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Commercial Motor

Editorial Content Category: 
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XPO Logistics
Summary: 

A new authorisation for XPO Logistics in Redhill, Surrey were amongst the Applications and Decisions in the South-East traffic area that caught our eye this week.

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A new authorisation for XPO Logistics in Redhill, Surrey were amongst the Applications and Decisions in the South-East traffic area that caught our eye this week.

  • TJ Cottis Transport in Essex has been authorised to operate 20 HGVs and two trailers out of its Rayleigh operating centre and 15 HGVs and two trailers out of a new base in Rawreth.
  • The traffic commissioner has agreed to allow NDH Mansfield to operate eight lorries and eight trailers out of a new base in Crawley, near Bedford.
  • Batts Haulage in Ashford has been given the go ahead to run two vehicles out of an operating centre in Shepperton.
  • Peter McCormack & Sons has had new conditions placed on its O-licence for running HGVs out of its Cranleigh, Surrey, operating centre, with no movements allowed before 6am and after 7pm Monday to Friday and before 8am and after 3pm on Saturday.
  • XPO Transport Solutions UK, which trades as XPO Logistics, has been granted a new authorisation at its Redhill operating centre of eight vehicles and eight trailers.
  • The TC has agreed to MAH UK Transport increasing its authorisation at its Beddington Lane, Croydon, operating centre to 16 vehicles and eight trailers.
  • Walon, which trades as BCA Automotive, has been granted a licence to operate 10 vehicles and 10 trailers out of a new operating centre in Huyton, Liverpool.
  • Vio Logistic Solutions SRL has applied for a standard international licence authorising three HGVs and three trailers out of an operating centre in Santandrei, Romania.

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Author: Chris Tindall
Posted: February 20, 2019, 12:07 pm
Editorial Content Category: 
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An operator who appealed against a decision to disqualify him after a deputy traffic commissioner (TC) decided he had attempted to mislead her about his financial standing, has had his case dismissed.

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An operator who appealed against a decision to disqualify him after a deputy traffic commissioner (TC) decided he had attempted to mislead her about his financial standing, has had his case dismissed.

Ian Hayman had his licence for an HGV revoked in July 2018 after he was called to a public inquiry (PI) and money was discovered to have been moved between his account and his brother-in-law’s in order to artificially demonstrate compliance with financial standing rules.

Deputy TC Laura Thomas said he had not been “wholly truthful” in his communications with the Office of the Traffic Commissioner (OTC) regarding his finance. She also disqualified Hayward for 12 months.

Hayman appealed against the disqualification on the grounds that the deputy TC had refused to view some bank accounts; that the OTC had lost documentation; and that the decision to disqualify him was “unjust and harsh”.

However, the tribunal ruled, in his absence, that the deputy TC’s decision was entirely appropriate.

“The appellant has done nothing to demonstrate, in this appeal to the upper tribunal, that the deputy TC was wrong in her conclusion to the effect that he could not be trusted in the context of compliance with the terms of the licensing regime,” it concluded.

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Author: Chris Tindall
Posted: February 20, 2019, 11:57 am
Editorial Content Category: 
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Slough-based PCL Transport 24/7, part of Bidvest Group, has been fined £150,000 after one of its drivers was struck by a reversing vehicle while he was carrying out a pre-use check.

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Slough-based PCL Transport 24/7, part of Bidvest Group, has been fined £150,000 after one of its drivers was struck by a reversing vehicle while he was carrying out a pre-use check.

Reading Crown Court heard how the employee was seriously injured at a dairy in Aylesbury on 15 December 2015. He was carrying out checks on his own lorry when he was struck by the reversing vehicle.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation found that safety controls, principally the use of an allocated pre-use vehicle area, were not being followed by the firm’s lorry drivers.

PCL Transport 24/7 pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 17 of Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations and was fined £150,000. It was also ordered to pay costs of £17,649.27 and a £120 victim surcharge.

HSE inspector Stephen Faulkner said: “Being struck by vehicles is still one of the highest causes of workplace fatal accidents. Employers should ensure that where vehicles and pedestrians use the same areas, there is sufficient separation between them.”

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Author: Chris Tindall
Posted: February 20, 2019, 11:44 am
Editorial Content Category: 
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Summary: 

Winters Haulage in Hitchin has been fined £510,000 and its director has been given a community order for illegally storing baled waste.

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Winters Haulage in Hitchin has been fined £510,000 and its director has been given a community order for illegally storing baled waste.

