A Northampton haulier has escaped with a two-week licence curtailment after one of its vehicles was involved in a wheel loss incident.
Eastern area traffic commissioner Richard Turfitt explained that Weedon-based international haulier Drinkwater was only now starting to recover from the lockdown period and it had provided significant mitigation in terms of the actions taken since the wheel loss incident in December 2019. The vehicle received an S-marked prohibition and inspections showed that the wheel hub was damaged and the washers were loose enough to be turned using fingers. An unannounced follow-up visit to the operator’s premises by a vehicle examiner also found PMI forms not filled in correctly; a lack of facilities for the maintenance contractor to carry out weekly inspections and an absence of roller brake tests.
However, Drinkwater said systems were now in place to prevent the identified shortcomings; daily defect reports would be adopted going forward; Tapley brake testing would take place every six weeks and a roller brake tester used quarterly.
In his written decision, TC Turfitt acknowledged the efforts carried out by the firm, whose director is David Drinkwater and transport manager Lee Drinkwater, but he added: “However, the fact that the most serious infringement occurred in the first place inevitably damages the repute of the operator and its transport manager. The risk materialised in the form of a wheel-loss shows there is a need for deterrent action to ensure future compliance. The licence will be curtailed by one vehicle for a period of 14 days.”