Haulier with no regard for law loses O-licence

O-licence


A haulier that ran more vehicles than it was authorised to do, displayed the discs of another operator and was uncontactable at its listed address has had its O-licence revoked.

In a written decision following a public inquiry (PI) in Birmingham on 27 June, West Midlands traffic commissioner (TC) Nick Denton said Melton Mowbray-based Portcliff lacked good repute, professional competence, financial standing and a stable and effective establishment.

Portcliff, with an operating centre listed as a unit on the Asfordby Business Park, held a standard international O-licence, granted in June 2016, for five vehicles and five trailers.

In April the TC received a report from DVSA traffic examiner Robert Lees saying that from February to November 2017 Portcliff had been operating more vehicles than authorised - a total of seven trucks, including five on hire from Dina Global that had displayed the O-licence discs of Dina Global.

Also, a Portcliff driver had been stopped and officers discovered that he had disguised a drivers’ hours offence, having driven after removing his tachograph card. When the DVSA requested tachograph data from Portcliff it failed to respond.

The company was asked to attend a PI, via a letter sent in May, as was its sole director Cvetan Dimitrov in his capacity as transport manager. However, all correspondence was returned with a message saying Portcliff was not known at the address.

Portcliff’s contact telephone number turned out to belong to a previous operations manager who had left the company 12 months ago. No one from Portcliff attended the PI, but a representative from the Environment Agency at the hearing told the TC he had also been unable to trace the operator at any of its given addresses.

The representative told the TC that the organisation had been anxious to trace Portcliff to discuss a large number of very serious waste offences. Denton disqualified Dimitrov as director and transport manager on any O-licence in any EU-member state with immediate effect and for an indefinite period of time, saying he lacked good repute.

He added: “Dimitrov is clearly a person who has no intention with engaging with the regulatory authorities, whether TC, DVSA or Environment Agency. He has overseen an operation that clearly has little regard for the laws regarding either HGV operations or the treatment and disposal of waste.”

The TC said in view of the history of the business, he considered it unlikely that Portcliff or Dimitrov would comply with the decision and requested that the DVSA and the police use their automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) and on-road resources to identify and stop vehicles operated by the company.

He added that any HGV operated by Portcliff is therefore now liable to be impounded. Denton said: “The disqualifications are for an indefinite period of time. Dimitrov may request a hearing, however I consider it unlikely, in view of the offences, that the disqualification would be time-limited to less than three years.”

MW Truck Parts is the new kid on the block when it comes to used truck parts sales

MW Truck Sales

When you think of Bridlington your mind will turn to the beautiful beaches of the Yorkshire Riviera.

However, MW Truck Parts director Hazem Watti wants you to change that perception and make you think of it as the home to high-quality, used and recycled truck spare parts. For Watti the focus on delivering that high-quality used and recycled spare is a process of being as honest and upfront with the customer as possible. So if you are buying from MW you will soon become accustomed to its symbol attribute system.

There are six colour-coded symbols used to represent the attributes of the goods being sold: red for minor defect; green for recycled guarantee (which comes with an extended three-month warranty); grey from running verification (which confirms the vehicle was running on arrival); yellow for tested verification (all parts with this stamp are benchtest verified); blue for its used parts guarantee (a 30-day repair or replace guarantee); and finally purple for service exchange (all parts featuring this symbol are offered with a 10% service exchange rebate). This, said Watti, is what makes MW Truck Parts stand out from the competition – being as up-front and transparent with customers as possible regarding the condition and source of the part.

“When you buy used parts it can be somewhat subjective as to whether that part is in good condition. Everyone thinks a different condition is acceptable,” he said.

“To come up with something more transparent we use symbols and attribute them to different parts. So if a part has been salvaged from a used truck with no repair work carried out we attribute the used truck part symbol. If it has been reconditioned or repaired we use the recycled symbol.

“With used truck parts that have a minor cosmetic defect, we find that if you make the customer aware of that defect many are still willing to buy but the condition is also reflected in the price.”

Watti set up MW Truck Parts in 2015 to fill what he saw as a gap in the market, supplying used parts and recycled parts. He said many customers believe buying “sold as seen” parts with no guarantee from say a typical breaker’s yard is too high a risk, while the price is too high if you buy reconditioned items. By offering near a reconditioned standard on its range of “recycled parts” alongside a three-month warranty he found the business could be competitive on price in many aspects.

While Watti set up the company three years ago his history, and that of the team, spins out of MW Tractors, which started trading in 1972. That business, also based in Bridlington, is a bulk exporter, and during his 20 years there Watti found that UK customers were also crying out for good-quality used truck parts. MW Truck Parts was eventually created to offer customers a new option: a good-quality, reasonably priced secondhand part with the professional service to go with it.

Another differentiator is its use of e-commerce. Parts are available on mwtruckparts.co.uk and its eBay shop. It holds stock in its warehouse on its 2-acre site on Carnaby industrial estate in Bridlington and offers a next-day parcel delivery with most parts with a value of up to £1,000.

Watti said: “Our business is designed around the e-commerce, distance selling option and we offer a next-day delivery with most parts. We are breaking new ground with what we are doing. We understand that time is money and to be able to buy online or over the phone meets a demand that suits the modern market.”

While some may point to the relatively smaller number of items listed online, Watti is keen to point out the difference between its offering and parts suppliers carrying items that number into the thousands.

The price of parts offered by MW tends to range between £150 and £2,500, which are high-value parts that are otherwise expensive to buy new.

Part of the ethos of MW Truck Parts is to regularly update stock so it can offer parts for both old and late-model trucks. Watti said: “This is what we want to achieve: to keep evolving so we can eventually supply good-quality, used and recycled parts, for all makes and models of commercial vehicles. We are the new kids on the block and we want everyone to know what makes us different.”