R Keith Price Haulage adds a Renault mixer to its fleet

R Keith Price Haulage has taken delivery of its first Renault, a Range C380 6x4 with Day Cab and 7m McPhee mixer drum.

The North Powys-based family-run firm had previously run DAFs, but Keith Price made the move to Renault after an online conversation with Stephen Whitehead, MD of Border Trucks, some 200 miles away.

“I’d been following and admiring the vehicles on Border Trucks’ Facebook page and saw other people buying them and I was impressed,” said owner driver Keith Price. “I started chatting with Stephen and he was extremely responsive to queries and ultimately helped to arrange everything, including the finance package. From the first enquiry through to the delivery of the vehicle, Border Trucks made the process flawless.”

The truck, which joins two other mixers working with TG Concrete, part of the Tudor Griffiths Group, is being used to move concrete to builders, construction sites and farms across Mid and West Wales. It has been well spec’d, and features include light bars, reversing camera and LED reversing lights, four-point cab air suspension with ride-height control system, and air conditioning.

It was supplied on a five-year, 50,000km per annum R&M contract, and will be maintained by Perry’s of Gobowen.

Second PI spells the end for Kent operator

An operator that appeared at two public inquiries in two years has now had its licence revoked after a deputy traffic commissioner found its compliance levels never reached the required standard.

Kent Traction Services director Grace Shilling and transport manager Belinda Bell appeared before deputy TC John Baker at an Eastbourne PI after it failed to respond to DVSA questions as part of a desk based assessment. The company had previously appeared at a PI in 2018 following a high number of prohibitions being issued to its four fleet vehicles and its licence was suspended for almost two months.

At the latest PI, a senior traffic examiner told the DTC that the operator had finally sent additional information prior to the inquiry, but it was sporadic and raised more questions than answers. The available data showed that there were 44 occasions when the company’s vehicles were driven without cards, ranging in time between four minutes and five hours. There had also been mode switch offences; driving times had been exceeded and working time breaches had also occurred.

Bell told DTC Baker that problems had occurred when her husband was diagnosed with cancer in 2019 and then later died from Covid-19. In his written decision, Baker said he had genuine sympathy for the transport manager and these tragic circumstances and it explained the lack of response to the DVSA and recent compliance failings. But he also said: “Unfortunately, this factor highlights for me a further concern. The responsibility for ensuring compliance rest jointly with the director and the transport manager. This basic principle is endorsed by the fact that the traffic commissioner required training to be undertaken by Miss Shilling as well as Mrs Bell after the public inquiry in 2018.

“The distinct impression I got, and conclusion I have reached, is that Miss Shilling has delegated responsibility fully to Mrs Bell and when she was unable to undertake her duties very little happened.”

Baker said he struggled to find many positives in the case: “There is no evidence to show that the compliance levels have been at the standard required since the licence was granted,” he added. “I invited Mrs Bell to identify a time when compliance had been up to standard and she struggled to do so. I conclude that the seriousness level in this case is serious to severe.”