DVSA targets curtain sided lorries

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) carried out a week of enforcement action to protect road users in Staffordshire from dangerous vehicles.

The operation targeting curtain sided vehicles saw 37 vehicles checked, with three being taken off the road immediately for issues with load security. Between them DVSA examiners issued 20 immediate and seven delayed prohibitions.

The DVSA said the curtains on a curtain-sided vehicle are not designed to secure the load, so it is important that loads are securely restrained to prevent movement.

In most cases, the load must be secured using a suitable system such as lashing straps. Failure to properly secure goods can in serious cases cause load shifts that can lead to a loss of life.

Three of the vehicles encountered were taken off the road because the load was not properly secured or even restrained at all. One of the most serious issues encountered by examiners was a rigid curtain-sided lorry fully loaded with building supplies. The driver thought the curtains were load securing and didn’t use any restraining methods on them.

According to the DVSA, there was a risk that this load could have shifted and affected the stability of the vehicle. It could have caused the vehicle to topple over on the highway or even cause a collision.

Elsewhere, a lorry loaded with 7.7 tonnes of machinery on a trailer was stopped by DVSA examiners. They found out it was not secured to the bed of the trailer, meaning it could have shifted at any moment.

Concerningly, a number of brake related defects were also found on another trailer during the week of action. The DVSA examiner suspected this and a rolling road brake test confirmed that the service brakes on all 3 axles did not work. This action took a dangerous vehicle off the road and could have prevented a serious incident.

Additionally, one of the tyres on the trailer had sidewall damage exposing the cords on the tyre. This dangerous vehicle was removed from the road until all the defects were repaired.

Most of the vehicles inspected had loads which were carried safely. Vehicle examiners gave advice on best practice to drivers of other vehicles including their responsibility to make sure their load is safe.

With the recent update in the categorisation of defects, operators and drivers should ensure they are acting compliantly.

DVSA’s director of enforcement Marian Kitson said: “Operators and drivers of HGVs have a duty to make sure their lorries are safe and all loads are transported securely.

“While most in the vehicle industry follow the rules, DVSA won’t hesitate in taking action against operators whose negligence endangers lives.”

Related content