Allscaff refused O-licence after it ran trucks illegally

A scaffolding business that ran severely overloaded trucks without an O-licence has been declared “entirely unfit” to become an operator by traffic commissioner (TC) Nick Denton.

Gravesend, Kent-based Anthony Graves, who trades as Allscaff, had his application for an O-licence refused after the business was discovered operating two untaxed and uninsured HGVs when stopped by DVSA examiners last July. The trucks were not specified on any O-licence.

Checks found that both vehicles were overloaded, one of which - driven by Graves - was 45% over the limit. Graves also did not have the correct entitlement on his driving licence for the 7.5-tonne truck he was in.

The TC found there was substantial evidence to suggest that Graves was a front for Chris Ball, a revoked operator whose vehicles had previously been impounded for illegal operation. A second driver stopped by the DVSA said he received instructions from Ball, and the vehicle he was driving was registered to C Ball Scaffolding.

Bank statements supplied with Allscaff’s O-licence application appeared to show that Ball was its main funder.

The prospective operator failed to attend a public inquiry in Eastbourne last month.

The TC concluded:  “I find that Mr Graves has knowingly operated on more than one occasion without an operator’s licence and has operated severely overloaded vehicles which were not taxed or insured. He himself drove a 7.5 tonne vehicle without being licensed to do so.”

Northside successful at Mercedes-Benz van awards

Mercedes-Benz dealer Northside Truck & Van has won six of the 12 main prizes at the manufacturer’s annual Van Academy Awards.

In a ceremony held at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, the dealer came out top in the Retailer of the Year, Sales, Fleet Sales, Business Development (covering operators with between 25 and 250 vehicles), Used Van Performance and After Sales categories.

Northside sold more than 5,000 new and used Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Vito and Citan models from its network of seven branches in 2015.

The company’s retail and business development sales figures were both up by 50%, while it also supplied vans to 26% more customers than in the previous year.

Northside MD Tim Ward said: “The awards we’ve won cover both sales and aftersales, so demonstrate our strength in depth across the board.”