Director claims dad made him break the law


An operator who claimed he had “a domineering father” who made him add a vehicle to his O-licence so that it could be operated by another company, has now been disqualified. TC Nick Denton said Simon Jewkes deserved to go out of business and that there was no place in the industry for him, following a virtual public inquiry.

A vehicle apparently belonging to Jewkes International was stopped by DVSA officers at Leatherhead, who found that its tachograph unit had never been downloaded, despite being on its licence for two years. Further inquiries revealed that the vehicle was not being operated by Jewkes, but had been rented out to a friend. Checks showed that the HGV had been registered to a company called Speedwell Transport, which did not possess an O-licence. The DVSA then discovered another vehicle specified on Jewkes’s licence had been registered to ASG Industries since 2014 and one of its directors was Jewkes’s uncle.

The enforcement agency concluded that the two lorries were not being run by Jewkes International and he was effectively lending his licence out to entities not entitled to operate. At the virtual PI, Jewkes accepted this was the case and that he had nothing to do with the vehicles.

In his written decision, TC Denton said Jewkes had claimed he had a domineering father who had persuaded him to put the lorry on the uncle’s licence. The other vehicle was rented out to help “a friend out of a pickle”. He had not considered he was doing anything wrong, but he now knew that to be incorrect.

But Denton said he did not accept this: “He was fully aware that he had specified vehicles on his licence but that he had no knowledge of or control over their maintenance, who was driving them, whether tachograph units and driver cards were being downloaded,” he said. “He cannot possibly have thought this to be acceptable.”

The TC said Jewkes could not be trusted to comply in the future and his actions constituted “grossly unfair competition against those operators who comply with the law”. He revoked the licence and disqualified Jewkes indefinitely as both a transport manager and a director.

Alexa, what's the latest from Iveco?

It may not feel like it to UK operators, who have only recently started receiving their first examples, but Iveco’s S-WAY has been around for two years, long enough for it to get its first mid-life update. This brings improved fuel efficiency and increased connectivity, including Amazon Alexa compatibility.

The biggest mechanical changes are to the engines, which comply with the latest Euro-6e emissions standard and feature improved efficiency thanks to a higher compression ratio and improved combustion management.

The S-WAY is now available with two new ratings for the Cursor 13, 490hp, claimed to be the optimal TCO version for long-haul operation, and 530hp, with the top rating remaining at 570hp. Following the current trend for down-speeding, the S-WAY now has a new higher efficiency single reduction axle, with ratios as long as 2.31:1.

Inside, there’s a new Eco mode for the automatic air-conditioning, while a new design of cover for the A-pillars improves the aerodynamics. Iveco claims these changes combine to produce a fuel saving up to 3%, paying back the price rise of 1-1.5% within the first year.

The star of the S-WAY’s connectivity is the Iveco Driver Pal, a voice command system. Based on the Alexa system, this offers all the functions you would in a home-based application, together with an exclusive Iveco MYIVECO skill. This allows voice control of many aspects of the truck’s operation, not only driving support, infotainment and navigation functions, but access to vehicle status and driving style evaluation information, as well as communication with Iveco’s Control Room in case of problems.

Another of Alexa’s skills is MYCOMMUNITY, giving access to a community of other users to share essential information such as the latest traffic or weather conditions on the road, automatically translated into one of the five major European languages.

Driver Pal is also available on a revised Daily range, which features new memory foam seats, a new six-speed manual gearbox, and the new AIR-PRO intelligent air suspension system.