The Used or Rental Trucks that could cost you your O Licence and Repute

There is a Ticking Time Bomb in the used Truck Market and no one seems to want to do anything to inspire confidence back into the market.

I am talking about Adblu traps, Diversions, emulators, software and any other such 'emissions cheat devices' that have been fitted to trucks by previous owners that are then finding their way into the used truck market.

Loss of Repute = Loss of Licence

Traffic Commissioners have gone on record as stating that any Operator who is caught with a vehicle fitted with any form of emissions cheat device will be viewed as having lost their repute when called to Public Inquiry.

The result can be anything from a Tarnished reputation up to full loss of Repute and the revocation of the O Licence.

Already we are seeing action being taken in this vein with operators.The evidence that we are finding out in the field suggests that this is likely to be only the tip of a very dangerous and costly iceberg.

Conversations with DVSA Officers confirm that the scale of the problem is much bigger than they had expected. Currently they estimate 1 in 13 Trucks is fitted with such a device. As a result of an operation in Novembver 2017 with 3,735 trucks stopped, 293 found to have devices fitted.

This is also an 'Absolute Offence'. i.e. the Police or DVSA find one fitted to your vehicle, you're guilty of using it. They don't have to show any 'intention to deceive'. It's fitted, you are now in a difficult situation. 10 days to get the problem sorted, fines starting at £300, a follow up visit by DVSA Officer to your Operating Centre and an invitation to attend a Public Inquiry in the post to you soon enough.

Already in January we have seen the West Midlands Traffic Commissioner Nick Denton revoke the licence of an operator for having an emissions cheat device fitted to a  vehicle for over three years.

They are out there, and you may have bought one

We at AS Miles Consulting Ltd. have seen three cases this year so far where Opeators have bought used trucks, sometime later a roadside stop takes place, and a 'cheat device' is found. They each claim that they had no knowledge of any devices being fitted. In two of the three cases we have good reason to believe them, the other we reserve judgement on, but not every operator is going to fit them and after the event it is too late to try to show it was 'like it when I bought it'.

Who has had the truck before you? What have they done to it?

The answer is very simple. You don't know. We at AS Miles Consulting Ltd. are recommending to all our clients that unless they specifically request and obtain documentary evidence prior to taking possession of a vehicle to show that the vehicle is free from any of the above devices, their O licence is at risk. In order to protect themselves they are advised to have an independent mechanical inspection of any used vehicle that they intend to purchase. This should be carried out by a trusted and qualified mechanic (such as your own PMI provider), get a statement that the vehicle is clean of devices and only then consider a purchase.

If the vehicle is a rental, we advise them to get a written statement from the Hire Company that they have checked the vehicle and it is free of any such devices.

This goes someway to show that you have done everything a 'reasonable operator' could have done to ensure that they are buying a clean vehicle.

If you don't you will be left to answer to the authorities why your vehicle has a cheat device and you have been using it.

For more help and advice on this or any other way to Protect your Operator Licence please feel free to contact us in confidence on:-

helpme@asmilesconsulting.com or call 01455 389053 and ask for Andy, Chris, Chris or Sarah.

by Paul Evanson

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