Higher first-time MoT fail rates for older trucks says Vosa

The devil is always in the detail. News that the roadworthiness of UK trucks hit new heights with more than 75% passing their MoT at the first attempt is tempered by the gulf in pass rates between newer trucks and older ones.

Vosa’s Annual Effectiveness Report published this month, revealed that initial pass rates for trucks tested in the 12 months to 31 March 2012 rose to 75.3%, up 1% on the previous year’s figure, and the fifth successive increase.

Despite a record performance the pass rates for older trucks and the first-time pass rates for hauliers with smaller fleets and owner-drivers is an issue. Pass rates in road transport fleets with more than 100 vehicles is 89.5%, for fleets and owner drivers with fewer than 10 trucks, the pass rate is 67.7%. Between the two figures is a consistent downward trajectory.

Couple this with first time MoT pass rates with vehicle ages (less than 12 months old is 92% and at 10 years of age its 67.1%) and a clearer picture emerges. While Vosa doesn’t correlate the two sets of figures, it’s not too difficult to draw anecdotal conclusions. Big shiny fleets with newer trucks enjoy a better first pass rate than the one-man-band running an older truck.



Unwieldy Logistics plc with a fleet of 200 brand new trucks, updated every three years, hauling 300 trailers will have a department dedicated to maintenance, repairs and servicing, as well as contracts signed with partners to keep things rolling. The economy of scale means the price per vehicle is very low. Problems are caught early reducing the chances of major component failure and large bills.

Dave, who runs two trucks out of farm or business unit, won’t have the luxury of being able to run trucks into the nice big shiny, franchised dealer down the road. He will do a lot of the maintenance work himself, and employ a cheaper repairer to do the legal stuff. Chances are it’ll be an older truck that he understands, devoid of electronics and on-board management systems that require diagnostics to trouble shoot. Older trucks have more problems and it is more likely he’ll have to foot a significant bill when something goes wrong.

The biggest single defect for failure is headlamp aim, accounting for 10.9% of all truck tests. Other lamp faults came second (4.8%), followed by service brake performance (4.1%) and brake system components (3.8%). If you are going to run older trucks, sort out the lamps and brakes, it’ll improve your chances and lower your costs…

Commercial Motor will publish more detailed information on MoT pass rates in its weekly magazine.


OJ Jones & Son plans to open North Wales ATF

North Wales-based haulier OJ Jones & Son is awaiting permission to open a new site with an authorised testing facility (ATF) lane.

Plans have been submitted to Gwynedd Council to build a new yard with space for 15 vehicles, half a mile away from its current site in Porthmadog, Gwynedd.

Director Dewi Jones, who currently operates 14 vehicles, hopes to build a vehicle testing lane on the site if he receives planning permission.

Jones said: “I was hoping to go for an ATF because we are in a rural community, with 18 miles to the nearest Vosa testing station.

“Some operators have to travel 50-60 miles to get their vehicles tested [in Aberystwyth and Caernarvon],” he added.

The operator, which specialises in aggregates haulage, had recently ordered a new Volvo 8x4 tipper to celebrate 50 years in road haulage.

Vosa currently has 300 ATF sites across the UK, three years after its testing transformation programme began.