On 20 March 2020, the OTC released advice for operators as a result of the Covid 19 outbreak.
The full guidance can be found at on the government website. A summary is set out below, along with BSA guidance on mothballing your fleet:
Can I temporarily operate more vehicles than authorised to meet an urgent public demand?
- You need to ask a traffic commissioner to grant a temporary exemption (in writing) from any requirement to hold a standard licence.
- It is recommended that you seek advice with this to ensure you will be able to persuade the TC to grant approval.
Due to challenging trading conditions, I can no longer meet the requirement to be of the appropriate financial standing?
- You can request a period of grace from the TC.
I hold a restricted licence and cannot meet the requirement to have sufficient financial resources available due to restrictions on trade.
- There is no power to grant Periods of Grace to an existing restricted operator.
- Operators should consider offering an undertaking to the traffic commissioner for a financial check to be carried out in the future and on a specified date.
Due to restrictions on movement, I no longer have access to my operating centre. What steps do I need to take?
- Operators should request a Period of Grace to operate from an alternative site.
Operational needs require me to operate more vehicles from my operating centre than the current authorisation. I am still within my overall vehicle authorisation.
- It is recommended that you apply to obtain a grant of a variation using the digital services.
- Operators should consider submitting a complete application as soon as the need arises and seek an interim direction
I cannot maintain my vehicles in line with the stated intervals that I made a commitment to.
- Operators should never operate a vehicle in an unsafe condition.
- You should adopt a risk based approach.
- Maintenance intervals can be extended in limited situations.
I am a transport manager but am required to self-isolate or I am absent from work through ill health.
- The operator must notify the traffic commissioner depending upon the length of absence and request a period of grace where necessary.
I, or my transport manager, have an undertaking on my licence to complete training by a date before 30 June 2020, what should I do?
- You should follow the general Government advice on travel and attendance at events.
- If you cannot attend a required training event within the period set out in the undertaking you should notify the traffic commissioner as soon as possible.
I have been called to a Public Inquiry or a Driver Conduct hearing, will it go ahead during the coronavirus outbreak?
- If a public inquiry or driver conduct hearing is postponed all parties will be advised a soon as possible.
I have to mothball my fleet for a period of time, which process should I follow?
- Empty off vehicle of all sand, stone, cement, water and lubricate all chains and grease points.
- Download the truck and driver cards
- Suspend planned maintenance inspections
- Put a Vehicle Off Road sign in the vehicle
- Put a VOR document (containing date and odometer reading) in the vehicle folder.
- Lock away the keys so the vehicle can’t be taken out by accident.
- Inform TC the fleet is off the road for the foreseeable future by de-specifying vehicles.
During mothballing, once every 2 weeks:
- Carry out a daily inspection and drive the vehicle around the yard to exercise brakes etc. and record any change in mileage with an explanation of why.
When business re-opens:
- Inform TC the fleet is back on the road by specifying vehicles
- Remove the VOR sign from the vehicle
- Complete a Return to Road document, specifying the date and odometer reading. Place it in the vehicle folder
- Download vehicle and driver cards
- Carry out an in depth daily inspection prior to driving on the road
- Carry out a PMI (6 weekly inspection) before using to carry a load
For further advice, contact Jared Dunbar at Dyne Solicitors on 01829 773 105 or firstname.lastname@example.org