Traffic commissioner (TC) Joan Aitken has refused to grant the return of two impounded HGVs to a Dyce, Aberdeen-based rental firm after finding that it handed them over to a company that did not have an O-licence.
The TC for Scotland (pictured) was also unconvinced that Rennie & Nicol Commercials was the legitimate owner of the vehicles, as it could not provide any paperwork to evidence its claim.
The trucks were detained along with another truck, which was owned by another firm, on 28 March, after the DVSA was informed they were being used an unlicensed operator. The company operating the vehicles, Hendry Aberdeen, had its interim O-licence suspended in June last year, and has subsequently had its application for a new one turned down.
DVSA and HMRC examiners also discovered that the trucks were running on red diesel.
Keith Nicol, director at two of the trucks’ alleged owner Rennie & Nicol Commercials, told the DVSA that he assumed Hendry Aberdeen had an O-licence as he had dealt with director Ian Hendry for a significant period of time.
Nicol claimed that the rental firm was in the process of selling two of the trucks to Hendry, who was their previous owner.
However, Hendry claimed he wanted to carry out some maintenance work on them before they were put on the road.
Rennie & Nicol director Bill Rennie claimed that the registration documents still showed Hendry Aberdeen as the vehicles’ keeper.
The TC said she was not satisfied that Rennie & Nicol was the lawful owner of the HGVs, and believed it bought the trucks from an auction house on Hendry Aberdeen’s behalf.
The trucks had previously been repossessed when Henry Aberdeen lost its O-licence.
"There were numerous clues which would have put an honest and reasonable person in the motor trade and road haulage industry on notice that something wrong was underway,” said Aitken. “[Rennie & Nicol Commercials], by delivering those vehicles to Hendry, facilitated unlawful operation for without vehicles there could be no operation.”