A judge at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court said director Liam Winters was “certainly reckless” after he used a site to store thousands of tonnes of the combustible waste, known as refuse derived fuel (RDF), which posed a significant fire risk.

The company, which is now in liquidation, operated its Hitchin address under an environmental permit, but it also operated a site at Royston without a permit, which is required by law.

The Environment Agency said it had told Winters Haulage to clear waste from the Royston site but that the necessary accompanying waste transfer notes were either absent or incorrect. It was later alleged that some of the baled RDF had been buried at Royston.

In mitigation, the company’s solicitor said it had used the Royston site as a temporary measure and that Winters Haulage had not intended to undermine the statutory regime.

Director Winters was ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work as part of a 12-month community order and he was also ordered to pay £8,850 in costs.

Of the company’s fine, £450,000 was money saved or avoided by committing the offences. It was also ordered to pay costs of £30,000.

The court heard that it will cost landowner Anglian Water Group around £1.9m to clean up and restore the site to its previous condition.

Environment Agency team leader Phil Henderson said: “This case highlights the growing problems being faced with waste across the country and the result in court today should reassure the public that the Environment Agency is committed to bringing waste criminals to justice.”

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Author: Chris Tindall
Posted: February 20, 2019, 11:31 am
Editorial Content Category: 
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Burnley-based Express Freight Solutions’ licence has been curtailed by 10% after it admitted fitting AdBlue devices to its lorries.

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Burnley-based Express Freight Solutions’ licence has been curtailed by 10% after it admitted fitting AdBlue devices to its lorries.

Director Mark Jones escaped regulatory action by the traffic commissioner (TC) by stepping down from his role at the haulage firm, and the operator retained its good repute, but only “by the narrowest margin”.

North West area TC Simon Evans heard how the DVSA stopped five of Express’s vehicles and detected AdBlue devices. The operator openly admitted that up to 12 emulators were fitted to the fleet at some stage.

Express explained to the DVSA that its HGVs were suffering from repeated emissions control problems, leading to the vehicles going into ‘limp mode’ and preventing them from being used without immediate repair.

The public inquiry heard how the company’s fleet engineer Daniel Marshall had come up with a ‘fix’ involving fitting emulators that enabled stricken lorries to return to base, where repairs could be undertaken in-house, rather than by a costly roadside subcontractor.

Jones said he was unaware the devices had been fitted, although he knew about the emissions control problems.

Evans found that the operator, through Marshall, had carried out acts that were discreditable and that the engineer probably knew what he was doing lacked legitimacy.

He also said it was likely Jones “closed his eyes” to what was going on and had failed to manage the actions of Marshall, a senior member of staff.

However, in the firm’s favour he noted that the company had a positive compliance record and a better-than-average MoT pass rate; that it had been open with the DVSA and that all devices had been removed from the HGVs.

In his written decision, the TC said: “The extent to which devices were fitted to the operator’s vehicles, and later brought into operation, represented acts that were discreditable, anti-competitive in nature and increased the risk to the public from a greater release of NOx particulates into the atmosphere.

“These devices have commonly been characterised as ‘cheat devices’. Such a description appears to me suitably apt in portraying both the nature of the ‘tricking’ of the engine management system into believing that emissions controls were operating in accordance with the manufacturer’s fitted equipment, but also ‘fooling’ any interested witness that a vehicle was meeting Euro-5 emission standards, when it was not.”

The company’s two licences were curtailed from 80 vehicles and 57 trailers to 67 and 50 respectively, for three weeks before they were curtailed indefinitely to 74 and 57.

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Author: Chris Tindall
Posted: February 20, 2019, 11:18 am
Editorial Content Category: 
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Thomas Hardie
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Brexit fears are not playing any major role in business levels at independent Volvo dealer Thomas Hardie

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Brexit fears are not playing any major role in business levels at independent Volvo dealer Thomas Hardie, according to used truck business development manager Jonathan Bownes.

"All the Brexit talk is responsible for some uncertainty, but there are too many other outside factors that are helping to keep the steady flow of trucks through our hands,” Bownes said.

“There are more and more cities following London’s example with clean air zones to help improve the air quality of its residents, and LNG trucks, electric power and the constant advancements in truck technology are all points of consideration for truck buyers. This has resulted in more older, Euro-4 and Euro-5 trucks being traded into us and while these may not be of interest to a lot of UK users, worldwide demand is strong.”

Bownes acknowledged that Brexit is the most important event the country, and the transport industry, has had to deal with in several years, but from a business point of view and for Thomas Hardie, the developments in Westminster and Brussels have had little effect on trading.

