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Ask the MAC – September 2021


Discover the answers to questions put to the Member Advice Centre.

DANGEROUS PASSENGERS

Would we be able to carry a passenger in a vehicle carrying ADR products and if so, what training would they require?

Under 8.3.1 of ADR 2021 passengers are not allowed to be carried in vehicles that carry ADR products.

However, if the passenger formed part of the vehicle crew, then this would be accepted. 1.3.2 states that the training shall be “appropriate to the responsibility and duties of the individual concerned”.

TANKER TALK

We had a roadside stop on our tanker. The DVSA officer rang our emergency telephone number on the warning placard and had to wait over 30 minutes for someone to tell him about the product being carried. We were then issued with a warning stating that this number should be manned by someone that can give this information straight away. Is this correct?

Within the CDG and TPE regulations Schedule 1, part 1, paragraph 4, states that if dangerous goods are being carried in tanks, a telephone number where specialist advice concerning the dangerous goods in question can be obtained in English at any time during carriage.

WALKING THE WALK

One of our drivers has stated that a driver walkaround check should take fifteen minutes. We have researched this and cannot find it written down anywhere?

DVSA recommend a daily walkaround check is carried out before you first drive the vehicle on the road each day (or change of shift).

Where a driver has been stopped by DVSA at roadside, they would expect to see a period of other work shown on the tachograph at start of shift before the vehicle moves off, to indicate time allowed for a daily walkaround check. There is no specific time laid down for this as it will depend on the type of vehicle the driver is using. An articulated vehicle would take longer to check than a 7.5-tonne flatbed.

TESTING TIMES

The annual test on one of our HGVs has expired during an extended period of off-road usage. Can it be driven it to the maintenance provider for service/inspection before going to annual test?

As your HGV’s annual test has expired, it can only be driven on the public highway to a pre-booked test. If the vehicle needs to go to the maintenance provider for mot preparation, it will need to be recovered or taken under a trade licence. There is a general exemption from the HGV testing scheme for vehicles used unladen under a trade licence. The vehicle must be in the trade licence holder’s temporary possession and in a roadworthy condition.

MAN BASKET CASE

We use an 8-tonne rubber tracked excavator which is fitted with a man basket. Operators generally drive it 300 metres on the road to gain access from one site to another. The question is, does the operator have to have a full H licence entitlement to carry out this operation legally?

The key to the correct driving licence category for tracked machines/vehicles is whether it is steered by its tracks and used on a road maintained at public expense. If this is the case, then a full category H is required.

PRINT AND BE DAMNED

One of our drivers is currently having to do two vehicle print outs – one at the start of their shift and one at the end of the shift – until he gets his replacement card (his card was faulty). The driver wants to know the reason for taking the first print out since all the information is on the print out at the end of each day.

If the driver card is damaged, malfunctions or is lost or stolen the driver must print out, at the start and end of their day, to show the amount of time (rest) between shifts. They must also record on each print out sufficient detail to enable them to be identified, for example the driver card number and/or name and/or driving licence number. The driver must also sign the print out.

PERFORMANCE-RELATED PAY

Can we pay our drivers a bonus based on the number of loads they complete in a day?

Article 10 of Regulation (EC) 561/2006 states that: “A transport undertaking shall not give drivers it employs or who are put at its disposal any payment, even in the form of a bonus or wage supplement, related to distances travelled and/or the amount of goods carried if that payment is of such a kind as to endanger road safety and/or encourages infringement of this Regulation”.

TACHO TALK

We have vehicles which are fitted with tachograph units, but we never use the vehicles in scope of EU drivers’ hours rules.

Is there a requirement for these vehicles to be presented every two years for a tachograph inspection/recalibration?

The Driver Vehicle and Standards Agency’s guidance on drivers’ hours rules and tachographs states that where a tachograph is fitted to a vehicle subject to the domestic rules but is not used to produce a legally required record, the operator and driver should nevertheless ensure that the tachograph is properly calibrated and sealed. The tachograph does not have to be recalibrated provided the seals remain intact and the vehicle remains out of scope of the EU rules.

HIGH PRICE TO PAY

We have heard reports of drivers of other operators being fined for having a load higher than the headboard. We cannot find anything to say that headboards need to be cab height and loads cannot be loaded any higher than the headboard height. What is the rule surrounding this?

Section 2.3 of DVSA’s Load Securing Guidance states that the operator should: “Stack the load against the headboard with the centre of gravity as low as possible. If the load is not against the headboard – or items could slide over it – think about other ways you can stop the load from moving forward. You may need extra lashings, sails, chocks or blocking.”

The key aspect of load security in these circumstances is that if a load goes above the headboard, there are precautions taken to stop the load moving forward.

The basic principle upon which DfT’s Code of practice: safety of loads on vehicles is based, is that the combined strength of the load restraint system must be sufficient to withstand a force not less than the total weight of the load forward, preventing the load moving under severe braking, and half of the weight of the load backwards and sideways.

REPLACING DOCUMENTATION

Please could you advise how long we should keep documentation of driver licence checks for drivers currently working for us? Also is there a time period after which a driver has left the business, that we should retain the driver licence documentation?

Under GDPR, documents should only be kept for as long as they are needed. In the case of driver licences, good practice would see them kept on file until the next licence check. This will ensure that the document is replaced every six months or depending on the company’s policy. This would be the same for when a driver leaves their employment.

Published On: 02/09/2021 16:00:11

 


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