A third of DVSA stops in 2015 lead to prohibitions

Almost a third of trucks and trailers stopped and checked by the DVSA last year were issued with a prohibition for a mechanical defect.

Prohibition figures released following a freedom of information request by Commercialmotor.com show that 31% of the 51,079 HGV and trailer checks carried out last year resulted in a PG9 being given to the operator.

Of the 15,815 PG9s issued between 1 January and 31 December 2015, 7,384 (46.7%) were immediate prohibitions, which are handed out for the most serious mechanical problems and often require the truck to be immobilised. The number of delayed prohibitions issued totalled 8,431 (53.3%).

The highest prohibition rate as a percentage of vehicles stopped was achieved by London’s Industrial HGV Task Force, an enforcement initiative carried out by the DVSA, Metropolitan Police and City of London Police. It issued 1,221 mechanical prohibitions on 2,345 checks (52%); 52.5% of trucks and 
47.3% of trailers stopped by 
the Task Force had a defect of some sort.

Checks in the Hertfordshire, Essex and Bedfordshire region achieved the lowest prohibition rate. Just 653 (24.5%) of the 2,658 checks uncovered a mechanical defect. Just under a quarter (23.4%) of the HGVs examined were given a PG9 in this region, while 26.9% of trailers were defective.

The enforcement agency’s Cumbria, Lancashire and Tyne and Tees enforcement office checked the most trucks and trailers for roadworthiness issues – 6,993 checks (4,703 HGVs and 2,290 trailers). It also handed out the greatest number of prohibitions to trucks (920), 
690 of which were immediate. Checks in the region achieved the highest number of immediate prohibitions for trailers: 513 were handed out, compared to 407 delayed prohibitions.

Central London was the worst area for immediate prohibitions given to trucks: 806 of the 1,122 prohibitions issued to HGVs last year were immediate, compared to 316 delayed prohibitions.

Growth in truck registrations likely as normality returns

Fleet renewal patterns have returned to normal following the distortions caused by Euro-6 and Whole Vehicle Type Approval, and the industry should expect a steadier rate of further growth, according to the SMMT’s latest quarterly figures.

New truck registrations (of vehicles above 6-tonne GVW) in the second quarter of the year stood at 11,071, up 12.9% on the same quarter in 2015.

However, as the SMMT’s new quarterly reporting regime for new truck registrations does not break down every month, it did not show any evidence of an effect on confidence or buying patterns among new truck buyers in the lead-up to the EU referendum.

The number of 3-axle artics registered in the period fell 11.4% year-on-year to 3,842 (compared with 4,337 in Q2 2015). And while 2-axle artics rose 11.2% quarter-on-quarter (from 427 to 475), it was not enough to offset the overall year-on-year decline in the artic market in April, May and June from 4,764 units to 4,317.

Rigids remained strong, up 22.3% year-on-year at 6,754 units compared with 5,523 units
in Q2 2015. The market between 6-tonne and 16-tonne GVW was up 25.5% year-on-year to 2,449 units (Q2 2015: 1,951), while rigids above 16-tonne GVW were up 20.5% to 4,305, from 3,572.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “It’s encouraging to see HGV operators continuing to invest following the growth seen last year – the result of pent-up demand created by regulatory upheaval in 2014.

"We’re seeing fleet renewal patterns return to normal and the signs point towards further growth, albeit at a steadier rate. Maintaining business confidence must be a priority to ensure this crucial sector’s success.”

Daf led the market again in Q2 with a 31.3% share equating to 3,470 units registered. Scania remained second with a 16.2% share (1,788 units) and Volvo maintained its third place by just 0.1% above Mercedes-Benz (12.6% and 1,400 units compared with 12.5% and 1,389 units respectively).

MAN remained fifth (9.4%, 1,042 units) with Iveco sixth (7.7%, 847 units) and Renault seventh (5.1%, 568 units).