“Some customers are cautious and a few have mentioned Brexit, but the industry has to keep going. We have formed strong relationships with good solid export customers who, in their part of the world, have no brexit or low emission zone worries,” Bownes added.

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Thomas Hardie Used Truck Centre (191651)
Author: George Barrow
Posted: February 15, 2019, 3:18 pm
Editorial Content Category: 
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Econic Doncaster
Summary: 

Increased authorisations for Suez Recycling and Recovery, Trilogy Freight and Secured Express in the north-west of England are among the highlights of the latest applications and decisions this week.

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Increased authorisations for Suez Recycling and Recovery, Trilogy Freight and Secured Express in the north-west of England are among the highlights of the latest applications and decisions this week.

  • Dyce Carriers has been authorised to operate 10 HGVs and 20 trailers at a new operating centre at Grangemouth Docks, Grangemouth.
  • Wolseley UK in Warwick has been given the go-ahead to increase the number of lorries at its Royston Road, Livingston operating centre to five.
  • Route One Freight in Tamworth has been granted authorisation for five HGVs and five trailers at an operating centre on the Lichfield Road industrial estate in the town.
  • Explore Transport has been given authorisation to base 50 vehicles and 100 trailers at a new operating centre on Whieldon Road in Stoke on Trent.
  • Suez Recycling and Recovery UK can now run eight HGVs and two trailers out of a new operating centre on the Knowsley industrial park in Liverpool.
  • Trilogy Freight in Wythenshawe, Manchester has been granted authorisation to operate eight lorries and four trailers out of a new operating centre at the Speke Freight Terminal in Speke, Liverpool.
  • Secured Express in Warrington has increased its authorised fleet size at its Winwick Quay, Warrington, operating centre to five HGVs and 15 trailers.
  • WCR Haulage can base two HGVs at an operating centre on the Freightmaster Estate in Rainham.
  • Rapid Response Recovery in London, N18 has upgraded its licence from restricted to standard national and has increased the number of lorries authorised out of its base on the Montague Industrial Estate to four, with two trailers.

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Author: Chris Tindall
Posted: February 13, 2019, 9:45 am
Editorial Content Category: 
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A restricted licence holder that used lorries to transport ‘super cars’ to race tracks for event experiences has had its licence revoked.

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A restricted licence holder that used lorries to transport ‘super cars’ to race tracks for event experiences has had its licence revoked.

SCDD appeared before the traffic commissioner for the North West, Simon Evans (pictured), after one of its vehicles was stopped in April 2018 and the driver was found not to have the necessary entitlement for its use that day. It was also discovered that the tachograph had not been downloaded for more than four years, albeit it transpired the lorry was only added to the licence in February 2018.

The DVSA said the vehicle and trailer combination was in excess of 750kg and therefore should have been holding a full C+E driving licence. Although the driver held provisional entitlement, he was not displaying L plates nor was he accompanied by a qualified driver.

Director Adam Hayes told the PI the offence was committed in error and disputed the finding that the trailer was in excess of 750kg. However, he accepted that the tachograph data had not been “locked in” using the company card and he accepted responsibility for failing to notify a change in directorship earlier in the year.

Further investigation found issues over SCDD’s financial standing. Papers served also highlighted Hayes’ involvement with a second company called Hayes Freight, which lost its licence in May 2018. At the time Hayes was found to have lost his repute as a transport manager: “Through his acts and omissions, he had facilitated the continuation of a substantial operator’s licence when there had been no professional competence,” explained the TC. “He had pretended to be the transport manager when he was not.”

As a result, he was also disqualified for five years - something that wasn’t mentioned to the TC’s office with regards to SCDD’s fitness to hold a licence.

TC Evans said there were “real concerns” about the fitness and serviceability of SCDD’s vehicles, the quality of the driver defect reporting arrangements and the preventative maintenance regime.

Hayes said he’d made some “awful decisions” but that his actions were out of character and nothing had been done with a view to gain or wilfully mislead.

However, the TC said he couldn’t be satisfied the operator would be compliant in the future, because he couldn’t trust the director: “I cannot agree that Adam Hayes was acting other than deliberately and with intent to mislead, when the DVSA began its inquiries into Hayes Freight. The assurances given by him about future arrangements are hollow in the light of the findings in respect of his repute as a TM.”

He added that he was shocked that SDCC’s other director Adam Trapp hadn’t appeared at PI and that there were “repeated examples of failure to notify material changes, serious concerns about the management of drivers, driver defect reporting arrangements and the maintenance of vehicles. Financial standing is not met.”

