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Reputation tarnished over record keeping

  • 07 February 2013
  • By Roger Brown

Essex haulier FJ Everett Transport has been given the severest of warnings about its conduct  following an investigation into unsatisfactory maintenance standards and driver records at the business.

Following a public inquiry (PI) in January in Cambridge, Eastern traffic commissioner (TC) Richard Turfitt curtailed the  O-licence held by the firm with immediate effect – from 19 vehicles and 25 trailers to 13 vehicles and 13 trailers – and ruled that its repute had been severely tarnished.

At an earlier PI hearing in August 2012, Turfitt examined the report by a Vosa vehicle examiner into the company. The report revealed historic concerns over the roadworthiness of vehicles due to prohibitions issued for vehicle defects.

The examiner also noted that some of the company’s fleet had not been given routine safety inspections on time.

TC Turfitt adjourned the initial hearing to allow the business to investigate the issues, and asked Vosa to inspect the firm’s tachograph records. However, a Vosa officer found that some drivers had committed offences, including not taking the required legal minimum breaks.

FJ Everett Transport had also failed to comply with an order given in August  2012 to provide financial evidence. The company explained that some of the inspection records being questioned came from a third-party contractor carrying out safety checks on vehicles.

However, TC Turfitt told transport manager Francis Everett that his own personal repute had also been affected by the proceedings and Vosa investigations, ruling that it was “severely tarnished” .

The TC added: “He failed to exercise continuous and effective management, as indicated by the findings and by reference
to his management of the preventative maintenance inspection records.”

FJ Everett Transport also made four commitments to the TC, including that it would have driver records independently checked and arrange for a trade body to audit its maintenance systems within six months.

FJ Everett was formed in 1969 and is based on the Horndon Industrial Estate in West Horndon, Brentwood.

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