Director disqualified for ignoring O-licence terms

West Midlands traffic commissioner (TC) Nick Jones has disqualified a haulage director for two years after she breached an O-licence condition that prohibited two people from having a role in managing the business.

Rebecca Large, director of MJ Hire & Sales was disqualified from holding a transport manager position in the EU for two years and lost her repute.

The company had its O-licence revoked following a public inquiry (PI) in October.

After a visit to its Bilston, Wolverhampton base following an application to increase its authorisation from five vehicles to six, a DVSA examiner was concerned that the operator had breached an undertaking on its O-licence not to have Paul or Jennifer Green involved in any capacity, other than as drivers.

The examiner found that Paul Green worked with vehicles, drivers and customers in what appeared to be a transport manager role, while Jennifer Green worked in the office and took a particular interest while vehicles were being inspected.

When questioned by the examiner, Large said she was aware of the undertaking attached to the company’s O-licence, but admitted Paul was actively involved in customer liaison. Business cards describing Paul Green as the transport manager were discovered.

The examiner also found that:

  • a vehicle not authorised on its O-licence was parked at the operating centre;
  • inspection sheets were missing and six-weekly PMIs were not always carried out;
  • defects recorded on inspection sheets resulted in roadside prohibitions;
  • there was a 56% prohibition rate for vehicles in the previous two years, and a 57% initial failure rate at annual test;
  • drivers’ timesheets and tachograph records did not match with the time drivers were on duty.

Analysis of tachograph records found that six vehicles rather than the five authorised on the O-licence had been run in January 2015, but Large insisted that the vehicle parked at the site had not been used.

Large told the PI that Paul and Jennifer Green had now left the business, but this was rejected by the TC.

In his written decision, TC Jones accepted that Large did occasionally visit the business, but said Paul Green had always been in control.

He said: “I am wholly unimpressed with Rebecca Large who has attempted to mislead the DVSA and myself as to the true state of affairs within the business that she owns.

“I do not accept that they no longer have a role in the business. The P45s are formal documents issued in an attempt to deceive me.”

Paul Green, who came before the TC at a former PI and driver conduct hearing for “strikingly similar” drivers’ hours and records failures, was stripped of his vocational driving licence until his 70th birthday.

“He has not learnt any lesson and is not fit to hold a vocational licence,” Jones added.

  • This article was published in the 14 January issue of Commercial Motor. Why not subscribe?

New midlands base for Ryder

Ryder has opened a central base in the Midlands as it looks to strengthen the co-ordination of its UK operations.

The new office, located on the Birmingham Business Park, adjacent to the NEC, now houses the company’s finance, legal affairs, HR, learning and development, internal communications and IT departments. 

Support services teams at the commercial vehicle rental, contract hire and maintenance firm had previously been located at other Ryder locations across the UK.

The new site also has meeting rooms and a training facility that will be used by Ryder staff from around the country.

Vice president and MD, Ryder Europe, David Hunt said: “Our investment in this new centralised office in the Midlands will drive improved collaboration and coordination of our key support services.” 

Ryder currently has 27 sites around the UK and about 12,500 truck assets on its books.

The company also believes the new office will help support its business growth plans at a time when it is looking to expand in the temperature-controlled sector.

Ryder recently refreshed its refrigerated rental fleet by adding 200 new Euro-6 trucks and vans, together with 90 new refrigerated box trailers.

The order included Daf LF 18 tonne dual compartment day cabs, Iveco Eurocargo 7.5 tonne day cabs, and Mercedes 3.5 tonne Sprinter vans. 

Hunt said: “At the same time the benefits of having this new central facility will extend throughout the business and will support our continuing investment and growth plans for the UK focused on providing great service and value for our customers.”