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Commercial Motor

Editorial Content Category: 
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O-licence
Summary: 

Oswestry-based CIT European has had its O-licence revoked following an investigation that found Craig Isaac had used the company to circumvent a five-year disqualification.

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Oswestry-based CIT European has had its O-licence revoked following an investigation that found Craig Isaac had used the company to circumvent a five-year disqualification.

In a written decision following a public inquiry (PI) in August in Welshpool, traffic commissioner (TC) for Wales Nick Jones described Isaac as a “rogue” who had engaged in calculated and dishonest actions. The TC had disqualified Isaac following a 2012 PI that found he had not employed a transport manager at his haulage operation, European Express.

CIT - with Isaac’s stepfather Philip Lindup listed as sole director - was granted a standard international O-licence in 2015 for two vehicles and two trailers. In January 2018 DVSA employee and traffic examiner Marianne Hyde called CIT and spoke to an individual who was knowledgeable about the transport business and who identified himself as Lindup.

However, at an interview in February 2018, arranged following concerns about Isaac’s influence on the business, Lindup told Hyde he did not know: how his drivers were paid; how much he paid drivers for a night out or where he kept receipts for drivers’; how many times a driver can reduce his daily rest in a week; and anything about tachograph printouts. Hyde said Lindup had “demonstrated a high level of ignorance regarding the very basic requirements for operating vehicles and a breathtaking lack of knowledge” and concluded that Isaac had pretended to be Lindup during the January phone conversation.

She also suspected CIT was an acronym for Craig International/Isaac Transport, however, Lindup told her it stood for “Chilled International Transport”. At another interview in February 2018, listed transport manager Peter Jones told Hyde he had not received any money from CIT and “didn’t do anything either”.

Analysis of CIT records from 1 June 2017 to 31 August 2017 revealed 28 drivers’ hours infringements. Jones disqualified Isaac from holding an O-licence for 10 years, and said he had been a shadow director of CIT.

He also disqualified Lindup from having an O-licence for five years and disqualified Jones as a transport manager indefinitely. “The limited company [CIT European] was set up with the sole intention of circumventing decisions of mine and to avoid bringing to my attention Craig Isaac’s true role,” the TC said.

Jones refused a fresh application from Isaac for a standard international O-licence for two vehicles and two trailers. He disqualified Isaac as a transport manager indefinitely and issued a formal warning that he is liable to have his vehicles impounded by the DVSA if he continues to operate illegally.

“I suspect that only if he believes that there is a realistic chance of his vehicles being impounded is he going to cease operating,” the TC concluded. Isaac has lodged an appeal.

 

Author: Roger Brown
Posted: December 14, 2018, 10:46 am
Editorial Content Category: 
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Immingham
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Associated British Ports, DFDS Seaways and ICTS (UK) have been fined a total of more than £1.4m after a security guard was fatally injured when he was struck by an articulated truck.

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Associated British Ports, DFDS Seaways and ICTS (UK) have been fined a total of more than £1.4m after a security guard was fatally injured when he was struck by an articulated truck.

Hull Crown Court heard how, on 9 September 2015, Lyndon Perks, a security guard employed at the container terminal at Immingham Docks, approached an artic that was entering a gate, and walked in front of the vehicle. The guard was not visible to the driver, either on approach to the HGV or as he walked in front of it.

He was dragged underneath the vehicle as it turned towards a warehouse and sustained multiple injuries and died at the scene. A HSE investigation found Associated British Ports and DFDS Seaways had failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient workplace transport risk assessment and had not considered the risks that vehicles entering, leaving and manoeuvring in the gate area posed to others.

Associated British Ports required the security guard at the gate to stop traffic and check pedestrians and vehicles entering the terminal, but failed to provide means to do so safely as there was no signage indicating drivers should stop and report to security, and no safe facilities. Also, ICTS (UK) failed to provide adequate training, and the risks of stopping traffic without any physical protective measures in place had not been considered.

