O-licence curtailed for running too many HGVs

Interrupter devices

A Bathgate-based operator narrowly avoided having its licence revoked after a traffic commissioner (TC) heard evidence that it operated more lorries than its licence permitted.

Stuart Strachan, trading as Strachan Haulage, has had his licence curtailed from eight vehicles and eight trailers to three HGVs and four trailers for at least two years by TC Joan Aitken.

She said she only just held back from revoking the licence because of the longevity of the business and the operator’s “mixed up mind”.

A public inquiry (PI) in Edinburgh heard how at one point the operator ran up to 13 HGVs, despite its licence not permitting it. Strachan also did not have systems in place to comply with drivers’ hours and tachograph regulations, and he had not been downloading digital tachos.

A DVSA investigation into the business began in 2015 when the agency found Strachan was operating more vehicles than he was entitled to and that drivers were working long hours.

The TC said Strachan tried to attribute excessive vehicle use to the time taken for the TC’s office to make a decision and his belief that a variation licence would eventually be granted, but in fact he was operating more vehicles in advance of lodging an application.

“How could he possibly think he was entitled to expand his business into a larger fleet serving esteemed customers such as the MoD, Mitsubishi and Tesco when his business was serially non-compliant and he, by his own admission, an incompetent operator and transport manager?” said Aitken.

She stopped short of revoking the licence, but acknowledged her curtailment could take the operator “to the brink”.

She added: “I will hold back from revocation and disqualification – but Mr Strachan should be in no doubt that he stares at that void.”

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Volvo Trucks heads to Harrogate for Tip-ex and Tank-ex 2019

Volvo Trucks, supported by north of England dealership Crossroads Truck & Bus, will again be attending Tip-ex and Tank-ex, the UK’s only national exhibition for the tipper, tanker and bulk haulage sectors.

On display at the event, which takes place at the Harrogate Convention Centre between 30 May and 1 June, will be two models from its range – and while details are yet to be confirmed Volvo did say that they would be suitable for all sizes of construction, mining and quarrying companies – and would be complemented by products from its sister company – Volvo Construction Equipment.

Volvo also said that operators of Volvo Trucks construction vehicles would be able to take advantage of gross operating weights that now extend from 10t to 180t under STGO CAT3 rules.

Volvo will also be sponsoring the Tipper Haulier of the Year award at the Tip-ex and Tank-ex Awards – which are open for entry until 29 March. The presentation takes place at the Royal Hall, Harrogate, on the evening of Friday 31 May.

  • Tip-Ex Tank-Ex, taking place in Harrogate from 30 May - 1 June 2019 is the UK's must-attend event for operators in the dry bulk and liquid tanker sectors. You can register free on the website.