For transport operators, operator licenses are the heart of the business. In order to protect this operator license, the business stakeholders must know the difference between believing they are compliant and knowing for sure that they are compliant. Regardless of who uses the vehicles owned by the operator, ultimately the name at risk is the one on the operator license. Therefore, undergoing periodic inspections to test the integrity of existing systems and third parties is fundamental to prevent any kind of liabilities. These potential threats could be anything ranging from fines, to public inquiries or expensive legal bills.
Since this is such a critical part of transport operator businesses, it is extremely important to work with the right companies to undertake these transport compliance checks
Many operators struggle to identify the right company which is not only reliable but also experienced and affordable. Ultimately the company’s relevant experience will eventually benefit the transport operator as well. To ensure that transport operators have access to the right company, we looked through the service offerings of a large number of companies and identified the Lloyd Morgan Group as the most suitable one.
This company is one of the UK’s largest independent maintenance compliance service providers. It is extremely credible since the Leading Trade Association Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) endorses its wide suite of services like vehicle inspection, transport compliance audits & training solutions. Moreover, they are an IMI (Institute of the Motor Industry) approved centre for IRTEC (Institute of Road Transport Engineers) Products and a recognised JAUPT (Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Trainings) centre. Therefore, it goes without saying that it is a comprehensive solution for all transport compliance requirements.
What does transport compliance involve?
Transport compliance service providers specialise in the end-to-end management of all transport related compliance and corresponding incidents. They include but are not limited to initial license application to understanding of vehicles to gauge if they are FFU (Fit for Use) or FFP (Fit for Use).
Here are a few transport compliance services that the Lloyd Morgan Group provides.
- Operator License Application
The first step for small transport operators is to make an application for a new operator’s license. Similarly, bigger operators may need to apply to extend existing licenses. Transport compliance companies have transport solicitors on board who can assist with either of the two processes. These specialist lawyers can advise businesses on the prerequisites that operators need to fulfill before securing these licenses. There are many factors to take into consideration, for instance documenting the location of the centre where the business will be operating from, hiring the right transport manager and ensuring they have the right accreditations, working out the cost of the application and locking down the funds that need to be in place.
- Gate Checks
As detailed in the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, employers are fully responsible for “the provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees” and a core part of the supervision related responsibility is to make sure that there are adequate measures in place for health and safety compliance.
Unfortunately, many times, transport managers are unable to meet their drivers before they depart since they often leave the depots very early in the morning. This is disconcerting because it means that they are unable to carry out the required checks in person. These activities cannot be discounted because they impact the quantity of defects being reported each day. Typically, the transport manager is responsible for identifying these and they can point to many issues like drivers not carrying around a proper walk around check, vehicle age, nature of the work etc. Once identified, reactive measures can be taken to avoid aggravating the situation further by stopping unroadworthy vehicles from leaving the depot.
The effectiveness of daily vehicle checks need to be monitored and a combination of auditing checks need to be conducted under regular ‘gate checks’. The transport compliance companies are equipped to host these gate checks and audits as a part of a larger effective maintenance regime. Transport operators can lean on these companies to impose these checks and improve the business.
- Maintenance System Compliance Audits
Transport operators often get visits from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). As a preparation towards this, it is recommended that an independent pre audit and fixing issues in advance can save the operator’s Operator Compliance Risk Score (OCRS) which in turn can help avoid future checks and revisits from DVSA.
Transport compliance companies can identify areas where the transport operator is lacking so that they can be actioned with the right solutions to solve them beforehand. These companies visit the operator’s site in complete confidence and check for all necessary processes and systems. Post this exercise, they publish a full report and advise how these areas can be improved further.
- Public Inquiry Support
At times, in cases of discrepancies, the Traffic Commissioner calls for a hearing to obtain more information before deciding whether:
- A HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) or PSV (Public Service Vehicle) operator license should be granted or refused
- Regulatory actions should be taken against defaulters
In such situations, it is vital that the operator utilises the time between being notified and the inquiry date judiciously to identify and rectify any existing issues in the system. Transport compliance companies are experts in inspections and preparing for every aspect of the public inquiry process.
Therefore, as seen above, there are many moving pieces in the transport operator business which is why it is advisable to partner with the right transport compliance company like the Lloyd Morgan Group every step of the way. They can assist in setting up the business, identifying issues, rectifying them, installing checks and balances and also solve for incidents if at worst these checks and balances fail. They provide a comprehensive solution to all transport business requirements and are extremely handy to ensure your transport operator business’ continued success.