Commercial Motor Awards 2018 shortlist: Franchised Dealer of the Year
This year's shortlist for the Franchised Dealer of the Year prize at the 2018 Commercial Motor Awards. The winner will be announced on 15 November at Birmingham's Vox Centre - book your tickets now for the dealership event of the year.
Guest Truck and Van/Sherwood Truck and Van
Guest Truck and Van is a family-run business that has gone on to become the UK’s largest Iveco commercial vehicle dealer. It is also one of the largest Fiat Professional dealers across 14 sites in England. The group stocks more than £4m worth of truck and van parts – all with a manufacturer-backed warranty –has three body shops, a tyre and auto centre, plus a vehicle lining and accessory operation and fleet management service. It prides itself on its efficient management structure, allowing accessibility and quick decision-making where necessary, and as a result has built a reputation as the leading dealer for Iveco and Fiat over the last 20 years. The judges praised Guest as a firm that “prides itself on customer service and brand loyalty”.
RH Commercial Vehicles
RHCV operates across the East Midlands and has been part of the Renault Trucks franchise since 1986. In 2010, RHCV and its aftersales team expanded from its head office in Nottingham adding a site in Leicester and in 2013, a site in Alfreton. In April 2018, RHCV increased its operating territory across the East Midlands by acquiring a fourth site in Northampton from Renault Truck commercials, enhancing its service along the M1. In March RHCV scooped three of the top awards Renault Trucks’ Retail Excellence Club, including Aftersales Dealer of the Year for its Nottingham site, Sales Dealer of the Year and a place in the inaugural Europe-wide Retail Excellence Club. The judges said RH proved that Renault can be in pole position.
2017 was Rygor’s best vans sales year to date and was the top Mercedes-Benz vans dealer for retail sales, selling to the highest number of unique customers across the network. It was also pleased to be the first UK Mercedes-Benz Dealer to handover an X-Class. Furthermore, in 2017 Rygor were also the top selling dealer in the UK for Fuso Canter. Spring 2018 saw the completion of a major refurbishment of its Oxford branch. The £1m project entailed a significant extension of the dealership and the addition of a canopied vehicle handover area. The judges said Rygor’s approach to apprenticeships should be applauded and its customer service delivered impressive results.
PM Commercials was established in 1998 by Paul May who has worked in the truck industry for more than 25 years. He started his career with his father at Chaddesley Commercials in Kidderminster: one of the original used commercial vehicle dealers in the country. From his years of providing outstanding customer service PM Commercials was set-up and is now based in Droitwich, Worstershire, and prides itself on its number-one position for customer care. Not only providing sales of used commercial vehicles, PM Commercials now has a purpose-built workshop specialising in custom modification and servicing.
Haulier with no regard for law loses O-licence
A haulier that ran more vehicles than it was authorised to do, displayed the discs of another operator and was uncontactable at its listed address has had its O-licence revoked.
In a written decision following a public inquiry (PI) in Birmingham on 27 June, West Midlands traffic commissioner (TC) Nick Denton said Melton Mowbray-based Portcliff lacked good repute, professional competence, financial standing and a stable and effective establishment.
Portcliff, with an operating centre listed as a unit on the Asfordby Business Park, held a standard international O-licence, granted in June 2016, for five vehicles and five trailers.
In April the TC received a report from DVSA traffic examiner Robert Lees saying that from February to November 2017 Portcliff had been operating more vehicles than authorised - a total of seven trucks, including five on hire from Dina Global that had displayed the O-licence discs of Dina Global.
Also, a Portcliff driver had been stopped and officers discovered that he had disguised a drivers’ hours offence, having driven after removing his tachograph card. When the DVSA requested tachograph data from Portcliff it failed to respond.
The company was asked to attend a PI, via a letter sent in May, as was its sole director Cvetan Dimitrov in his capacity as transport manager. However, all correspondence was returned with a message saying Portcliff was not known at the address.
Portcliff’s contact telephone number turned out to belong to a previous operations manager who had left the company 12 months ago. No one from Portcliff attended the PI, but a representative from the Environment Agency at the hearing told the TC he had also been unable to trace the operator at any of its given addresses.
The representative told the TC that the organisation had been anxious to trace Portcliff to discuss a large number of very serious waste offences. Denton disqualified Dimitrov as director and transport manager on any O-licence in any EU-member state with immediate effect and for an indefinite period of time, saying he lacked good repute.
He added: “Dimitrov is clearly a person who has no intention with engaging with the regulatory authorities, whether TC, DVSA or Environment Agency. He has overseen an operation that clearly has little regard for the laws regarding either HGV operations or the treatment and disposal of waste.”
The TC said in view of the history of the business, he considered it unlikely that Portcliff or Dimitrov would comply with the decision and requested that the DVSA and the police use their automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) and on-road resources to identify and stop vehicles operated by the company.
He added that any HGV operated by Portcliff is therefore now liable to be impounded. Denton said: “The disqualifications are for an indefinite period of time. Dimitrov may request a hearing, however I consider it unlikely, in view of the offences, that the disqualification would be time-limited to less than three years.”