need an Operator Licence HGV/PSV?
The traffic Commissioner for the Eastern traffic Area has revoked the Operators Licence of a family Haulage company for severe breaches of undertakings relating to maintenance.
The father & son have also been disqualified from holding an O Licence for three years.
Issues concerning exceeding stated Inspection intervals, numerous prohibitions, a change in trading entity and a poor Annual Test pass rate were all looked at by the traffic Commissioner during the Public Inquiry.
If you have any concerns regarding YOUR compliance, please feel free to call us for free initial advice.
Increasingly we are getting calls from companies who have fallen foul of one of the basic yet most important aspects of Operators Licencing law. Trading Entity!
A good example of this and a much heard story is as follows.
A partnership of two or more people applied for an Operators Licence three or four years ago when they set out in business, as the business grew they were advised to “go Limited” and trade as an LTD.
Even though the partnership may have had the same trading name as the newer limited company, and the original partners then became the limted company directors a new Operators Licence MUST be applied for.
Why? Well because a Limited Company is an entity in its own right, therefore the original O Licence issued to a partnership will NOT be valid for use by the Limited Company.
All too often this overlooked, it could lead to complication getting a new Licence issued and it could mean standing vehicles for a considerable time as they are not being operated under the correct Operators Licence.
If you are in any doubt regarding an existing licence and your trading entity please feel free to call us for advice.
In the UK, both Light & Heavy Goods Vehicles can only operate if they have a valid licence, this requirement is designed to ensure that those companies operating LGV, HGV, PCV & PSV vehicles do so in safety and with suitable training.
Introduced in 1995, the ‘O’ licence forms part of the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995. Subsequent revisions have since been made, with the rules now updated and included in the Road Transport Operator Regulations 2011.
The regulation of passenger vehicles was introduced in 1981 when it formed part of the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981. This version too was included in the 2011 updates.
Enforcement of the Operator Licence
VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) is the body responsible for enforcing the rules and regulations surrounding the ‘O’ Licence scheme. VOSA is a government body created on 1st April 2003 and began operating from the merger of the Vehicle Inspectorate and the Department for Transport’s Traffic Area Network division. It’s mandate is to provide a full range of vehicle related services including licensing, testing & criminal enforcement with a goal of raising the standard of passenger & Heavy Goods Vehicles on the roads throughout the UK.
VOSA also has the role of being the link between various road agencies, providing communication channels and assisting with the coordination of legal activity between The Traffic Commissioners Department, the Police force and Local Councils.
The 3 types of Goods Vehicle Operator Licences
The following 3 Operator Licences have their own distinct set of restrictions and are applicable to different types of vehicle controller:
The Restricted Operators License
The Restricted Operators Licence permits the holder to carry goods or equipment that they require to run their business in GB. The license holder cannot carry goods for other people, for hire or reward, or even if no payment is received.
The Standard National O Licence
The Standard O Licence permits the licencee to transport loads throughout Great Britain & to transport goods for others, either for hire or reward. The main restriction with this version of the license is that it transportation is ONLY allowed in GB.
The Standard International ‘O’ Licenses
The Standard International License is the least restrictive and permits the holder to ferry goods for their own business as well as goods for others (for hire or reward), across Great Britain and also overseas. Operators issued with an international license will, by default, also receive Community Authorisations, which are compulsory permits required when transporting goods in, or through, any European Community country.
Note The above are not applicable to forklift trucks.
JeyConsult have a wealth of knowledge in transport management and provide a range of services to any UK company with requirements for management, training, consultancy or advice. We offer basic training courses and certification for all of your drivers which can also include tachograph tuition. We also provide assistance with Public Inquiries, helping your manage your company through the red tape and legal procedures that this job can throw at you – allowing you to continue to run your business day to day.
Ensuring that you keep your vehicles fit for the road and in good serviceable condition is of paramount importance both in terms of road safety and complying with the undertakings you signed up to when you were granted your Operators Licence.
Vosa produce a free “Guide to maintaining roadworthiness” which is invaluable to the new and experienced Operator alike.
Please find below the link to this publication, it will help you asses your maintenance regime and subsequently may well help you keep your O Licence to the necessary standards.
Here is a breakdown of the costs for an Operators Licence application, as these costs are not refundable it is essential that all information is accurate first time around or the cost of the application may need to be found again.
Application fee £254
Interim application fee £68
Granting fee £397
Public Notice required in the Newspaper local to your nominated Operating centre £100 – £300.
If you require your O Licence as soon as possible then the Interim Application may well be your best way forward, whilst there is no obligation on the Traffic Commissioner to issue an Interim Licence, if all is well with your application you could receive a temporary Operators Licence within six or seven weeks.
Please feel free to call us for help regarding any intended Application
We are often asked the question “Do I need an O Licence”. The answer is quite often straight forward!
If you use a vehicle above 3500kg for business purposes then the answer is almost always yes.
Likewise if you use a commercial vehicle and trailer combination then the answer, with certain exceptions is yes you do require an O Licence.
The exceptions to the above are not always straightforward, and will depend for instacne on whether or not the vehicle and trailer combination and weight of trailer are to be used for hire or reward or for carrying your own goods.
The type of vehicle may also have an impact regarding whether or not you require an Operators Licence, is the vehicle classed as plant for example?
If you are not sure if you require an Operators Licence please feel free to call us!
When applying for an Operator Licence the more accurate you can be with the information on your application the better chance you stand of being granted a licence without too many hiccups.
1) Always check and double postcodes, particularly in relation to Operating Centres, the correct property number or name and the correct postcode are very important and any inaccuracy may result in the application being refused or withdrawn.
2) Ensure you declare all and any relevant convictions, if in doubt declare it anyway!
3) Make sure you have the necessary finances in place prior to the application.
4) Wait until you have all the necessary paperwork, documents and contracts in place before placing the Public Notice, if you run over the 21 day deadline the Public Notice will need to placed in the newspaper again which can be quite costly.
If you would like further information or help regarding making an application for an Operator Licence please feel free to call us for free friendly advice.
When was the last time you had a fresh pair of eyes look at the systems and procedures you have in place to maiantain compliance of your Operators Licence?
An independent Audit will highlight any weaknesses in your maintenance systems and procedures, your Tachograph analysis and your Driver Daily Rectification system.
Also an Audit will highlight any new “Best working practices” which you may not be aware of.
Demonstratable measures to ensure you are monitoring compliance and the internal systems you have in place are two of the best tools available to you for keeping your Operators Licence safe!
If you would like more information on our Audit service, please feel free to call or email us for details.
So you have just applied for your Operators Licence, regardless of whether or not you have applied for a Restricted, Standard or International Licence there are a number of General Undertakings which you have agreed to uphold when you signed your GV79 Operator Licence Application form.
In light of this, how do you intend to make sure of the following:
1) That the rules relating to Drivers Hours, breaks and Rest will be upheld?
2) That Drivers charts and/or digital records will be properly kept?
3) Vehicles and trailers will not be overloaded?
4) Vehicles will not exceed the given speed limits?
5) That drivers will report promptly any defects found on a vehicle or trailer?
6) That all vehicles and/or trailers will be kept fit and serviceable?
7) That any material changes to the business or convictions are notified to the Traffic Commissioners Office within 28 days?
8) That the number of Vehicles and/or Trailers is not exceeded at your Operating centre(s)
If you are in any doubt as to your legal requirements with regard the above, or you are unsure as to what exactly the above undertakings mean, please feel free to call us at JEY Consultancy and we may be able to put your mind at ease regarding the requirements of holding an O Licence.