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TC says: keep an eye on maintenance providers

  • 19 November 2013
  • By Roger Brown

North East traffic commissioner (TC) Kevin Rooney (pictured) has warned O-licence holders who outsource maintenance that they must assess the performance of their contractors and develop a good working relationship with them.

The message followed a public inquiry in Leeds in October where Rooney suspended Wallsend-based Raiken Wholesale for a week until 23 November for being “significantly non-compliant”.

The TC heard how the company’s maintenance provider had carried out work on the firm’s vehicle before it was taken for its annual test. However, mechanics forgot to tighten the wheel nuts. When the vehicle was taken for its MoT, Vosa examiners found the wheel nuts were so loose they were about to fall off.

They issued a safety critical prohibition notice preventing the vehicle from further use until properly repaired. Vosa found that the firm did not have a written defect reporting system. The TC recorded three undertakings on the licence, including requiring two of the directors to attend an O-licence awareness course by the end of November.

Rooney said: “Although the maintenance provider made a serious error, the prohibition was recorded against the operator’s licence and triggered a Vosa investigation. Operators should take an interest in their maintenance contractors: they hold critical information about vehicle maintenance, which is vital to compliance. A preventative approach to maintenance involves scrutinising records and performance at all levels.”


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