HGV Road User Levy becomes Law

The HGV Road User Act has become law meaning all LGV’s weighing more than 12 tonnes will be charged up to £1000 a year to use UK roads from April 2014.  The charge applies to both UK based vehicles as well as foreign vehicles.

Charges will be determined by vehicle type, weight and number of axles with UK vehicles being banded according to their current VED bands.

To make the scheme as cost neutral as possible for UK hauliers, the government are due to reduce VED accordingly and grants for vehicles with reduced pollution certificates will be introduced.

Driver CPC needed to take vehicle for Annual Test


VOSA and the DSA have announced that mechanics who are taking a vehicle for its annual test will require a Driver CPC.  However, if only taking for a road test it will not be required.

This has come as a shock to the industry which had not been prepared to put mechanics though the required 35 hours of training.

Driver CPC requires all professional bus, coach and lorry drivers to complete a minimum of 35 hours periodic training every five years for as long as they wish to continue to drive professionally.

If you are a bus or coach driver and held your vocational licence (D, D1, DE, D1E) prior to 10 September 2008 you have acquired rights until 9 September 2013.

If you are a lorry driver and held your vocational licence (C, C1, CE, C1E) prior to 10 September 2009 you have acquired rights until 9 September 2014. To keep your Driver CPC and continue driving professionally beyond this date, you will need to complete 35 hours of periodic training (register).

On completion, drivers will receive a Driver Qualification Card: 

This card, along with the drivers digital tachograph card needs to be carried with the driver at all times.  Make storage simpler with a double card holder and lanyard available to purchase online or by telephone.

Do your Walkaround Vehicle Checks warns VOSA

918-lgv-defect-report-pad1VOSA have stated that 85% of issues found during roadside inspections should have been detected by the driver carrying out a proper walk-around inspection prior to taking the vehicle out on the road, or by noticing changes in the vehicle handling or behaviour whilst in use.

These common issues can result in fixed penalties or, in certain cases, endorsements being issued to the driver, a record of failing on the operators licence and changes to the operators OCRS (Operator Compliance Risk Score).

The most important element of carrying out these pre-use inspections is that they reduce accidents and incidents on our roads, they improve vehicle longevity and they save lives.

The drivers check is the final inspection before a vehicle hits the road.  It is an important one.  Make sure it is carried out correctly.

GB Tachopak are able to offer Daily Defect Report Pads containing the elements required for walk-around checks for both HGV and PCV.  The books can be purchased online http://www.tachopak.co.uk/tachograph-systems.shtml or by phoning our Sales Team on 01472 210102.

Winter Driving. Don’t Get Caught Out!

winter-driving-kitWe are now well into autumn and winter is just around the corner and with the excitement of Christmas comes the dreaded winter weather.

Don’t get caught out when driving in extreme conditions. Please ensure you have the right equipment with you for every eventuality.

RoSPA have produced a ‘Winter Driving Tips’ information sheet  with a recommended list of equipment for an emergency kit.  This should include your in-cab First Aid Kit.

» GB Tachopak offer a range of First Aid Kits  to suit all commercial vehicle requirements.

Digital Tachograph – Rules for drivers and operators

The UK.GOV website is a valuable resource for driving commercially in the UK. It that applies to you, you should visit this site frequently to keep yourself up-to-date on new rules and regulations that may affect your jobs or transport businesses.

This page : https://www.gov.uk/tachographs/overview is a good starting point for learning about Digital Tachograph usage and it’s legal rules. It includes PDF download guides and vital information on drivers hours, how to record them, store them and the smart analysis of tacho data.

GB Tachopak will be happy to advise you about reading digital tacho data and it’s smart analysis. We also have various digital devices for storing, reading and downloading Digital Tachograph data.

» UK Tachograph Users Blog

Operators Licence Revoked – Unsafe Loading Practices

Reporting accidents is extremely important in the Transport Industry.

A car crusher / scrap car company recently had its O licence for nine trucks and nine trailers revoked, by the Scottish Traffic Commissioner. (STC)  The company directors were disqualified for five years.

