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Office of the Traffic Commissioner: A tale of two skip operators

A tale of two skip operators
Firms face completely different futures following public inquiries
Every operator has their own way of doing things – even those working in the same industry.
When it comes to compliance, while there might be different approaches, the basic requirements are the same. Whether you’re operating two vehicles or 200.
Those who break the rules often find themselves at a public inquiry. And there’s only one approach that works with traffic commissioners – showing them things have improved.
Changing the outcome
Last month, the West Midlands Traffic Commissioner, Nick Denton, came across two skip operators.
They’d both been reported by DVSA for multiple compliance issues.
But their approaches to fixing these problems were very different.
The first firm had applied for more vehicles – to go from 3 to 10. During a public inquiry, the business showed Mr Denton what they’d done to rectify the issues. They also provided evidence of improved compliance.
The Commissioner was satisfied to let the operator have an extra two vehicles on its licence. He’ll decide whether to approve the other five in July, if the firm’s MOT pass rate gets better.
Obvious warning signs
The other operator didn’t take action following the DVSA visit. In fact, more evidence of non-compliance was picked up during the public inquiry. This included:
• a further MOT failure
• a gap of more than seven months between PMIs for a vehicle
• defects reoccurring at PMIs
• questions over the authenticity of some driver defect reports
Mr Denton said the warning signs for the company to take urgent action were “screamingly obvious”. Even after the DVSA visit, the rectification of defects was left with a clearly inadequate in-house fitter.
The company had consistently sent seriously unroadworthy vehicles onto the road and lost its licence as a result. The firm’s director was disqualified for two years.