Tip-ex and Tank-ex 2015 Award winners revealed

Abbey Logistics and L Lynch Hire & Haulage were the winners of the top awards at the Tip-ex and Tank-ex 2015 Awards and Gala Dinner sponsored by Hardox wear plate, manufactured by SSAB Swedish Steel, held at Harrogate’s Majestic Hotel on Friday (29 May).

Abbey Logistics was named Tanker Operator of the Year, sponsored by Crossland Tankers, for being “an innovative, safety conscious company”, while L Lynch picked up the Tipper Haulier of the Year award, sponsored by MAN Truck and Bus UK, for putting safety first in the demanding world of tipper operation in London.

The awards were presented by comedy impressionist Les Gibson and Andy Salter, MD of Road Transport Media, owner of Tip-ex and Tank-ex, welcomed 460 guests to the gala dinner.

“We’ve got record numbers here at the dinner and awards tonight and we are on course to beat our previous best for visitors to this wonderful three-day exhibition,” said Salter. “I’d like to thank our sponsors and judges for picking our shortlists and winners of our seven awards, always a tricky task.”

The Show Innovation Award, sponsored by Bandvulc, saw six companies shortlisted: Chieftan Trailers, for its ejector trailer designed for asphalt and aggregates; Exeros Technologies, for its intelligent camera system; Muldoon Transport Systems, for its demountable vacuum loading unit; Vehicles Weighing Solutions, for its remote diagnostic device for onboard weighing systems; Spanners CIFA for its hybrid electric drive for cement mixer barrels; and CDEnviro for its DMax mobile waste sorting system. But there could only be one winner and it was Exeros, for its advanced camera system that uses thermal imaging and sophisticated algorithms to detect cyclists and pedestrians and warn the driver if one is in a blindspot before the vehicle makes a turn.  

The Image of the Industry Award, sponsored by L Lynch Plant Hire & Haulage was presented to the tipper or tanker operator that the judging panel believed has done most to raise the profile of the bulk transport industry.

The winner was Cemex (UK) for its tireless work to improve the safety of its construction fleet, especially to protect vulnerable road users such as cyclists.

Two companies made it to the shortlist of the Tanker Safety Award, sponsored by Feldbinder UK: Abbey Logistics Group, for introducing 14 innovative safety features to its trailers; and Simon Gibson Transport, for identifying and tackling the prime causes of accidents.

In this category Abbey was narrowly beaten to the top prize by Simon Gibson Transport.

In the Tipper Safety category, sponsored by VWS, the shortlist was Hargreaves Logistics, for eliminating the danger posed by raised platforms on bulk bodies; and O’Donovan Waste Disposal, for its efforts to make its vehicles as cycle safe as possible.
Hargreaves Logistics was named the winner of this award.

The final award of the night was Personality of the Year, sponsored by Hyva UK, the winner having been chosen by an expert panel including the sponsor and Tip-ex and Tank-ex owner Road Transport Media.

David Taylor, founder of truck and trailer dealer DG Taylor, was a very popular winner of this award.

Construction industry benevolent charity the Lighthouse Club was the beneficiary of a silent auction, a raffle sponsored by Thompsons and the casino sponsored by Scania.

Upper Tribunal upholds decision to revoke removals company's O-licence

The decision to revoke the O-licence of a removals company that refused to attend a public inquiry (PI) because of work agreements has been upheld by the Upper Tribunal.

Timothy Robinson, trading as Robinson’s Removals, was banned from operating HGVs by Eastern deputy traffic commissioner (DTC) Marcia Davies in December last year, after it failed to attend a hearing when its request for an adjournment was denied. Transport manager Stuart Robinson also lost his repute and was disqualified indefinitely.

It was called to a PI after failing to produce a maintenance contract or PMI sheets during a DVSA investigation. Robinson relied on his memory instead of using a written driver defect reporting system, and did not have a forward planning system in place.

The company’s vehicle also had a poor annual test pass rate and 75% of test results over five years were fails, compared to a national average of 14%. Fixed penalty notices had also been incurred for overloading, incorrect use of the mode switch and “dangerous use”.

Upon receiving the PI call-up letter, Stuart Robinson and director Timothy Robinson declined to attend. A letter was sent to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner (OTC), stating: “Owing to the fact that the pre Christmas period is very busy and profitable I am unable to attend the inquiry on that date”.

When the adjournment request was declined, Stuart Robinson then claimed it could not get out of prior work agreements, and said he didn’t regard “working for money as a commercial advantage”.

During the PI, for which the operator was absent, the DTC determined that the request for an adjournment was a “deliberate snub” and a device to postpone the impact of adverse findings against the operator. She said pre-booked work was not a sufficient reason to delay the hearing.

The DTC found that Robinson’s Removals had not demonstrated financial standing, had not inspected its vehicles every six weeks, and had breached a condition of its O-licence that said the TC should be notified of any maintenance changes. It had also broken driver’s hours rules.

Appealing the decision, Stuart Robinson claimed that the DVSA evidence was “full of half truths” and said the two PG9s presented as evidence were for trivial defects. He also claimed that the vehicle in question had been sold.

Upholding the DTC’s decision, judge Jacqueline Beech said refuse the request for an adjournment had been “plainly right” as the company made no attempt to provide its own evidence of its compliance ahead of the hearing.

In a written decision, she said the company had made “a cynical and deliberate attempt to delay the date of the public inquiry”.
“Further, Mr Robinson’s correspondence demonstrates an arrogant and wilful disregard of the functions of the regulatory system, added judge Beech.

Summing up: The Upper Tribunal found the operator had displayed “an attitude that is not acceptable in a regulated industry which is largely based on trust”.

  • This article appeared in the 28 May print edition of Commercial Motor. Why not subscribe today?