'Dog destroyed my DVSA drivers' hours letter' says operator

An operator who racked up a “catalogue of incidents of concern” , including a 100% vehicle prohibition rate and using vehicles not covered by an MoT, has had its licence revoked and been disqualified.

Simon Evans, traffic commissioner (TC) for the North West of England (pictured), said severe regulatory action was justified against sole trader Nathan Jones.

Jones ran one vehicle and three trailers and had applied to increase his authorisation to three HGVs and three trailers, but he was called to a public inquiry (PI) amid allegations of using more vehicles on his licence than were permitted.

A vehicle examiner stopped one of Jones’ vehicles at another operator’s yard and it received an immediate prohibition for a seriously under-inflated tyre.

The trailer was also given an immediate S-marked prohibition for a tyre worn far beyond the legal limit. It then was discovered that neither the vehicle nor the trailer had a current MoT test in force. In addition the vehicle was not listed on Jones’ O-licence, something he described as an “oversight” .

Furthermore, he had no driver card and he had wrongly believed a printout at the end of the day would suffice instead. Two months later another encounter with DVSA officers found that the driver qualification card being used had expired. The vehicle being driven attracted prohibitions for damaged brake discs and it was also discovered that once again it had not been specified on the licence.

A second vehicle stopped by the DVSA on the same day and belonging to Jones displayed no disc and attracted an immediate S-marked prohibition for having a seriously under-inflated tyre. A letter was issued to Jones from the DVSA demanding drivers’ hours and tachograph records, but he denied ever receiving it and claimed his dog could have destroyed it.

At the PI, Jones said he’d taken steps to demonstrate compliance, but the TC concluded that he could not be trusted to operate the licence compliantly.

In a written decision, TC Evans said: “I conclude that the argument that matters have improved is not substantiated on the evidence. There has been an abject failure to provide any corroboration that this is the case, or to provide the majority of the information required for the hearing. Bearing in mind the licence has been in force for only 10 months, there has been a substantial number of prohibitions and fixed penalties. Management control has been ineffective across a full range of issues – maintenance, compliance systems, and drivers’ hours.”

The operator was disqualified for 30 months.

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Nine applications and decisions from Scotland for April

New applications granted for Abnormal Load Engineering, Allen Transport and Bibby Supply Chain Services caught our attention this week.

  • Stafford-based Abnormal Load Engineering has been granted a licence authorising three HGVs to operate out of the MACC Business Park in Machrihanish, Argyll.
  • Chard S has been granted a licence to run a truck from an operating centre in Uddington, Glasgow.
  • Bibby Supply Chain Services has been granted a new licence authorising five vehicles and 25 trailers out of a new operating centre on Fraser Road, Livingston. 
  • Allen Transport in Aberdeen has been granted a licence to operate 12 HGVs and two trailers out of the base in Dyce.
  • Sparrows Offshore Services in Aberdeen has upgraded its restricted operators’ licence to a standard national one, authorising three trucks and a trailer.
  • Ulpha Dairy Transport in Stranraer has been granted a new authorisation and can now operate 10 trucks and 20 trailers.
  • Fishers Services has been granted a variation to its licence at its Inveralmond Industrial Estate operating centre in Perth and can now run 18 HGVs and four trailers.
  • McLeish International Logistics in Largs has successfully applied to upgrade its licence from standard national to standard international.
  • Ord Industrial & Commercial Supplies can now run five vehicles and two trailers out of a new operating centre on the Pond Industrial Estate in Bathgate.

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