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In this case profile, we look at a public inquiry involving a transport manager which offers a reminder that phone contact doesn't add up to continuous and effective management.

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The transport manager

During the hearing, the company’s former transport manager explained that he ran a transport and consultancy business, acting as TM on new licences while operators get their own CPC qualification. He was listed as a TM for three operators in total.

The issues

examiner_visitDVSA traffic examiner investigations were referred to the Traffic Commissioner. At the inquiry, the issues included:

  • loaned vehicle discs
  • running more vehicles than authorised
  • two drivers convicted for drivers hours’ offences, with driver interviews pointing to a lack of any real management of infringements by the TM
  • the use of an unauthorised operating centre
  • no facilities to conduct meaningful underside inspections of vehicles
  • average to poor maintenance documentation

The TM's evidence

drivershoursThe transport manager told the Commissioner one of the firm's directors hadn't wanted to deal with him directly for about a year. So everything went through a driver, who also carried out downloads.

The TM visited the operating centre once a month but most of his contact was via text message. He sent the PMI dates to the driver by text and got the downloads from him too. He usually saw PMIs within a week or two of completion but sometimes it was longer.

The TM said he was aware of how he’d failed and didn't want to be in the same position again.

The findings & decision

krTraffic Commissioner Kevin Rooney said the TM hadn’t made any realistic attempt, during 2018 at least, to debrief drivers on infringements. He'd "allowed a careless culture of non-compliance to fester".

Mr Rooney also said the TM took no action to correct wholly unacceptable maintenance arrangements.

Although the TM felt there was a lack of cooperation from the licence holder, the Commissioner pointed out that he didn't take any action to address this.

The TM was a transport manager in name only and therefore lost his good repute. He’s disqualified from acting in this role for three years and will have to sit and pass the TM CPC examination again once this disqualification ends.

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