Warning for haulage company after discovery of loose lorry wheel nuts

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A GOODS vehicle operator from South Yorkshire has received a formal warning after wheel nuts were found loose on a lorry during a maintenance inspection.

The reprimand was issued by the Traffic Commissioner for the North East of England, Kevin Rooney, against Gary David Owen.

Mr Owen trades as New Oak Transport, based at Hazelshaw Farm, Bank Lane, Wortley, Sheffield and Steelphalt, Sheffield Road, Rotherham.

His firm operates three lorries.

Mr Rooney took no regulatory action against the business under the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995.

The case was investigated because of the report of an examiner from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency.

The examiner carried out a maintenance investigation in February 2012 after a New Oak vehicle was stopped at the roadside and issued with a prohibition, indicating a ‘significant maintenance failure’.

Six out of 10 nuts were found to be loose on a wheel and could be turned by hand, it found.

The examiner said the driver should have identified the defect before taking the vehicle out - required under the terms of an operator’s licence.

The agency issued the driver with a £60 fixed penalty notice for the offence, Mr Rooney was told.

In his report, the examiner also noted a prohibition issued to another of the operator’s vehicles in August 2011, for a fractured brake disc.

Issuing his warning, Mr Rooney said: “I made my decision as a result of good corrective action taken since the maintenance investigation.

“The issues were only of an isolated nature. There was evidence of good systems in place and a competent transport manager at the inquiry.”

The Traffic Commissioner also considered the record of transport manager Raymond Rees, who previously appeared at public inquiry in relation to another operator licence, when he was issued with a formal warning.

But Mr Rooney concluded that Mr Rees had demonstrated ‘excellent performance’ on current licences and no action was needed.