Stobart-owned business WS Transportation has been described in court as “reckless” after it transported a crane using a trailer with axles not designed to carry the heavy load.
On Wednesday (11 September) the Runcorn company, whose directors are Edward Stobart and William Stobart, were fined £27,000 for breaking STGO regulations.
The prosecution came as the DVSA warned heavy haulage operators to follow the law or expect to be taken to court.
It said overloading and using the wrong vehicles and trailers to transport abnormal loads presented a real danger to the public and undercut lawful operators.
According to the DVSA, WS Transportation used a trailer with compensating axles that exceeded construction use weight by 75% (17,950kg).
The tyres fitted to the trailer had insufficient load rating, causing the twin trailer tyres to rub together.
The design weight of the three trailer compensating axles at 40mph was 33,000kg and this was exceeded by 27%.
The DVSA said the movement order declared to the authorities [stated] that the three trailer axles combined were not exceeding 30,000kg, but in fact they weighed 40% (11,950kg) over the declared weight.
The case follows two other recent prosecutions; Metcalfe Farms Haulage in Leyburn was fined £10,000 in June for overloading a HIAB crane articulated vehicle and not complying with STGO regulations.
Smiths (Gloucester) appeared at Swindon Magistrates’ Court in May and was fined £40,000 for overloading a vehicle and breaking its design weight and not complying with the regulations.
Marian Kitson, DVSA director of enforcement said: “Lorries have a maximum load weight for a reason. Operators and drivers are putting the public in serious danger by overloading them.
“Overloaded brakes and tyres don’t work properly, and the results can be catastrophic. That’s why we won’t hesitate in prosecuting those who put people’s lives at risk and undercut responsible operators.”
The DVSA said it would refer cases to the traffic commissioners where operators have been found not to be complying with the regulations.