DTC told to stick operator licence “where the sun don’t shine”

Commercial Motor
March 21, 2024

 Charles R. Benedict, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

A Swadlincote operator who told a deputy traffic commissioner to stick his operator licence “where the sun don’t shine” has been kicked out of the industry.

Sole trader Robert Wainwright lost his temper with DTC Nicholas Denton at a Cambridge public inquiry after he was questioned about his fleet’s “exceptionally high” MOT failure rate and the number of vehicle prohibitions that were twice the national average.

The operator and transport manager appeared at the PI after a DVSA investigation was initiated following a roadside stop of one of its HGVs.

The driver admitted to driving without a tacho card on 10 occasions within the previous 28 days and the vehicle received an immediate prohibition for defective brakes.

Subsequent findings by the enforcement agency revealed that the truck had been driven for more than 1,500km without a card on 48 occasions over a five-month period and many of these instances were to cover up driving for more than the legal time limit.

Wainwright’s trucks had also attracted eight prohibitions from 20 encounters in five years, of which five were immediate and the MOT failure rate was 67%.

Questioned about this at the PI, Wainwright said he was very cautious about safety; he had been in the industry for 40 years and his vehicles had always been in a good condition.

He added that the DVSA was “always out to find fault” and the reason PMI sheets for one of his 16-year-old vehicles did not record any defects was because he recorded its condition after he had repaired it.

The DTC said: “When I suggested that the PMI records were not a true picture of the condition of the vehicle, Mr Wainwright invited me to ‘stick your operator licence where the sun don’t shine.’

“Mr Wainwright, to do him justice, calmed down thereafter and accepted that he might be a bit stubborn.”

A few days after the PI, Wainwright emailed the inquiry clerk stating that the DVSA and the DTC had turned “everything into a major drama” and he was surrendering his licence before they gave him a heart attack.

Denton did not accept the surrender and in his written decision he said the operator lacked the financial standing for four lorries:

“I was not impressed by the fact that he sought to blame everyone but himself for the predicament he was in,” he added.

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