SPECIALIST operators in the heavy haulage industry are being told to follow the law or face prosecution.
This warning follows DVSA successfully prosecuting ‘reckless’ haulage operators for using Special Type General Order (STGO) vehicles overloaded well beyond their design weight and with untrained drivers.
DVSA director of enforcement Marian Kitson said: ‘Lorries have a maximum load weight for a reason. Overloaded brakes and tyres don’t work properly, and the results can be catastrophic. That’s why we won’t hesitate in prosecuting those who put people’s lives at risk and undercut responsible operators.’
Where operators have been found not to be complying with the regulations, DVSA will refer cases to the Traffic Commissioners who can take further action, including revoking their licence.
The warning follows cases where DVSA has successfully prosecuted firms for overloading vehicles: On 11 September 2019 at Bristol Magistrates’ Court WS Transportation Ltd of Runcorn, whose company directors are Edward John Stobart and William Stobart, were fined £27,000 for breaking STGO regulations.
The company transported a heavy crane on one of its vehicles, using a trailer with axles that were not designed to carry such a heavy load. This posed a potential serious danger to road users had DVSA not stopped and prohibited the vehicle.
The trailer compensating axles had exceeded construction use weight by 75% (17,950kg). Not adhering to STGO regulations results in the vehicle reverting to construction use regulations. The tyres fitted to the trailer had insufficient load rating, causing the twin trailer tyres to rub together.
The design weight of the three trailer compensating axles at 40mph was 33,000kg, this was exceeded by 27% (8,950kg).
The movement order declared to the authorities that the three trailer axles combined were not exceeding 30,000kg. In fact they weighed 40% (11,950kg) over the declared weight.
The court agreed with DVSA that WS Transportation Ltd had been reckless with no clear systems in place and no proper training of the driver.