Keeping quiet about prison sentence leads to revocation
A West Midlands operator who failed to inform the traffic commissioner he had been sent to prison for grievous bodily harm has been disqualified and had his licence revoked.
Sole trader Elvi Ebanks, who traded as Second City Skip 24-7, also had “nowhere near the required funds” for his licence of five lorries and a trailer, until two weeks before the PI when a large deposit was made into his account.
Ebanks, who also acted as transport manager, told TC Nicholas Denton (pictured) that he did not notify him of his conviction for GBH and possession of an offensive weapon because he feared he might lose his licence.
He accepted that he had been unable to exercise his transport manager duties while in prison for eight months and that, although he had appointed a driver to supervise matters in his absence, that driver was not a qualified transport manager.
A DVSA traffic examiner report found there were gaps of more than six weeks between some maintenance inspections; there were no records of any kind of brake test and roller brake tests were not being carried out.
Ebanks admitted he had failed to respond to a notice of shortcomings because he had been “all over the place” and there was “too much going on”.
In a written decision, TC Denton said Ebanks had been faced with a chaotic situation when he left prison in late 2018.
He’d focused on continuing the business and retaining his contract customers rather than keeping on top of paperwork.
However, he said the operator had also failed to fulfil undertakings given when the licence was granted in 2010.
“The operator has failed to fulfil its undertaking to notify convictions within 28 days,” he added.
“Mr Ebanks’ convictions for inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent and for possessing an offensive weapon in a public place were not notified to me.
“The operator lacked professional competence for eight months from March 2018, when Mr Ebanks was in prison and unable to exercise the responsibilities of a transport manager.
“He took no measures to appoint a suitable replacement nor to ask for a period of grace. Ebanks was disqualified as an operator for 12 months and also disqualified as a transport manager indefinitely.
Dawsongroup supplies Hughes with two new DAF LF 7.5-tonners
TV and white goods supplier Hughes has taken delivery of a pair of 7.5-tonne DAFs, having first toyed with the idea of moving up in weight.
Commenting on the LF 180 box vans, Hughes’ distribution manager Andrew Tucker, said: “We need to maximise payload, because many of the individual units we move from warehouse to store are quite heavy. We could have looked at 12-tonne vehicles, but we have drivers who operate our 7.5-tonners based on grandfather rights to their licence, so that would have given us a new headache. Then, with many stores in quite restricted town centres, we needed trucks that could take the loads yet still be manoeuvrable in those urban environments.”
The trucks, which meet Hughes’ 2.5-tonne payload requirement, were supplied by Dawsongroup on contract hire for a fixed five-year term. The package includes full R&M including annual MoT, national roadside assistance/recovery, replacement vehicle for MoT and unexpected VOR situations, tyres and road tax.
The cabs are well spec’d, with two-pedal transmissions, air conditioning, air deflectors and side collars, while at the business end are DAFs own 20ft box bodies with tail lifts.
“At the end of it all,” said Tucker, “we wanted just two things, the right trucks and the right economics. I was very happy with the vehicle specs and our finance director was happy to give me the thumbs-up on the overall deal. It all makes sense. We have, in the past, tended to buy vehicles outright, so this is something of a departure for us. That said, with the right payload, quality trucks, livery already done, lots of extras and even a driver training package thrown in for good measure, it is something we would certainly look at again.”