Associated British Ports of Bedford Street, London, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £750,750. DFDS Seaways of Nordic House, Immingham Docks, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £166,670.

ICTS (UK) of Tavistock House, London pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £500,000. After the hearing, HSE inspector Carol Downes said: “HSE found inadequate consultation between parties and no assessment of the risks to the segregation of vehicles and pedestrians.

Author: Roger Brown
Posted: December 13, 2018, 10:41 am
Editorial Content Category: 
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tipper
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A contracting firm has been fined £45,000 after a driver died following an accident when his tipper wagon overturned.

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A contracting firm has been fined £45,000 after a driver died following an accident when his tipper wagon overturned.

Sheffield Crown Court heard how on 17 September 2013 driver Alan Clements was tipping spoil onto a stockpile at the former Croda tar works in Carlisle Street, Kilnhurst, Rotherham. Sirius Remediation contractors were managing works that involved raising the ground levels on site by reusing spoil from other sites instead of sending it to landfill.

Clements reversed up the slope of the stockpile and raised his tipper, but the truck toppled over sideways and he suffered fatal chest injuries. A HSE investigation found there was nothing to demarcate the sides or top of the slope, such as beams or barriers at the edges of the spoil heap that could have prevented plant or other vehicles from getting too close to high and possibly loose edges.

There had also been a failure to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment for the safe formation of the stockpile. Sirius Remediation of Russell House, Mill Road, Langley Moor, Durham, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was ordered to pay £10,000 costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Medani Close said: “Stockpiling should only take place under the control of a suitably qualified temporary works manager or co-ordinator as it can be a high-risk activity if not properly managed. Where stockpiling is unavoidable, tipping should take place on a firm, level surface, preferably at the base.

“Plants such as a crawler dozer, tracked/loading shovel or excavator should be used to create and maintain the stockpile, and its edges should be clearly demarcated with barriers.”

 

 

 

Author: Roger Brown
Posted: December 13, 2018, 9:49 am
Editorial Content Category: 
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Summary: 

Attempts to sell Gulliver’s Truck Hire as a going concern have floundered placing the business’s future in doubt, with staff at the firm facing redundancy.

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Attempts to sell Gulliver’s Truck Hire as a going concern have floundered placing the business’s future in doubt, with staff at the firm facing redundancy.

In a letter dated 11 December, seen by CM, the rental firm’s MD Phillipe Harding said: “Following talks over the weekend, it is now clear that a sale of all or the majority of the business is not going to be possible.  We continue to explore sales of parts of the business with a number of buyers but those sales are limited in scope and remain subject to further negotiation and agreement”.

Harding added that the directors were now in the “very sad position” of having to plan for the closure of the business.

Stating that if a sale could not be achieved, closure of the business was the only option, the MD confirmed that an HR1 form – paperwork required where collective redundancies are being proposed – had been filed.

According to the firm’s most recent accounts it employs 375 people.

“I must reiterate that we are continuing to look for and explore sales opportunities, but until these are at the stage of being confirmed, we have to assume the worst case of a complete closure,” Harding stated in the letter.

He added that an administrator would be appointed as soon as possible.

Gulliver’s was unavailable for comment as this article was published

Author: Chris Druce
Posted: December 12, 2018, 10:24 am
Editorial Content Category: 
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Ryder
Summary: 

Commercial Motor picks out some of the latest O-licence applications and decisions issued.

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Oakland International has been given the green light for 10 vehicles and 20 trailers at its site in Seafield Lane, Beoley, Redditch.

Certas Energy can park six vehicles and two trailers at a unit in Prime Point, Pensnett Trading Estate, Kingswinford.

Montgomery Tank Services has been granted authorisation for five vehicles and five trailers at its facility in Tat Bank Road, Oldbury.

Ryder can base three vehicles and one trailer at a site in Salford Street, Birmingham.

Wastecare can base 10 vehicles and two trailers at a facility on the Leamore Enterprise Park, Bloxwich, Walsall.

