‘Self-isolating’ director’s application refused following PI non-attendance


A St Albans-based operator that threatened the traffic commissioner’s office with legal action if it heard a case in his absence, has had his application refused following a public inquiry.

West Herts Tipper Services sought an operator license authorising 10 HGVs, but concerns over its financial standing, availability of its proposed operating centre and how it would demonstrate professional competence when its CPC holder had resigned in July, prompted the Eastern traffic area TC Richard Turfitt to call a PI.

Director Alexander De Gabriele wrote to the TC’s office to explain he was self-isolating having developed Covid-19 symptoms and was therefore unable to attend.

The TC suggested a remote hearing, but De Gabriele responded stating he was too ill to participate, and he was then asked to provide medical evidence.

In response, the director wrote: “I’ve been advised to self-isolate!

“I have not yet been tested and will not have time to do so beforehand.

“I will instruct legal council today on this matter. If you insist on dealing with this case in my absence it will be my lawyers that you here [sic] from next.”

In a written response, following a PI in the director’s absence, Turfitt said he remained to be satisfied about repute, financial standing and professional competence: “The application is refused on that basis,” he added.

“The applicant is at liberty to renew its application but will need to address all matters at issue and to do so promptly if that is to progress in future.”

Crick’s new trailer offers half as much again

Crick Trailer Sales has launched a new sliding bogie tipper trailer, claimed to offer up 50% more capacity than a rigid equivalent. 

The company alleges it can transport up to 29.5 tonnes of aggregate in its extended position, maxing out the legal 44-tonne limit, compared to the 19.7-tonnes of a conventional 8x4 rigid running at 32 tonnes.

It is fitted with an SAF Holland hydraulic drive system and the body can be shortened for manoeuvrability and stability purposes. Activated via a button in the cabin, the rear hydraulic drive axle wheels are said to offer another 600 newton metres of torque.

The company said the trailer remained stable at 8.5 degrees with a load of 28.9 tonnes during a test at MIRA.

“In recent years, articulated tipping vehicles have been gaining popularity in aggregate sector operations, as there are clear savings to be made from larger payloads and fewer journeys,” said Crick’s technical sales representative, Scott Pagano.

“The unique chassis design of the sliding bogie tipper also ensures higher levels of safety for operators and greater manoeuvrability, which makes the vehicle easier to drive.

“Now, with the addition of the hydraulic drive system from SAF Holland, our sliding bogie tipping trailer delivers the complete package when compared with an 8x4 rigid tipper. In addition to greater tipping stability, the trailer is equipped with all the extra traction operators need when faced with the most adverse off-road ground conditions.”