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iE ABSENCE on holiday of iarper, who is otherwise able

20th August 1983, Page 20
20th August 1983
Page 20
Page 20, 20th August 1983 — iE ABSENCE on holiday of iarper, who is otherwise able
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

to respond for himself, I should comment on Ralph Der's letter (CMAugust 6). It Nell be that on some cts the RHA sometimes ihort of giving al/the facts the members al/ the time ot on this issue. On making liar allegation of a munications gap" between ssociation and its members rivate meeting in July, Mr )er received such a deluge icles, minutes of internal :es and other information a 1982 Transport Act which riginated from the am Ivory Tower" during ast 12 months that we actually heard nothing him for three whole weeks! 3ke no comment on Mr )er's views on the draft lations stemming from the is opinion has been sted by a well-respected )ort journalist and I see Cu are keeping the pot g by according Mr Cropper )ht to reply.

'ar as the RHA is concerned 3WS Will be received with tention and respect due to iember on good standing 'e shall fight our corner on sue on the basis of what a nsus view conceives to be

the best interests of our members.

I hope you will permit me to add that the June 1983 isssue of Road Way contained a full summary of the draft Regulations.The August number contains a digest of the RHA's submission to the Department of Transport challenging vigorously certain aspect of them. Road Way is sent to every member every mouth. All he has to do is read it. Those members who hunger for RHA news on a daily basis can obtain the very latest information relating to the Association's activities by joining Cargofax and we will be very pleased to see them as subscribers.

F. J. PLASKETT Director-General RHA

Road Fund changes?

THE DECISION to abandon privatisation of testing stations will inevitably bring many comments, as it has already done in your leader of August 6.

There appears to be a very big increase in roadside checks at the present moment and while the figure you quote probably includes "delayed" as well as "immediate" GV9s, there is no doubt it is a problem.

You comment that test stations are only open during the day when vehicles have to be out earning money and frankly I cannot see stations being opened for night testings. One reason why operators tend to try to keep vehicles on the road for as long as possible before testing is the high cost of Road Fund licences and if there were a change so that there was a minimal amount for registration purposes with tax being recovered from fuel, many operators would be happy to keep one of the better of their recently replaced vehicles. This would be used whilst the regular vehicle was off for a thorough check and necessary repairs.

In my view this is something which the Government should consider as a matter of utmost urgency, although I appreciate this is something on which hauliers are divided with those operating 24-hours a day and on long distance haulage being opposed to it.

C. W. OLIVER Beck and Pollitzer Crane & Transport Crayford

Small operators

I AM WRITING about the news item (CMJuly 30) about transport managers.

I agree with the ETA that the 0-licence requirement that the transport manager need only be a nominated professionally competent person with continuous effective responsibility for transport operations.

I have one vehicle which is at present on my father's 0licence, though I am qualified to operate an 0-licence myself, because it is just not practicable to be the full-time transport manager for myself. With only one vehicle there just isn't enough paper work, organising, etc, to merit my holding my own 0-licence.

If I had more vehicles than the one at present, then the situation would be entirely different and would merit my being in fulltime employment as my own transport manager.

I wonder how many other small operators feel as I do? J. HUMPHRIES (CPC) Oxfordshire

A good case for down-licensing

I NOW HAVE considerably increased turnover of work, which means more journeying all over the country. Therefore, needing to buy a second vehicle, I purchased a 33ft single-axle flat trailer because I needed more length than weight.

Wanting to obtain good fuel economy and reliability, I thought I would like a unit that would be well on top of the job, and purchased a 1977 Guy with a Gardner 180, That was my mistake, because the maximum gtw on three axles is 24,390 kilos.

The trailer was right for this weight, but the tractor was plated for 31,290 kilos. So when I went to tax the outfit, instead of paying, as I had thought £599, per six months, I was informed I had to pay £1,001 for six months — a difference of £402.

I can see the Government's point of view when they say: "Yes, Sir, but if you tax it at 24 tons there is nothing to stop you , coupling to a 40ft tandem trailer and running at 31 tons gtw." That may be correct but my intention was not to defraud the Government; my intention was to obtain better fuel consumption and reliability.

My main grouse is that the Government have taken away the operator's freedom of choice to purchase a vehicle well on top of the job; instead he must buy a vehicle that falls within the correct taxation class. This often means buying second-rate equipment, that although cheaper to purchase in the outset is likely to cost him more by using more fuel and facing major engine repairs in the long run.

Surely this is a good case for down-licensing? They say that this would be too difficult to police. But they should realise that the change is easy. All they have to do is issue different colour taxation discs for different weight classes. If you are caught exceeding this weight, then, like now, you risk prosecution. So simple isn't it?

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