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Wheel loss left truck perched on flyover

  • 30 April 2013
  • By Roger Brown

Deputy traffic commissioner for Scotland James Astle has suspended the O-licence of Edinburgh-based Chamic Demolition Services following a wheel loss that left the firm’s vehicle perched on a flyover above a busy road.

In a written decision following a conjoined public inquiry and driver conduct hearing in Edinburgh in March, deputy TC James Astle said the order, issued on 28 March, will only be lifted when the directors of the company appoint a new transport manager.

On 1 August 2012, the nearside rear wheels of the vehicle came off at a roundabout on the A904, leaving the vehicle perched above the A90 at about 8.30am.

The outer nearside rear wheel was missing, and the inner nearside rear wheel jammed under the vehicle with the brake drum resting on the ground. All 10 wheel nuts were missing, but there was no sign of the rust commonly associated with wheel loss. Wheel nut studs and holes were elongated and there were no wheel nut indicators.

Vosa vehicle examiner William Allan, who issued an S-marked prohibition, could not establish how long the wheel nuts might have been loose.

Chamic driver Alan Robertson said he carried out a first-use check on the vehicle, including tyres and wheel nuts. However, the examiner questioned whether Robertson had carried out a visual check on the day.

There was no formal driver defect reporting system in place, and at the PI, the firm was unable to produce evidence to prove the vehicle had been given routine safety inspections. Company director Michael Hunter said he could not believe the vehicle had missed any inspections and said improvements had been made.

The deputy TC said Hunter had shown a willingness to comply with the requirements of the operator licensing regime but this had not been matched by a satisfactory regime.

He disqualified the company’s transport manager, John Kennie, for 12 months, saying he had “failed even to be aware of the extent to which there was such failure”.

He suspended Robertson’s licence to drive trucks for 60 days from 29 March.

Astle considered it likely the wheel nuts were loose at the beginning of the journey and said: “If the check had been properly carried out, they would have been discovered.”


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