Mercedes' MirrorCam system becomes an unexpected hit with veteran driver
A Mercedes-Benz Actros equipped with the new MirrorCam system has become an unexpected hit with a veteran driver at Mendip Wood Shavings.
Arthur Selway has been driving trucks for more than 40 years but believes that within five years all trucks will have cameras for mirrors.
“MirrorCam is so much better that I can really see these camera-based systems taking off. Give it five years and I reckon all trucks will have them,” Selway said.
Mendip Wood Shavings took delivery of two identical Actros 2545 tractor units with flat-floored BigSpace cabs. Supplied by Rygor Commercials, the trucks also have the StyleLine interior trim package and have been fitted with Alcoa Dura-Bright alloy wheels and hydraulic packs by SB Components.
“I’m getting on really well with MirrorCam,” said 63-year-old Selway. “The visibility is so much better. Gone are the blind spots you get with conventional mirrors, and I can still see even when the sun’s shining directly into the cameras, while I also like the fact that they show the back of the trailer when I turn a corner.”
“The cameras don’t get anything like as dirty as mirrors,” he added. “In fact, they seem to be pretty well self-cleaning, which makes life easier. They don’t stick out as much either – having an extra foot of width on both sides of the truck certainly helped the other day, when I was swopping trailers in a congested part of west London.
As well as being a fan of the camera system while driving, Selway also says that the system is just as good when parked up. “There’s a security benefit, too. When I’m parked up in a layby for the night and hear someone pull up behind me, I can just hit the button in the back of the cab which activates the cameras, have a nose at what’s going on outside, and reassure myself that there’s nothing to worry about.”
Failure to record drivers’ hours leads to revocation
An operator that demonstrated “an almost wholesale abrogation” of its responsibilities to ensure drivers hours and tachograph rules were observed has had its licence revoked.
Oldbury, West Midlands-based H&J Transport ran 10 lorries and 10 trailers but in July 2019 the DVSA passed a report to the traffic commissioner showing that the operator was failing to download drivers’ digital tacho cards and vehicle tacho unit data within the required time limits.
Drivers were clocking up “numerous, repeated and significant infringements” and some had frequently driven without a card inserted in their tacho unit.
The operator, whose sole director and nominated transport manager was George Hunt, was only analysing tacho data annually, although the DVSA report showed that he had stopped paying even for annual analysis as Hunt had stated “he knew his drivers were breaking the rules and that he didn’t need to pay an analysis company to be told that.”
The report also revealed that Hunt held his transport manager qualification through acquired rights and he had never undertaken any form of refresher training.”
TC Nicholas Denton called the operator and transport manager to a PI, although Hunt then wrote to the TC’s office saying he had resigned as transport manager, the company had ceased trading and he was surrendering his licence.
However, TC Denton refused the offer of surrender and the PI went ahead, despite Hunt not appearing.
The drivers that did attend told the PI H&J Transport left it to them to drive to a tacho analyst to have their cards downloaded, but they had frequently failed to do this as they were never paid for the extra journeys.
While the company had never explicitly instructed them to ignore the law, the culture was one of “get back to the yard whatever it takes.”
In a written decision, TC Denton said Hunt as transport manager was not of good repute. He made no effort to run a compliant drivers’ hours regime and any improvements in compliance he claimed to the DVSA were untrue.
No evidence of finances were presented and the operator had failed to keep vehicles fit and serviceable.
He revoked the licence immediately, disqualified the company and disqualified Hunt indefinitely as both a director and as a transport manager.