Skip hire firm sees licence revoked over failings

The director of a Sheffield-based skip-hire firm has been disqualified from operating vehicles after the business was reported for serious safety failings.

Stephen Curran, of Rother Skip Hire Ltd, Ecclesfield, was issued the ban and the firms haulage licence immediately revoked by the north east haulage industry regulator following a public inquiry in Leeds.

Three out of 10 wheel nuts were loose on one of the firm's vehicles
Three out of 10 wheel nuts were loose on one of the firm’s vehicles

The inquiry noted there had been a change of entity to the company holding the licence, despite operator licences being non-transferrable. The licence authorised the use of two vehicles.

Mr Curran came to the attention of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) in July last year, when a DVSA officer stopped one of the firms vehicles and found three out of 10 wheel nuts were loose.

He went on to report that the washers and nuts on the vehicle could be turned by hand, and that the wheel nut markers fitted were splayed, clearly indicating the nuts were loose.

After interviewing the driver, the officer concluded the company had no procedures in place for drivers to check vehicles before use and employees had not been instructed on how to carry them out.

In addition, investigators found the routine safety inspections required of all operator licence holders every six weeks were incomplete and unsatisfactory, with some vehicles having gone six months without a safety check.

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

Inquiry

At the inquiry, which Mr Curran did not attend, traffic commissioner Kevin Rooney said the firm had lacked even the most basic vehicle maintenance procedures.

Mr Rooney added: 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 vehicles operators licence.

I am further concerned that he may seek to re-enter the industry without having re-established that fitness so I am disqualifying him from applying for or holding an operators licence in any traffic area until he has appeared before a traffic commissioner.

When contacted by letsrecycle.com, Rother Skip Hire Ltd were unavailable for comment.

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