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Maintenance issues Lead to formal warning

31st january 2013
Page 13
Page 13, 31st january 2013 — Maintenance issues Lead to formal warning
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MARYPORT FIRM Ashcroft Plant (Cumbria) has been given a formal warning by North West deputy traffic commissioner (TC) Simon Evans, following a public inquiry into maintenance failings.

At a public inquiry earlier this month, the deputy TC was told how the company — authorised for two vehicles and two trailers — was the subject of a Vosa investigation in July 2012 that identified mechanical defects on the fleet.

A Vosa examiner issued one delayed and three immediate prohibition notices. One of the prohibitions was also considered to represent a significant failure in maintenance, the examiner concluded, because the trailer's parking brake was not operating on at least two road wheels.

The deputy TC heard the Vosa officer had found incomplete records for routine vehicle and trailer safety inspections, and that checks had not been planned in advance. In addition, he noted that those routine inspections had not been carried out on time, with many up to six weeks overdue.

The examiner could find no written evidence of a system of daily visual checks on vehicles and trailers being in place.

He concluded that defects found on vehicles could have been identified by drivers and avoided if the right system was in use and effective.

The directors were also advised that the use of a JCB trailer to carry goods on a public highway without a valid MoT was illegal.

Summing up The deputy TC ruled that a third party will carry out a maintenance audit in July, and that the JCB trailer must not be used until further consultation has taken place between Vosa and the operator's legal representatives.

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