» Get Help with Compliance and Driver Regulations

The STC’s decision follows an incident when boxes of acid-filled batteries were shed from one of its trucks on the A96. The scrap car business, had been in trouble with the STC before as it was reported that police had previously stopped one of its timber lorries on the A9 in 2009. There was also a previous warning to directors about maintenance issues in 2007.

» Information about Accident Reports Forms and Kits for Transport Operators

RHA Support for a Custodial Sentences

Road Hauliers Association

Recently a driver was jailed after falsifying his hours records 79 times. The RHA chief executive Geoff Dunning expressed his support for the custodial sentence of eight months handed to the truck driver who pleaded guilty to 79 offenses of creating false driving hours records.

Ipswich Crown Court had heard from VOSA that Jasvinder Arora, from Feltham, driving for Ocean Xpress Logistics, had driven for 24 hours without taking proper rest. VOSA had already warned the driver.

RHA Policy for “Safer operation and fairer competition in road haulage”

The RHA had previously called for mandatory prison sentences for those found guilty of falsifying their tachograph records as part of a broader compliance strategy paper, Safer operation and fairer competition in road haulage:

» Download 2012 RHA.Policy Document (PDF)

» More about the Working Time Directive (Drivers Hours)

Important Highways Agency Reminder: Weight limit at Boston Manor, M4

A 7.5 tonne weight restriction remains in place on the M4 between Junctions 1 and 3 in both directions as a result of ongoing repair work at the Boston Manor Viaduct.

It is very important that drivers of vehicles of 7.5 tonnes or more comply with this restriction.

If you operate vehicles weighing 7.5 tonnes or more and use the M4 between junctions 1 and 3, please ensure your drivers follow the clearly signed diversion route using the dual carriageways of the A312 and A4. This applies to both eastbound and westbound traffic.

VOSA is working closely with the Met Police and the Highways Agency to identify and take action against road users who do not comply. This action includes the issuing of fixed penalties for vehicles not complying with the weight restriction and reporting repeat offenders to the Traffic Commissioner.

Changes to the OCRS scheme

The OCRS scheme was due to be rolled out on 30th April 2012. But due to technical errors the roll out never took place. VOSA are now seeking views from within industry, before a new date for implementation is announced.

***AUGUST UPDATE : OCRS will change 1 Oct 2012
In April we informed you that the introduction of improvements to the current Operator Compliance Risk Score (OCRS) system was delayed due to some technical issues discovered during a system test.

These issues have been resolved and a full round of rigorous system-testing has now been completed. Improvements to OCRS will be introduced on 1 October 2012

Operator Licencing – Small Trailer Exemption

Small TrailerOn 4 December 2011, the operator licensing exemption for small trailers with an unladen weight not exceeding 1020kgs for hire or reward operations was removed.

If you operate a goods vehicle and tow a trailer for hire or reward, where the maximum train weight exceeds 3.5 tonnes, you are likely to be within scope of goods vehicle operator licensing and should seek further advice from VOSA. Some dual purpose vehicles and any trailers drawn by them are still exempt but again, if you are unsure whether or not this means you, you should seek further advice from VOSA.

Hire or reward

In this context, hire or reward operations are those which primarily carry other peoples’ goods. This would bring into scope transport and general haulage companies, courier companies, parcel delivery companies etc.

Still exempt?

An operation may be classified as hire or reward by virtue of the fact that other peoples’ goods are being transported. However, if delivery of those goods are not the primary activity, then the operation is still exempt.

So landscape gardeners, for example – who transport plants that are not the property of the landscape gardening business – are still exempt because their primary activity is landscape gardening, not transport.

Companies new to operator licensing

This change to the legislation will bring in to scope many companies that do not currently need an operator licence.

Some operators may therefore be unaware of the changes being introduced. If however, it is apparent that an operator has been advised of the changes and has not subsequently made an application for a licence, enforcement action will be taken.

If you’re not sure if you’re exempt from O-licensing requirements, email
enquiries@vosa.gov.uk for further advice.