‘Total ignorance’ spells revocation for scaffolder


A St Neots scaffolding company with “one of the worst scores” a TC had ever seen in a DVSA assessment has had its licence revoked.

Crusaders Scaffolding appeared before TC Richard Turfitt at a Cambridge PI after concerns were raised that the operator was using an unauthorised operating centre in Southampton. Following an interview with company director Gary Driver, DVSA officers said the firm had “a near total absence of suitable compliance systems”. There were no maintenance arrangements, driver defect reporting or forward planning and safety inspections were not being managed.

Driver admitted that he thought scaffolders were exempt from tachograph requirements and that he had relied on an unauthorised centre to park his vehicle because he was getting more work away from the Eastern traffic area. In addition, transport consultant Graham Doughty acknowledged that Driver’s knowledge was “lacking to the point of total ignorance”

TC Turfitt said the case fell within the ‘severe’ category and that it was “a bad case where the examiners noted very little in terms of compliance systems.” In his written decision, he said that a desk based assessment carried out shortly before the PI showed little evidence that systems subsequently put in place were working, but that changes were being made.

The TC said: “I have heard about the increasing work on the south coast. There has been no application to address the fact that the vehicle is regularly being kept overnight when not in use at a depot where there is no authority and in another traffic area. There are promises to correct that. I was told that any action beyond a few weeks would jeopardise the entire business but that would not reflect the seriousness of the failings nor the current position.”

He added that the operator was not fit to hold a licence but that his intervention was designed to “provide a limited opportunity to demonstrate whether it and its single director can deliver the basic requirements of the operator’s licence.” As a result, he decided not to disqualify the operator, but he revoked the licence and said if it could demonstrate it was capable of ensuring compliance then a new application might be granted.

New Roger Dyson-bodied Mercedes-Benz Atego for Alpha Recovery

Cramlington-based Alpha Recovery has invested in a new Mercedes-Benz Atego 1530 16-tonner with a Roger Dyson recovery body.

The SLA (super-low approach) car transporter bodywork is designed to slide clear of the chassis and lie close to the ground, giving an approach angle of less than 5 degrees, allowing sports cars with low clearance to be loaded without damage. While one vehicle can be carried on the sliding bed, a lifting section accommodates a second, and a third can be towed using a spectacle lift. It has a payload capacity of 6 tonnes, giving it the capacity to easily carry two large SUVs.

The 300hp Atego, which was supplied by Bell Truck and Van, features a ClassicSpace cab with optional third seat.

“It’s a great piece of kit,” says recovery manager Simon Narey, “well built and comfortable to drive, while also providing a solid platform for the recovery equipment. We can’t afford to run breakdown trucks that break down themselves, but we know from experience that we can always depend on an Atego. The new truck looks great in our high-visibility livery too.”