Truck down the pan for toilet supplier
A portable toilet supplier whose work plummeted by 85% during the pandemic has had its licence temporarily curtailed following unsatisfactory traffic and vehicle examiner investigations.
D&P Luxury Toilets in High Wycombe was called to a Cambridge public inquiry after the DVSA uncovered problems, including a lack of tachograph records, incidences where vehicles were driven without driver cards, no evidence of a driver non-compliance system, and a lack of training and management of preventative maintenance inspections, with intervals exceeded.
The operator, which holds an O-licence for four trucks and supplies outside temporary toilet facilities to outdoor events, previously had its licence curtailed by one vehicle for five days in 2017 following an earlier maintenance investigation.
TC Richard Turfitt heard how driver cards and vehicle units were now regularly downloaded, a new contractor had been employed and all maintenance was now conducted by its maintenance provider.
Directors John Curtis and Theodore Terkelsen had also attended a hybrid O-licence awareness course.
The TC acknowledged this was the company’s second PI, but that there had been improvements and it had been under pressure due to a significant reduction in business.
He cut the licence by one vehicle for 14 days and concluded: “Current trading conditions allow me to take deterrent action against the operator’s licence, without threatening its ability to meet immediate demand.”
First offence leads to suspension
A scaffolding firm with a host of compliance issues was saved from having its licence revoked after taking remedial action.
Another Level Scaffolding escaped with a two-week suspension at a PI in Cambridge, although TC Richard Turfitt said the Basildon operator’s fitness to operate had been “severely tarnished” by its actions following a DVSA roadside stop in 2018.
It was discovered that the vehicle’s tachograph had not been downloaded since the previous year. Instances of driving without a driver card were also identified.
A follow-up visit took place in August 2019, where a DVSA traffic examiner met with director John Mann and found that downloads were not taking place, no working time records were available, two vehicles were missing ministry plating certificates and two V5 documents had incorrect details. Shortcomings were still identified at a second site visit in November 2019.
The operator said instances of drivers forgetting to insert their cards had been eradicated, although the TC said there was still no effective disciplinary process in place.
However, despite being satisfied that O-licence breaches had occurred, the TC said this was a first PI and Covid-19 restrictions may have prevented some action.
Undertakings were added to the licence.