibition. When he queried why the vehicle stopped in August had two MoT certificate in one year, Schofield told him that an emulator had been fitted.
When he asked how many vehicles had them fitted, he claimed that Schofield had said all of them. He therefore decided that it was time to get out.
In reply to the TC, Jones said that he would not know what to look for to check for such devices. He alleged that Schofield had said that the company was saving £600 to £800 a week in AdBlue.
The TC concluded that it was entirely appropriate to exclude the company and Simon Schofield from the industry.
By Michael Jewell