Whenever a business applies to run more vehicles, DVSA look at the operator’s compliance history to see if a fleet inspection is needed.
It’s common sense really. The Traffic Commissioner needs to know the vehicles are being looked after properly at the current level.
At a recent public inquiry, the Traffic Commissioner for the East of England, Richard Turfitt, was asked to consider an increase of 10 vehicles and 7 trailers for an operator.
DVSA’s maintenance investigation revealed numerous shortcomings for the existing 18 vehicle and 3 trailer fleet, including ineffective forward planning, significant gaps in safety inspections and concerns around driver defect reporting with six prohibitions issued for tyre defects.
The operator gave a positive and prompt response to DVSA’s visit but key staff hadn’t picked up vital information, such as changes to the agency’s Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness in 2018.
Quality of audit reports
The Commissioner found issues with audit reports provided by the company, saying there was little in the audit to explain the shortcomings identified. In reality it wasn’t much more than a single page of observations without much evidence to back them up.
As a result, he couldn’t attach much weight to the report from the transport consultant or the FORS status.
Too long to catch up
The Commissioner said it had taken too long for the operator to catch up with current requirements. It should have been obvious what the business needed to do.
As well as refusing the variation, the company’s licence was curtailed by 4 vehicles for one month. The firm’s transport manager resigned with his repute severely tarnished. A replacement must be nominated in January 2020.
Darran Harris Solicitor & Director of CheckedSafe says
“This case shows the importance of keeping up to date. When customers use CheckedSafe we keep up to date for them and feedback such updates so they can keep on top and retain the valuable O-Licence “
CheckedSafe develop Apps and web-based reporting systems with integrated compliance and safety applications that are multi-functional and secure. The system offers organisations complete solutions, which enables them to manage and protect their workforce and comply with legal and commercial requirements whilst reducing cost and liability.
Our management team formed CheckedSafe with a vision to provide contemporaneous compliance solutions that could be tailored to any industry. Together with our dedicated team of developers and client account managers, we are now providing compliance services across commercial and plant hire vehicles, Utilities and many other service sectors that are monitored for compliance and efficiency.