Lorry firm slammed in inspection

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A WIGAN pallet maker has seen operations restricted by a watchdog over the condition of its lorry fleet.

Scott Timber of Ince’s Dobson Park Industrial Estate has now had limits placed on the number of vehicles it can operate after their maintenance procedures were branded inadequate by the area’s deputy traffic commissioner Simon Evans.

The firm had applied for a licence to operate seven vehicles and seven trailers in the North West after changing its name from James Industrial Limited.

But the inquiry heard that when officials from VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) inspected some of the company’s vehicles in February this year, when it was operating as James Ind Ltd, they picked up a catalogue of serious maintenance failings.

Loose wheel nuts were detected on a number of vehicles, the vehicles were not inspected on a regular enough basis and there was no planning system in place for future maintenance inspections.

The driver defect reporting system was also “substandard.”

As well as restricting Scott Timber to the use of five vehicles and seven trailers in the North West, Mr Evans backed moves by the company to undergo an independent audit by the independent industry body, the freight transport association (FTA).

He said: “The parlous state of compliance in relation to the North West traffic area licence is such that I have concerns about their licences in other traffic areas.

“It is a measure of the company’s commitment to make sure that arrangements are compliant across the board that is has agreed that the audits should apply nationally.”

Norman Scott, Group Operations Director, said: “We pride ourselves on the professionalism of our business and are seriously concerned about the issues raised. We have an impeccable record with VOSA across our substantial fleet, however we are never complacent and always look for ways to ensure we operate at the highest possible standard. We are working with VOSA and the Freight Transport Association (FTA).”