Operators feeling pinch as test stations shut

An East Yorkshire haulier said the closure of testing stations in the region was piling on the cost for operators trying to maintain their vehicles.

Mick Harvey, transport co-ordinator at W. Clifford Watts in Bridlington, said the closure of the goods vehicle testing station in nearby Beverley meant it was relying heavily on Scarborough’s test centre, but that this was now cutting down the days it tests too.

“Alarm bells started to ring,” Harvey said. “This is exactly what happened to Beverley GVTS, then it closed. There are no ATF’s around the Scarborough, Malton, Driffield or Bridlington area and Scarborough GVTS is now on three days testing. The cost to travel to our nearest ATF in Hull is going to be a big issue if Scarborough closes.”

The DVSA said providing more local annual tests at ATFs reduced travel costs and vehicle downtime and that ATF test fees were lower than at DVSA sites.

A spokesman said: “Tests are still available at the DVSA site in Scarborough three days a week. Tests are also available at local authorised testing facilities, including in York and Hull.”

However, Harvey told Commercial Motor that although the initial costs of putting vehicles through a test are less at an ATF, there are then extra fees added on and further distances to travel:

“There has not been enough time spent on looking into the wider impact this is going to have on local business,” he added.

Dawsonrentals unveils Portable Auto Centre

Dawsonrentals vans launched its new Portable Auto Centre at the CV Show

The facility can house equipment such as the latest repair, painting and baking facilities, and enables commercial vehicles, including extra long wheel base vans, to be repaired quickly and efficiently.

Dawsonrentals will introduce the facilities at its depots in Milton Keynes and Skelmersdale, with the rest of its UK rental sites set to follow in quick succession.

According to the company the facility increases reliability and time on the road, while enabling fleet operators to quickly estimate and cost-effectively repair hired vehicles.

It says the plan is for the Portable Auto Centre not just to be based in its van depots but to be distributed, over the next 12 months, to its business partners and customers within their own premises.

Steve Miller, Group MD of Dawsongroup, said: “They (partners and customers) will be able to have their own Dawsonrentals portable auto centre where rental offices, waiting areas and full facilities for servicing, tyre fitting and body repairs are housed within a modular community.

“Affording efficient and immediate service in addition to effective management of time and cost control, this is really going to shake up the commercial vehicle rental sector.”

Gareth Jones, MD at Dawsonrentals vans, said the Portable Auto Centre represents a revolutionary approach to fleet maintenance.

He added: “We have created a modular concept that tackles the common challenges within the vehicle marketplace.

“Having our own modular technology was the next logical approach to our fairer service level agreement and supports our approach to recharges and reducing downtime for vehicles.

“We always have our customer at the heart of every project and this was no exception: they will benefit from better information and the ability to return vehicles without fear of excessive charges.”