Driving suspension for operator who repeatedly breached drivers' hours rules

The owner of a skip hire firm has been suspended from truck driving for a month after he repeatedly drove for longer than four-and-a-half hours without a break.

John Woodward, owner and transport manager at Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire-based Recycle London, told DVSA officers that he was too busy running his company to check drivers’ hours records.

The business had its O-licence revoked and Woodward was suspended from driving commercial vehicles until 6 April.

When his truck was stopped in July last year, the DVSA found Woodward had driven for more than the legal limit on 13 occasions and had failed to download both the vehicle tachograph unit and his own driver card.

Woodward admitted he had limited knowledge of the drivers’ hours rules.

At a public inquiry last month, he told East of England traffic commissioner (TC) Richard Turfitt he had attended a drivers’ hours and tachograph training course after being stopped by the DVSA. However, the TC noted that the course had failed to improve his knowledge and offending had continued.

Shortcomings in the operator’s vehicle maintenance paperwork, including preventative maintenance inspections and driver defect reports, were also discovered by the TC.

The operator was unable to demonstrate it had the financial standing for the one vehicle it was authorised to run on its O-licence. However, Woodward said the business had stopped operating in December.

Schmitz Cargobull supplies Transpak Direct with seven new refrigerated trailers

Schmitz Cargobull

Fruit distributor Transpak Direct has taken delivery of seven new Schmitz Cargobull refrigerated trailers, designed to reduce drag and improve fuel consumption.

The manufacturer said each semi-chassis trailer is between 500kg and 700kg lighter than its average competitor and 100mm lower than those built on a full chassis.

They deliver to food service outlets, supermarket depots and wholesale markets across the UK and replace older trailers in Transpak Direct’s 11-strong fleet.

Other features include the German manufacturer’s easily repairable Ferroplast panels.

Thin insulation panels also mean each trailer has a greater internal volume.

The new reefers include Schmitz Cargobull’s own Rotos axle unit and come with a 1 million-kilometre warranty.

Transpak Direct provides packing, storage and transport for ambient, chilled and controlled atmosphere goods from its Faversham, Kent-based distribution centre.

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