Fedex UK has been given the go-ahead for 16 vehicles and 10 trailers at a unit on the Burntwood Business Park, Robins Road, Burntwood.

All Metal Services can station four vehicles and one trailer at a site in Midpoint Boulevard, Minworth, Birmingham.

RT Premium Logistics can base three vehicles at a unit on the Tractor Spares Industrial Estate, Strawberry Lane, Willenhall.

Tour Transport has been given the green light for seven vehicles at the Aggregate Depot, Fairground Way, Walsall.

Ocado can locate 80 vehicles and 120 trailers at Danny Morson Way, Birch Coppice Business Park, Tamworth.

Author: Roger Brown
Posted: December 11, 2018, 9:43 am
Editorial Content Category: 
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Ferns Group Econic truck
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Surfacing and aggregates company Ferns Group has put into service two Mercedes-Benz Econic trucks, both featuring a steering rear axle behind the double drive bogie.

 

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Surfacing and aggregates company Ferns Group has put into service two Mercedes-Benz Econic trucks, both featuring a steering rear axle behind the double drive bogie.

The new chassis marks a departure for the Maidstone-based company but it has stayed loyal to Loadmaster, specifying the tipper body it has run for years.

“There’s nothing to touch it for strength, durability and reliability,” explained James Gupwell, Ferns Group transport director.

“Yes, it’s a premium product at a premium price, but its long term value and exceptionally low ownership costs more than make up for that front end expense.” 

Operated by subsidiary company Ferns Surfacing from its north London Wembley depot, the two Econics will be used on urban tipper grab work.

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Author: Chris Tindall
Posted: December 7, 2018, 1:56 pm
Editorial Content Category: 
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Financial standing
Summary: 

The office of the traffic commissioner (TC) has confirmed the new financial standing levels for hauliers that will take effect from the beginning of 2019.

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The office of the traffic commissioner (TC) has confirmed the new financial standing levels for hauliers that will take effect for from the beginning of 2019.

Standard national and international licence applicants will be required to demonstrate £8,000 (previously £7,950) for the first vehicle and £4,450 (previously £4,400) for each additional vehicle they request to be authorised.

Operators making variation applications will be required to demonstrate financial standing for their existing fleet and any additional authorisation against the new levels.

Any applicant or licence holder appearing at a public inquiry before a TC after 1 January 2019, where evidence of financial standing is requested, will be required to satisfy the new levels.

There will be currently no change to the rates of finance, which must be available to support a restricted licence or application - £3,100 for the first vehicle and £1,700 for each additional authorised vehicle.

The senior TC’s statutory guidance document on finance will be amended to reflect the new rates.

Author: Roger Brown
Posted: December 7, 2018, 11:13 am
Editorial Content Category: 
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O-licence
Summary: 

Enfield-based Simply Removals has had its O-licence suspended for a month following a public inquiry (PI) into overloading and drivers’ hours offences.

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Enfield-based Simply Removals has had its O-licence suspended for a month following a public inquiry (PI) into overloading and drivers’ hours offences.

In a written decision after the November hearing in Eastbourne, south east deputy traffic commissioner (TC) John Baker suspended the firm’s standard international O-licence for five vehicles from 1 December until 2 January 2019, saying it “serves as a reminder to this operator and others that ongoing compliance is essential.”

A traffic examiner’s report, carried out into Simply Removals after one of its trucks was discovered overloaded in September 2017, was “mostly satisfactory” but a significant number of drivers’ hours infringements were found. However, the operator and four of its drivers were prosecuted in January - for a combination of the original overload, the drivers’ hours infringements and another overload offence in July 2017 - resulting in convictions and fines.

After a further overloading offence in November 2017 a driver was prosecuted and convicted in June this year. Another traffic examiner report in June 2018 revealed a high number of tachograph breaches, including 196 occasions of driving without a card.

An August maintenance investigation was marked as unsatisfactory and more vehicle overloading offences were discovered in September and October. At the inquiry, a DVSA traffic examiner told the deputy TC that Simply Removals had made improvements between the first traffic examiner’s report in 2017 and the visit this year but the changes had not gone far enough.

