Specialist operators in the heavy haulage industry are being told to follow the law or face prosecution DVSA has warned (13 September 2019).
The warning follows DVSA successfully prosecuting unscrupulous and in some cases reckless heavy haulage operators for using Special Type General Order (STGO) vehicles overloaded well beyond their design weight and with untrained drivers.
Overloading and using the wrong vehicles and trailers to transport abnormal loads presents a real danger to the public and undercuts lawful operators.
DVSA Director of enforcement Marian Kitson said:
“DVSA’s priority is to protect everyone from unsafe vehicles and drivers.
“Lorries have a maximum load weight for a reason. Operators and drivers are putting the public in serious danger by overloading them.
“Overloaded brakes and tyres don’t work properly, and the results can be catastrophic. That’s why we won’t hesitate in prosecuting those who put people’s lives at risk and undercut responsible operators.”
Where operators have been found not to be complying with the regulations, DVSA will refer cases to the Traffic Commissioners who can take further action, including revoking their licence.
The warning follows three cases where DVSA has successfully prosecuted firms for overloading vehicles.
WS Transportation Ltd.
On 11 September 2019 at Bristol Magistrates’ Court WS Transportation Ltd. of Ashville Way, Runcorn, whose company directors are Edward John Stobart and William Stobart, were fined £27,000 for breaking STGO regulations.
The company transported a heavy crane on one of its vehicles, using a trailer with axles that were not designed to carry such a heavy load. This posed a potential serious danger to road users had DVSA not stopped and prohibited the vehicle.
The trailer compensating axles had exceeded construction use weight by 75% (17,950 kg). Not adhering to STGO regulations results in the vehicle reverting to construction use regulations. The tyres fitted to the trailer had insufficient load rating, causing the twin trailer tyres to rub together.
The design weight of the 3 trailer compensating axles at 40mph was 33000kg, this was exceeded by 27% (8,950 kg).
The movement order declared to the authorities that the 3 trailer axles combined were not exceeding 30,000 kg. In fact they weighed 40% (11,950 kg) over the declared weight.
The Court agreed with DVSA that WS Transportation Ltd. had been reckless with no clear systems in place and no proper training of the driver.
Metcalfe Farms Haulage Ltd.
On 20 June 2019 at Bristol Crown Court Metcalfe Farms Haulage Ltd. of Moor Rd, Leyburn was fined £10,000 for overloading one of its HIAB crane articulated vehicles and not complying with STGO regulations.
Smiths (Gloucester) Ltd.
On 7 May 2019 at Swindon Magistrates’ Court Smiths (Gloucester) Ltd. of Alkerton Court, Eastington, Stonehouse, were fined £40,000 for overloading a vehicle and breaking its design weight, not complying with STGO regulations.