Dundee scaffolding haulier disqualified until 2024

O-licence

A Dundee scaffolding company and its director have been disqualified for five years by the traffic commissioner following the repeated unlawful use of a vehicle.

TC Claire Gilmore said AFS Scaffolding posed “a significant risk to road safety” and director Ross Findlay “deliberately and repeatedly” operated a vehicle without the required O-licence.

A public inquiry into the company looked at its illegal use of a vehicle before it was granted its licence.

An application by the business for an O-licence was considered at a PI in February this year before Scotland’s deputy TC, following allegations that it was using a vehicle unlawfully.

Findlay gave assurances to the DTC that the unlawful use had been infrequent and happened as a result of error rather than a deliberate attempt to undermine the licensing system.

The application was considered in detail and AFS Scaffolding was told it could start operating vehicles on 29 March.

However, evidence subsequently gathered by the DVSA showed that the company continued to use the vehicle unlawfully before the O-licence came into force.

Giving evidence to a second PI, Findlay claimed one of the journeys was an emergency job to stabilise someone’s chimney.

He had told the DTC that the vehicle had been parked up for a lengthy period prior to the licence being granted, but inspections revealed it had travelled more than 10,000km between 10 December 2018 and 25 March 2019 – during which time the company did not have a licence.

Additional concerns raised at the PI related to vehicle safety standards, including a lorry that was not checked properly and had been sent out with a tyre worn below the legal limit.

The defect was categorised as safety critical.

In a written decision, the TC said she could not rely on Findlay’s evidence:

“[He] knew he needed a licence to operate, and also that the licence granted by the deputy traffic commissioner did not come into force until 29 March 2019,” she said.

“He therefore deliberately and repeatedly operated the vehicle without a licence.

“Unlawful operation for such a lengthy period undoubtedly resulted in this operator gaining an unfair competitive advantage.”

The disqualification orders against AFS Scaffolding and Findlay will prevent them from applying for or holding an O-licence until September 2024 at the earliest.

Graham Smith is Hartshorne and Crossroads' No.100

Smith and colleagues celebrate 25yrs at Volvo

HGV Technician Graham Smith, is the 100th employee within Volvo’s Crossroads Truck & Bus and Hartshorne Group dealer networks to be rewarded for his 25 years of service to the marque.

His achievement was celebrated at Trent Bridge cricket ground in Nottingham, and attended by 60 employees from both Hartshorne and Crossroads. Ex-England cricket player Mathew Hoggard MBE, handed Smith his award.

Hartshorne Group and Crossroads Truck & Bus CEO Martin Cronin was at the event, and praised his team for their work: “It’s down to your passion, care, friendship and perseverance that we have a fantastic business. You are a fantastic community and you have contributed greatly to the local economy and also to Volvo.”

MD for Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland, Robert Grozdanovski, added to Cronin’s compliments: “There are not many dealerships in Europe that have such experience. The passion that you show for our industry, for our trade, and for our brand is truly impressive.”