A timber haulier has lost its O-licence and its director has been disqualified after a public inquiry (PI) found a string of “significant failings”, including a driver using another’s digital card.
A written statement issued this week by traffic commissioner (TC) for Wales Nick Jones confirmed the revocation of the licence of Shane Jones Timber Haulage and the disqualification of director Shane Jones from holding or applying for an O-licence for 18 months.
Shane Jones also lost his repute as a transport manager and his vocational licence. The haulage firm was also found to no longer satisfy the requirement of good repute, financial standing or professional competence.
At the same PI owner driver Rowland Scott Ward, whose card Jones had borrowed, lost his repute as a transport manager and was disqualified until he passes new exams. His vocational licence was suspended, but is now reinstated. With regard to the O-licence he holds, repute was severely tarnished and the licence suspended (now reinstated). Undertakings were recorded on the licence.
The PI heard that a DVSA investigation had found a number of concerns about the two businesses. The TC’s statement said that DVSA inspector TE Bell had discovered the offences by Shane Jones.
The TC added: “The offences related to it being apparent that Shane Jones had used Rowland Scott Ward’s driver card to avoid taking appropriate daily and weekly breaks, this was denied.
"The interview was suspended to allow Shane Jones to obtain legal representation. Both written and oral evidence from TE Bell described Shane Jones as being irate.”
The PI also heard that Shane Jones “regularly parked his HGV at his home address instead of the registered operating centre”. He said that this was because he suffered from fuel theft at the operating centre.
The TC added: “It was pointed out to me by TE Bell that on “most of the occasions when offences were committed a second driver card might not have been needed, he was told by Shane Jones that he used the second card to ‘get a good start on the next week’ and ‘to pay off my debts’".
"He went on ‘I’ve put my card in, the tachograph has told me I’ve needed more rest, I’ve then put Mr Ward’s card in and loaded up. Then I put my card in and waited until the rest was up.’”
At a later date, following an analysis by a tachograph expert on Shane Jones’s behalf, he admitted to using Rowland Scott Ward’s driver card on six separate occasions.
The PI also heard that Shane Jones had been involved in domestic difficulties throughout this period and made “a number of poor judgement calls” in relation to his business.
His business also had a poor MOT first time pass rate although the TC said that the most serious offence was “the deliberate repeated use of someone else’s driver card”.
The TC said: “Positive features are that the offences were eventually admitted; in some cases use of a second driver card wasn’t needed; the operator was open before me at the public inquiry; and, the offences appeared to have flowed from the consequences of a marriage breakup. However the positive features are more than offset by the serious negative features.”