Drivers caught in Operation Tramline

An HGV driver has been given a £900 on-the-spot fine after police in North Yorkshire stopped him from driving to Dover in a vehicle found to have extensive collision damage.

Officers from the force used an unmarked lorry to give them a clear view of road users breaking the law as part of Operation Tramline last month.

They said the vast majority of motorists were “overwhelmingly responsible” but a number were stopped for various incidents.

The Dover-bound driver was in a European-registered HGV and his vehicle was prohibited by DVSA officers.

Among other incidents, a light commercial vehicle driver was pulled over for using his mobile phone on day one of the operation and three days later was stopped again for driving his vehicle in a dangerously overloaded condition.

In another incident, a disqualified driver of an overweight van and trailer was also found using his phone at the wheel.

Traffic Constable Mark Patterson said: “By using the unmarked truck on loan from Highways England, we can check all drivers are following the rules of the road and not doing anything that could distract them, such as using a handheld mobile phone.

“HGV, van and coach drivers are professionals, but even the professionals make mistakes sometimes, which can have catastrophic results in such a heavy vehicle.

“It is important to note, however, that this operation was not designed to target HGV drivers and in fact the results show that an equal number of goods and private vehicles were dealt with.”

Torus whips up a Terrastorm with MAN TGE-derived off-roader

You may not be very familiar with Torsus—but the Czech Republic-based company is rapidly building a name for itself as a manufacturer of ultra-tough, heavy-duty 4x4 off-road buses and load carriers.

Following the 2016 debut of its Praetorian range (see this week’s Commercial Motor for the full story) based on an MAN TGM chassis and drivetrain, its latest offering is the Terrastorm which uses a VW Crafter 4Motion/MAN TGE chassis and Euro-6 drivetrain but with uprated off-road suspension. Designed to carry up-to 21 passengers and cargo, like its bigger-brother the Terrastorm is aimed at the mining and quarrying industries as well as utilities and the emergency services.

Sales of the Terrastorm begin in the Autumn. Torsus said: “Working in partnership with MAN and VW on key chassis and powertrain technology ensures that every Torsus has ultimate durability, reliability, serviceability, value and toughness engineered in.”