He felt Stephen Ashby, transport manager for the operator since 2016, and who was responsible for two other companies which had one vehicle each in operation, had not devoted enough time to analysing the tachograph records. Sole director of Simply Removals Damian Muretti said he had recently brought in an external tachograph records consultant to assist and that things had now improved drastically, with a much reduced rate of driver infringements recorded in October.

The firm had acquired a tool to prevent overloading of vehicles, had changed its contracted maintenance provider and systems were now in place to ensure PMI periods were achieved. Ashby also told the deputy TC he was now able to dedicate more hours to his work with Simply Removals.

He had realised during 2017 that the tachograph analysis system in place at the time was not giving him all the information he required and now also understood that he had not paid enough attention to the driver records aspects of compliance. Deputy TC Baker said Ashby’s repute as a transport manager is retained but severely tarnished.

“Both he and the operator should be acutely aware that if there is any further significant and/or prolonged non-compliance the licence is likely to be revoked and Mr Ashby’s repute lost”, he added. Simply Removals will also undertake an audit of its transport operation to be carried out in no less than five months and no more than seven months from the date of the PI.

 

 

Author: Roger Brown
Posted: December 7, 2018, 9:42 am
Editorial Content Category: 
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Road Tech
Summary: 

CM is offering you the chance to win a free subscription to Road Tech’s Tachomaster tachograph analysis service

 

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CM is offering you the chance to win a free subscription to Road Tech’s Tachomaster tachograph analysis service. The winner will receive four months’ complimentary access to the system and the company’s experts will be on hand to assist with installation. The subscription includes driver and vehicle analysis, a full suite of reporting tools, telephone support and unlimited training at the firm’s base at Shenley Haall, Hertfordshire, during the period.

To enter, send an email to competitions@roadtransport.com by 13 December with the subject line ‘Tachomaster competition’ and a short message stating your intention to partake.

Entrants must not already be customers of Road Tech and the winner will be picked at random and announced via commercialmotor.com on 14 December.

The successful company will also have the opportunity to have its experience with Tachomaster featured in an exclusive CM article.

Author: George Barrow
Posted: December 7, 2018, 8:46 am
Editorial Content Category: 
Headline image: 
Fraud
Summary: 

A Birmingham haulier has been sent to prison for a second time for failing to pay back money he stole in a tax fraud.

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A Birmingham haulier has been sent to prison for a second time for failing to pay back money he stole in a tax fraud.

Craig McDougall, 47, from Lindsworth Road, Kings Norton, was sentenced to four years in prison in July 2017 for evading income tax, national insurance and VAT by lying about the takings from his Wythall-based haulage business, following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court. At the same court in January this year McDougall was ordered to pay back £75,777 within three months, but he failed to repay any of the money and was sent to prison for a further 20 months on 14 November.

McDougall claimed his turnover during 2011 and 2013 was £649,058 but HMRC officers discovered that the actual figure was £830,000. The haulier also said his income was only £16,995 for those years, but he withdrew more than £235,000 which he could not account for.

He even claimed HMRC had lost his records but no paperwork was ever received. However, investigators were able to check McDougall’s bank records and found the huge discrepancies regarding his turnover and income.

The offences were committed between April 2011 and April 2014 and HMRC calculated the total fraud to be £161,175. He was found guilty of being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of income tax contrary to Section 106A of the Taxes Management Act (1970) and being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of VAT contrary to Section 72(1) of the Value Added Tax Act (1994).

Debbie Porter, assistant director, fraud investigation service, HMRC, said: “This case proves crime doesn’t pay. McDougall’s original sentence has increased by nearly 50% and he will still owe the money when he is released from his extended period in prison.

“Our work does not end when fraudsters are jailed. We will always try to recover the proceeds of crime and ensure they are spent on our vital public services.”

Author: Roger Brown
Posted: December 6, 2018, 9:44 am