Skip4U dumped out of industry for wide-ranging failings

A West Midlands operator’s “utter failure” to address its wide-ranging compliance failings has led to the disqualification of both the company and its director.

Traffic Commission Nicholas Denton said the failure of director Sukhchain Singh to take any personal responsibility at Skip4U meant that it deserved to be put out of business. He said the company had a very high MOT outright failure rate and it had not operated a written defect reporting system - until a DVSA vehicle examiner made a visit to its Smethwick premises - something it tried to cover up at a Birmingham PI by claiming its transport consultants had taken them all away.

TC Denton said Skip4U had failed to observe drivers’ hours and tachograph rules and Singh himself had committed numerous centrefield errors. Missing mileage reports were not up to date; tacho charts were not collected on time and driver cards were not downloaded at the correct intervals. The TC added that the director had no understanding of the drivers’ hours rules.

In a written decision, he said the company had had many opportunities to make improvements, but it ignored them. He said: “An audit carried out by their consultants in June 2019 found numerous and serious instances of non-compliance. The DVSA vehicle examiner found very similar issues in February 2020 and a further audit in July 2020 by the consultants reported that no improvements had been made. The director, Sukhchain Singh, has sought to throw all responsibility for the lack of action on the consultants. He has taken no responsibility for, or apparent interest in, complying with the requirements.”

The TC said one positive was that Singh had attended an O-licence management course in December 2019, but he appeared not to have retained any knowledge from it. And he added that the negative issues far outweighed the positives.

Revoking the licence, he said: “Because of the wide-ranging nature of the issues and the company’s utter failure to address them effectively, I am disqualifying both the company and its director from holding or obtaining an operator’s licence in future. This is the operator’s first inquiry, but the scale of the non-compliance is such as to warrant a disqualification in the mid-point of this range: ie two years.”

Volta Trucks has $260m of orders for new electric Zero truck

Volta Trucks has revealed that the current value of its order books stands at $260m.

In a statement the electric truck manufacturer, that hopes to produces its first vehicle this year, said the total follows a successful commercial period of customer acquisition and has a  “significant number of additional vehicle orders expected to be announced in the coming weeks”.

The first Volta Zero trucks are expected to be operating with customers in late 2021 and following a round of funding in which $20m was secured from by New York-based Luxor Capital Group, the company now plans to scale and grow the business by expanding its team of engineers and commercial experts.

Sharp McGivaren of Luxor Capital, who will now sit on the Volta board, said: “Luxor Capital seeks to back transformative companies and management teams who can generate growth and value over the long term."

"Volta Trucks started from first principles designing the Volta Zero and, as a result, has created an innovative vehicle that takes full advantage of electrification. We are confident customers will be delighted by Volta Trucks’ relentless focus on performance, efficiency, safety, and customer service. We look forward to helping establish Volta Trucks as a leading global electric truck brand,” said McGivaren.

Rob Fowler, CEO of Volta Trucks, added: “This latest successful funding round for Volta Trucks is a milestone for the company and its development. We are a young and scaling company, and this investment gives us the ability to grow our teams of engineering and commercial specialists as we look ahead to the production of the first Volta Zero vehicles in 2021.”