Worn tyre operator loses O-licence for infringements

Compliance


Croydon-based Tyre Channel has had its O-licence revoked following a maintenance investigation that uncovered excessive periods between inspections and an ineffective system of driver daily walkaround checks.

In a written decision following a public inquiry (PI) in Eastbourne on 25 June, South Eastern and Metropolitan deputy traffic commissioner (TC) John Baker revoked the O-licence from 31 July and disqualified its sole director Anup Patel for six months from the same date.

Tyre Channel - a business involved in collecting worn tyres for export to India - held a restricted O-licence for two vehicles, which was granted in June 2014. After the business received an S-marked prohibition in May 2017, the DVSA carried out a maintenance investigation.

The November investigation showed no forward planning system in place for inspections, failings in relation to drivers’ hours compliance, no vehicle unit downloading of tachograph records taking place and, in addition, the firm had been operating four vehicles.

Another DVSA visit in April revealed that some recent preventative maintenance inspection (PMI) records had not been completed in full, no torque wrench was used when the operator carried out re-torqueing of wheel nuts and mileage was not being recorded on some driver defect sheets.

On 12 April, the business was still using a vehicle not specified on the licence - a day after a DVSA officer had spoken to Patel about the importance of not doing this. Another S-marked prohibition was issued in January, as well as an advisory notice and fixed penalty for a tachograph offence the following month.

Patel accepted that vehicle unit downloads had not been taking place but said driver infringements had been noted and actioned. With regards to the PMI problems, Patel said the maintenance contractors he relied on had let him down.

Brake tests were now taking place, he had attended a DVSA new operator seminar, there were much better MoT pass rates and improvements were being made in all areas. Baker said: “While improvements have been made leading up to the inquiry there is still a way to go and I have to ask myself if Patel is likely to sustain what has been achieved so far and make the further improvements required.

“Past behaviour is an indicator of what is likely to happen in the future and this does not bode well for the operator. In the four years since grant there has been very little effort made to find out what is required and to function as a compliant operator.”