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Director disqualified after trucks found to have serious safety issues

  • 05 March 2014
  • By Roger Brown

The director of Sheffield operator Rother Skip Hire has been disqualified after his trucks were found to have serious safety problems.

In a decision following a public inquiry in Leeds Kevin Rooney (pictured), the traffic commissioner (TC) for the north east of England, said the firm run by Stephen Curran had lacked even the most basic vehicle maintenance procedures.

He also revoked its O-licence for two vehicles.

During the inquiry, which Curran failed to attend, TC Rooney was told that a vehicle was found with a safety critical defect, routine safety inspections had not been done on time and drivers were not carrying out daily defect checks on vehicles.

A vehicle examiner from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency – formerly Vosa and the DSA – said that the person who was responsible for vehicle maintenance at the firm had no understanding of how to run a transport company’s maintenance system.

When one of the firm’s vehicles was stopped in July 2013, a DVSA officer found three out of 10 wheel nuts were loose, along with other defects.

He reported that the washers and nuts could be turned by hand and the wheel nut markers fitted were splayed, clearly indicating the nuts were loose.

After interviewing the driver, the examiner concluded the company had no procedures in place for drivers to check vehicles before using them and employees had not been told how to do this.

The TC was told that some vehicles at the firm had gone for six months without a routine safety check.

The firm also had a 100% annual test failure rate in the past two years, with one vehicle failing on three brake items in December 2012.

TC Rooney concluded: “Given the condition in which vehicles were operated and the lack of even the most basic maintenance systems, and without contrary evidence from Mr Curran, I am forced to find that he is not fit to hold a goods vehicle operators licence.”

The TC said Curran must appear in front of a traffic commissioner again before he can think about re-entering the industry.


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