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Taz Distribution loses O-licence after two wheels go missing

  • 05 March 2013
  • By Roger Brown

North East traffic commissioner (TC) Kevin Rooney (pictured) has revoked the O-licence of Taz Distribution, after one of the firm’s trucks lost two wheels while out on the road.

In a written decision following a public inquiry in Leeds, the TC ruled that the Mirfield, West Yorkshire-based haulier had also engaged in a “systematic abuse” of its licence authority by operating more vehicles than the six it was authorised to do, and disqualified director Mehfuz Ahmed and the firm for six months.

During the investigation into the November 2012 incident – when the wheels came off and hit a crash barrier – a Vosa examiner found a further two wheels had all 10 of their wheel nuts loose.

Taz presented evidence from an external contractor that stated it was not possible to say why the wheels became detached. Ahmed added that the LGV had only been hired a few days earlier.

However, the TC dismissed this claim as it was in full livery and displaying the firm’s O-licence disc. He added: “The saving grace is that when the wheels did come off they only hit a crash barrier and not a person, for they could have been killed.”

The Vosa investigation also found:
- one in 10 driving records missing, and more than 50,000km unaccounted for;
- 19 prohibitions issued to defective vehicles in two years;
- 12 occasions where examiners stopped vehicles that weren’t approved on the firm’s licence;
- Taz failed to make relevant safety inspection paperwork available;
- daily defect reporting carried out by drivers on vehicles – to visually identify any faults – was poor;
- Taz was operating more vehicles than it was authorised to run. Vosa found 11 days where it was clear that the authorisation had been exceeded and it was highly likely that extra vehicles had been used on many more occasions;
- one of the firm’s drivers had received a conviction for two counts of not making a record of his driving duty.

Ahmed told the TC that the wheel loss incident had horrified him and he wanted to do things right.

He was willing to take advice from professionals, had sent all of his drivers on mandatory industry training and had engaged an external consultant to carry out audits on his business to make sure it was compliant.


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