Compliance failures end in licence revocation
A Surrey operator who attempted to mislead the DVSA and a traffic commissioner into believing he had ceased trading and was only using lorries for his own purposes, has had his licence revoked.
Deputy TC John Baker said he had considered disqualifying William Creasy, who traded out of Godstone, but decided not to after taking into account his 24 years as an operator licence holder.
A maintenance investigation into Creasy’s firm was carried out after an incident in which one of his vehicles was issued with a prohibition for a loose wheel nut.
It was also noted that the lorry had no MOT and a fixed penalty was issued to him for failing to use a tachograph card or chart.
The subsequent investigation revealed “a complete absence of systems for driver’s walk round checks, no preventative maintenance inspection records and confusion over the number of vehicles authorised” on the licence.
Creasy claimed he had ceased trading 16 months earlier and that he only used the vehicles for his farm and stables.
However, further checks found three of his HGVs were registered by ANPR cameras on 38 different dates between January and April 2020.
At an Eastbourne PI, Creasy told DTC Baker that although he had done “a lot wrong”, he always maintained his vehicles to a good standard.
After further questioning, he admitted he had carried out work for other people.
In a written decision, the DTC said Creasy had failed to observe the rules relating to vehicle inspections and drivers’ hours for a considerable amount of time:
“Whilst I accept that he may have maintained his vehicles to an acceptable standard most of the time this is insufficient for compliance to be demonstrated in a modern regulatory regime,” the DTC said.
“In addition, he attempted to mislead the DVSA officer and me into believing that his vehicles had not been used for anything but his own business purposes for a considerable period.”
DTC Baker said that the gap between what Creasy demonstrated in compliance terms and what is required was “extreme” and so he had to revoke his licence:
“As Mr Creasy is the transport manager, I also find that he has lost his repute in this regard,” he added.
Used Scania S Series: 12 potential problems
The first time we looked at a used new generation Scania was in autumn 2018, so those faults we did find included a fair number of “teething troubles”, which will either have been fixed or won’t have occurred in the first place on later examples.
That was still only 18 months ago, however, so we’ve left some of them on our updated list, simply so potential buyers can be aware what might have needed doing, and can check it has been done.
If a headlight is cracked, be aware the complete unit must be purchased to rectify, rather than just the glass.
Windscreens are prone to cracking, which the operators concerned suspect is down to cab flex. Check if this has happened in the past before buying – if so, it may well happen again.
Instances of the mountings and suspension at the rear of the cab coming loose.
4. Leaf springs
Reports of front leaf springs snapping on two out of three of one operator’s new generation vehicles.
5. Power steering
Issues where the hydraulic pipe leading from the main power steering pump has failed.
Various gearbox problems have been reported, particularly issues with the layshaft brake, designed to enable quicker gear changes. The most common fault shows itself when changes going up through the gears become noticeably slower, a warning that failure is imminent.
Fridges sometimes cease functioning without warning or obvious cause. Also, warn drivers NOT to slam the fridge shut, as the frame at the back then breaks and rattles. This may well be the rattle we heard on our test truck, but it will have been rectified before sale.
Issues with the electro-hydraulic second steer-axle where the pump has failed. Also, some problems with the control box have been reported, though these have been rectified under warranty.
9. Air leak
Continuous slow air leaks appearing on various valves.
10. Air dryer
Multiple examples of air dryers having failed.
Several cases reported where the DPF failed to regenerate effectively, with the result that the entire unit became clogged with white powder.
12. Infotainment system
Reports that the infotainment system regularly freezes on some trucks, and then needs completely resetting to rectify. It has been suggested this is due to the placement of the heater ducting behind the units concerned.