TC warning for ‘big mess’ digger firm

Chris Tindall
June 2, 2021

An operator who created a “mess” while attempting to regularise its position as a haulier by transferring from a sole trader to a limited company has had its application granted, but with a warning.

Sole trader Graham Byrne, trading as GB Digger Hire, submitted an application for GB Digger Hire Ltd, after taking advice from accountants and legal representatives. However, confusion arose about the status of the Norwich-based operator, with a cheque lodged to cover the licence renewal fee in the name of the limited business and the wrong letter-headed paper used in other paperwork.

In a letter from solicitors to the office of the traffic commissioners, it said sole trader GB Digger Hire owned all the assets but that upon accountancy advice “for both protection and future planning” it was decide the business, which operated six HGVs and three trailers, should be incorporated, with the division of assets being made between the sole trader and GB Digger Hire Ltd.

In his written decision, TC Richard Turfitt said that by putting the advice of accountants and others above specialist advice on its O-licence, the operator had created a mess and then, by seeking to operate under “contorted arrangements for cross invoicing”, they then created an even bigger mess.

“I am satisfied that these arrangements arose from ignorance on the part of the operator and director, but they cannot be repeated,” the TC said.

He granted the application, but with a warning about the way it had been operating.

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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