McIntosh Heavy Logistics inaugural Arocs SLT proves promising

Arocs SLT

McIntosh Heavy Logistics, part of Aberdeenshire’s McIntosh Plant Hire, has put a 180-tonne Mercedes-Benz Arocs 4163 SLT 8x4 tractor unit into service, and its first example of the marque has impressed both its operator and driver due to its reliability and comfort.

The SLT is powered by a 625hp, 6-cylinder engine which is mated to a 16-speed automated-manual, PowerShift gearbox that’s been fitted with a turbo retarder clutch, allowing the driver to easily handle its 3,000Nm of torque.

The Echt-based heavy haulage firm opted for a BigSpace cab to house its best driver David Ewan, as the company director Gary McIntosh explained: “We adhere to a one driver, one vehicle policy, because this means they treat them as their own, enhancing the performance and longevity of the asset.”

McIntosh explained that Ewan “couldn’t be happier with it” as he likes the “roomy, flat-floored cab, and reports that the transmission and turbo clutch, which replaces the traditional manual gearbox and torque converter, makes it very easy to drive.”

Supplied by Mercedes-Benz Western Commercial dealer, the truck has been delivering a reliable service so far. McIntosh, stated: “Reliability is the most important attribute we look for in a truck, and I’m delighted to report our first Mercedes-Benz hasn’t missed a beat.”

External touches include a personalised registration plate reading M100 MHL, and a grey, red and black livery design especially for the new vehicle. “The SLT was very well specified and had a really nice paint job. We came up with a livery design that complements this, so it looks fantastic,” remarked McIntosh.

Within McIntosh Heavy Logistics’ fleet of nine heavy haulage vehicles which also includes an MAN TGX 640 8x4, the Arocs operates from its 62-acre Birchmoss Plant & Storage depot on daily operations with a 4-axle Faymonville low-loader and Nooteboom trailers.

The company has future plans for the Arocs like fitting it with Rockinger couplings so it can be used for push-pull work with an 8-axle Goldhoffer modular trailer.

Traffic Commissioner: O-licence undertakings must not be ignored

O-licence

A traffic commissioner has reminded operators that undertakings made on an O-licence “hold great weight”, after she revoked an O-licence when a director ignored an undertaking not to get involved in transport management.

Sarah Bell, TC for the South East and Metropolitan area, said Wayne Cooper put commercial necessity ahead of compliance when he got involved in the transport operations of Groundworks Solutions – even though the O-licence specified that he must not do so.

The Canterbury company was issued with a restricted O-licence in August 2016, but with the undertaking related to Cooper attached to it.

This was because Cooper had not disclosed a two-year suspended prison sentence from 2015, or mention at a preliminary hearing that a previous business of his had entered liquidation.

However, Cooper admitted in his oral evidence that by November 2018 he had become involved in “challenging some of the transport aspects such as drivers’ hours and MoT history.”

He also failed to inform the central licensing office that he had become a director in January 2017, after resigning in 2016 due to stress.

In a written decision, TC Bell said that the director “did not connect his voiced concerns around the hours rules and MoT as being at odds with the undertaking for his non-involvement in the transport operations.”

She said: “It is an aggravating feature that the tachograph and maintenance records produced to the hearing identify significant non-compliance.”

There were centrefield errors in the analogue tachographs, inadequate brake testing and out of date preventative maintenance inspection forms.”

TC Bell added: “Operators must remember that undertakings offered and accepted at hearings hold great weight and if they are not treated with care and caution, trust will be broken.

“I cannot trust this operator moving forward as such a finding has no meaningful corroborative evidence.

“The trust is sufficiently broken that if the operator is put out of business then it is not a disproportionate outcome.”

The TC revoked the O-licence of Groundworks Solutions with immediate effect and she disqualified the company and Cooper from holding or obtaining an O-licence for three years.