He concluded that the licence must be revoked: “I understand that the vehicles are not currently being operated. The order will take effect immediately.”

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Author: Chris Tindall
Posted: February 13, 2019, 9:35 am
Editorial Content Category: 
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Interrupter devices
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A Fort William haulage firm has had its O-licence revoked after it failed to provide evidence of continuing financial standing or adequate arrangements to employ a transport manager during a period of grace.

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A Fort William haulage firm has had its O-licence revoked after it failed to provide evidence of continuing financial standing or adequate arrangements to employ a transport manager during a period of grace.

Following a public inquiry in Inverness in October 2018, MacDiarmid Haulage was given until 9 January to find a new transport manager after TC Joan Aitken (pictured) disqualified the existing one, as well as demonstrate it had enough finances to operate five HGVs.

The PI was originally called after a DVSA vehicle examiner passed an adverse report to the TC’s office. One of the company’s trailers had been issued with an S marked immediate prohibition after nine immediate defects were discovered at the roadside in March 2018. A few days later, an immediate variation prohibition for a tyre failure was issued by the examiner on the same trailer, followed by a further variation prohibition being imposed for an inoperative service brake.

A maintenance investigation at the operator’s premises revealed decelerometer tests not recorded; no three monthly roller brake tests; a high MOT fail rate and a high prohibition rate, among other deficiencies. The vehicle examiner formed the view that transport manager Graham Cooper did not have effective and continuous management of the transport activities and was relying on director Donald MacDiarmid.

Ahead of the PI, Cooper wrote to the TCs’ office in which he said he took full responsibility for the shortcomings and that he would resign.

Despite the TC pointing out that getting evidence from MacDiarmid was like “pulling teeth” and disqualifying Cooper permanently, she gave the company director until 9 January to nominate a new transport manager and show evidence of continuing financial standing, or else the licence would be revoked.

In a follow-up written decision, TC Aitken said MacDiarmid had rung and emailed the Edinburgh caseworker with a copy of his sister’s CPC on the final deadline day. There was no additional documentation to show that she had accepted the appointment of transport manager or what hours she would be working. MacDiarmid also emailed bank statements which did not show continuing financial standing.

On 10 January, MacDiarmid emailed a bank statement showing a deposit that day of £20,000 from a John MacDiarmid, which could cover financial standing for the future if retained, but by this point the TC had lost her patience. She revoked the licence with effect from 23.59 on 15 February, but held back from making any orders of disqualification.

She wrote: “I have referred myself to the decision I took following the Public Inquiry on 16 October 2018 and the lack of engagement I found in Mr MacDiarmid. I gave him a chance and a reasonable deadline given what he told me he expected to do to remedy the deficiencies in the licence. He has failed to meet that deadline and what he has produced goes only so far to meet the mandatory requirements for an operator licence.

“I have to take my own orders seriously. They cannot be idle threats,” she added.

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Author: Chris Tindall
Posted: February 13, 2019, 9:26 am
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New Daf For Sale Evans Halshaw
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Operators are becoming more knowledgeable and better informed about upcoming industry changes

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Operators are becoming more knowledgeable and better informed about upcoming industry changes according to Evans Halshaw, national franchise director Wayne Edwards.

“People are actually asking for a Euro-6 vehicles, rather than just asking for used trucks like they used to,” said Edwards.

“I think the change is very much driven by the press and all their talk of low emission zones as well as the RHA which has been banging on its drum about LEZs.

“From January 2020, we’re talking about as much as £50 a day to get into the Leeds area. We have a site there and I think there’s now a fair bit of knowledge in the local area about what is potentially going to be required.”

Within the past eight months, Evans Halshaw has switched to stocking only Euro-6 standard used trucks, and with the exception of specific customer orders requiring Euro-5 now sells only the higher emission standard vehicles.

Across its four sites, Evans Halshaw now stocks up to 60 used Euro-6 trucks, a change which has come about entirely through customer demand.

“Customers are pretty aware of the LEZs. We’ve had a lot of interest in used Euro-6s, and are taking a lot of Euro-5 in as part-exchanges.

“Because we are now only stocking Euro-6 we do use that as a sales hook, customers can be sure they are getting the latest specification and it can go into LEZs.

“It’s very difficult in our industry, we do burn a lot of fossil fuels, but we always will until we get hybrids or electric trucks.

“When you talk to business people, the switch to Euro-6 is all about that £50 a day. We all want to improve our emissions, but that cost is something that they are going to struggle to pass on,” Edwards added.

Author: George Barrow
Posted: February 12, 2019, 3:09 pm