Builders build up fleet
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• A Newcastle building company was granted an 0 licence by the Northern LA, Mr J. A. T. Hanlon, last week after he had been satisfied that its maintenance arrangements had been brought within the requirements of the Transport Act 1968.
The company, M. Grady (Builders) Ltd, had applied for a licence to cover five vehicles in possession with a margin of three vehicles to be acquired.
Giving evidence, Mr R. Higginson, a vehicle examiner, told the LA that an inspection held at the company's base on November 10 1970 had revealed that the documentation of records relating to preventive maintenance was inadequate. The premises themselves housed not only the firm's vehicles but also a variety of plant equipment which was used in building. Three vehicles were examined and although these were in a generally satisfactory condition, Mr Higgin son felt that the maintenance staff, a fitter, an assistant fitter and an apprentice, were not capable of keeping both the vehicles and the plant equipment up to the standard required.
Mr I ligginson went on to suggest that the facilities available would be improved if the premises were divided so that vehicles and plant equipment could be kept apart.
The director of the company, Mr M. Grady, said that the vehicles had been employed on site work, which was extremely rough. Mr Hanlon replied that this was all the more reason that regular maintenance inspections should be carried out.
Mr P. Watson, the firm's fitter, told the LA that on December 1 a new system of preventive maintenance had been introduced whereby each vehicle was examined weekly and information regarding both inspections and work carried out was recorded. Any maintenance needed by the plant equipment was carried out either by the suppliers or the manufacturers.
In addition to the existing staff, Mr Watson added, there were also two other employees who were skilled in maintenance work and could be redeployed if required.
Granting the licence for three vehicles with a margin of only two vehicles to be acquired, Mr Hanlon said: "I am prepared to grant a licence not exceeding three years so that when the fleet expands to five vehicles the examiner will be able to reinspect the company's maintenance arrangements before further increases in fleet strength are allowed."