Although the Guide to maintaining roadworthiness does not stipulate a precise time for a walkaround checks, the Traffic Commissioners would expect a ‘reasonable’ amount of time appropriate to the size of the vehicle to be recorded whenever a vehicle is taken over by the driver. A driver, or a responsible person delegated by the operator should be carrying out a walkaround check on any vehicle that they have in their control, although it is the driver who is always legally responsible for the condition of the vehicle while it is in use.
A driver travels from his usual base down to a new base for a few days and has a company van to travel from the new base to the hotel and vice versa every night and morning.
Do they have to enter any manual entries on their tachograph card for these movements?
As the driver would be travelling to a place that is not their normal place of work, they would need to record the travel time to and from this location as working time, as they are under instruction to attend the alternative location.
LICENCE (FORM) TO FILL
My operator licence is due to expire next month. Does this automatically renew or, as the licence holder, am I required to take any action?
Under the GV74 – Goods Vehicle Operator Licencing guidance you are obliged to renew your licence every five years.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will aim to contact you to confirm the summary of information held on your record is still correct and then you will need to pay the fee required (currently £401). If you have received no contact two weeks before the expiry date, contact DVSA on 0300 123 9000. Alternatively, you can renew online using the Vehicle Operator Licensing online system (VOL). You will need to be registered beforehand to complete the process this way.
If you fail to do so, then your licence will be terminated.
A driver who came for an interview has PSV CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) which was gained when taking their PSV test. It is valid until 2024. They also have an in-date Category C Licence, however their HGV CPC expired in 2014. We only operate HGVs for general haulage, can they drive a Category C vehicle delivering goods?
There is complete cross-recognition between goods and passenger driving licence categories for periodic driver CPC training. So, someone who undertakes periodic training for category C vehicles would not have to undergo separate periodic training for category D and vice versa according to the Industry Guide to CPC. However, upon completion of the initial CPC in PSV this would entitle them to drive the relevant passenger vehicles in scope of Driver CPC, but it does not count towards goods vehicles.
DIESEL DUTY CHANGES
We operate a number of vehicles that have secondary engines which are currently operated on red diesel. Can we still use red diesel in them when the rules change?
If you do not sit within the categories listed on the following link then the engines must be operated using duty-paid, or white, diesel. The main permitted use cases are for vehicles involved with agriculture, horticulture, forestry and fish-farming.
Changes to rebated fuels entitlement from 1 April 2022 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
OPERATING CENTRE QUERY
We have a site with authorisation for 10 vehicles and five trailers which only houses five vehicles. The site has room to store spares and a small, covered area for specialist items to be fitted to vehicles on a short-term basis. If we were to use this as a short stop area to fit and maintain these parts on the site would we have to change anything? No vehicle would be there longer than one or two days and all are listed on their own operating centre.
If these vehicles are only being taken to this location for repair or maintenance work and are listed at another centre, then they would not need to be moved onto the operator’s licence. If the vehicle was to be operated from that site and return there when not in use, then the adjustments would need to be made.
It would be prudent to ensure that accurate records are kept so that it is demonstrable that the vehicles are not being kept there longer than is necessary and the location is not an operating centre for these vehicles.
I am a newly qualified transport manager, and I cannot find an expiry date on the certificate for the qualification, how long does the qualification last?
The Transport Manager CPC (freight or passenger) qualification does not expire.
The Traffic Commissioners, however, would expect you to carry out some form of continuous professional development (CPD). This would be in the form of attending training courses, conferences, and webinars. A two-day CPC refresher is the basic course to sit as this would update you with the latest legislation. Proof of the Transport Manager’s CPC and relevant refresher training would be required either at the time of the operator’s licence renewal or as a new transport manager is added to the licence.
PARCELS AS PASSENGERS
We operate a mixed fleet of parcel delivery vehicles. Due to increasing volumes the drivers have started to carry some of the parcels in the passenger compartment of the vehicle. We are concerned about the legality of this practice and want to remain within the confines of the law. Can they do this?
There are several issues here. Under the Road Vehicle (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, Regulation 100 states that the load carried by a motor vehicle or trailer shall be secured so that neither danger nor nuisance is likely to be caused to any person or property by movement of the load. No motor vehicle or trailer shall be used for any purpose for which it is so unsuitable as to cause or likely to cause danger or nuisance to any person in or on the vehicle or trailer or on the road.
This would still apply if any part of the load was carried in the passenger compartment of the vehicle. Loads carried in the cab may impede the controls of the vehicle or injure the driver if the vehicle was involved in an accident. There could also be a vision issue, as the load may obscure the windows or mirrors. Therefore, a vehicle load should only be carried in the dedicated load compartment and secured accordingly.