An external transport manager can only work for a maximum of 4 operators with a combined total fleet of 50 authorised vehicles. Traffic Commissioners understand that various transport manager functions are often delivered by a number of individuals acting within a team. The nominated transport manager’s job is to manage the delivery of those functions as the transport manager retains ultimate responsibility. The following is a non-exhaustive list of the types of activity which might be expected of a transport manager:
- to manage, audit and review compliance systems to ensure that they are effective
- to review any shortcomings such as prohibitions and/or annual test failures
- to ensure that relevant changes are notified in accordance with operator licence requirements
- to keep up to date on relevant changes in standards and legislation
- to ensure that drivers hold the appropriate licence for the vehicle they are driving and a valid driver CPC qualification (DQC)
- to ensure that all records are kept for at least the minimum required periods
- to ensure compliance with the driving hours rules
- to ensure that vehicles and trailers are kept in a fit and roadworthy condition
- to ensure that safety inspections and other statutory testing are carried out within the notified O-licence maintenance intervals
This is what form TM1 says about Transport Manager’s responsibilities:
- The making of arrangements to ensure that drivers comply with drivers’ hours and tachograph rules and with speed limits;
- The making of arrangements to ensure that the vehicles are maintained properly, including the inspection of vehicles at the appropriate time and the action tak en to remedy defects found;
- The reporting and recording of vehicle defects by drivers;
- The method of compilation and the accuracy of all records, which must be kept for a period of not less than 15 months;
- The making of arrangements to ensur e that the vehicle/s are not overloaded;
- Ensuring that authorised vehicles will be kept at the authorised o perating centre(s) when not in use;
- Where appropriate, notifying the relevant traffic commissioner (in writing) of all prosecutions and convictions concerning the operator, the drivers and me within 28 days of the court hearing;
- Notifying the relevant traffic commissioner of my resignation;
- Any role that I have in:
- Verifying contracts and documents;
- Basic accounting;
- Any other role in safety procedures.
The requirements for a standard national and international licence (not restricted) demand that the applicant has sufficient funds to start up and run the business properly. As well as assets such as vehicles and premises, there must be enough working capital (such as cash, loan facilities or other assets which can quickly be turned into cash) to cover all the expenses which are likely to arise before any money is earned to meet them.
Applicants for standard national and international licences (not restricted) must show that they have available reserves of £8,000 for the first vehicle and £4,500 for each subsequent vehicle authorised. The word “authorised” is important. Operators must have these reserves for both vehicles in their possession and those on the margin.
Your available loans, credit cards and overdraft facilities also count towards these amounts, so it’s not only cash on your account. Money and credit available to your partners also count for limited companies and partnerships.
When you apply, these amounts must have been available to you during a 28 day period, the last date of which must not be more than 2 months from the date of receipt of the application.
This is how much you need to have for the number of vehicles you are applying for:
1 vehicle = £8,000
2 vehicles = £12,500
3 vehicles = £17,000
4 vehicles = £21,500
5 vehicles = £26,000
6 vehicles = £31,500
£4,500 for each additional vehicle
The Traffic Commissioner changes the numbers above slightly from time to time depending on the euro/pound exchange rate but they usually stay within the same range.
If the Transport Manager specified on a standard O-licence leaves or you wish to change your Transport Manager for any other reason, then the Traffic Commissioner must be informed, via the Central Licensing Office, using the form GV80A.
The Traffic Commissioner need not revoke the licence and may allow a reasonable period of time for the operator to find a replacement person who is professionally competent The maximum time which may be allowed by the Traffic Commissioner is 6 months. This may be extended to 9 months at the Commissioner’s discretion.
When a new transport manager is appointed (in many cases at the same time as you send your GV80A), a completed form TM1 must be submitted containing details of the professionally competent person and the signed declaration, together with original certificates confirming professional competence.
The operating centre is the term used in the regulations to describe the location of where the vehicle or vehicles are parked when not in use. The Traffic Commissioner will need to be satisfied that your operating centre(s) are suitable – for example, that they will be big enough, with safe access, and in an environmentally acceptable location. If you do not own the operating centre you may be asked to provide evidence that you are entitled to use it.
The best way to find an operating centre is through the Traffic Commissioner’s Operator Search website here. Search for transport companies by “Town name(s)” in which you’d like to base your company (pick a town that has a good number of industrial estates). Then, look up the addresses of their operating centres. Contact them or the yard owners and ask if you can use their yard as your operating centre.
Video: How to Find an HGV Operating Centre for Your Operator’s Licence
Other websites where you can search for or post a wanted ad for an operating centre:
The following are current fees payable to the Traffic Commissioner:
- £257 – new O-Licence application (GV79) or a publishable variation to the existing licence (GV81):
- (optional) £68 – interim licence
More details are available here.
An ‘O’ licence must be obtained in each Traffic Are in which there is an operating centre. UK legislation defines an operating centre as the base or centre where the vehicle is normally kept. “Normally kept” means the place where the vehicle is usually parked when not in use. This might not always be the same as the transport company’s depot, as often vehicles are regularly parked at a customer’s premises or even at the driver’s house. In such cases then the customer’s premises or the driver’s house would constitute the operating centre and details must be included on the ‘O’ licence application.
An operator can only hold one ‘O’ licence in each Traffic Areas.
If an operator has operating centres in several different locations within the same Traffic Area, then only one ‘O’ licence will be required. Alternatively, if there are several operating centres each in different Traffic Areas, then a separate ‘O’ licence to cover vehicles in each Traffic Area will be necessary. Organisations holding existing ‘O’ licences or wishing to apply for ‘O’ licences in more than one Traffic Area can be allocated a Lead Traffic Commissioner who will deal with all application and compliance issues.
‘O’ licensing is the responsibility of the Department for Transport (DfT). The UK is dividend into eight Traffic Areas and each of the areas is looked after by a Traffic Commissioner. Initially each Traffic Area had its own Commissioner and Traffic Area Office but, in an attempt to reduce costs, some Commissioners now look after two areas. The eight current Traffic Areas are:
- North Western
- North Eastern
- West Midlands
- South Eastern and Metropolitan
Much of the basic administration of ‘O’ licensing is conducted on behalf of the Traffic Commissioners by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Central Licensing Office (CLO) based in Leeds.
Although a licence application must be made at least nine weeks before the chosen operative date, it is possible, in some circumstances, for the Traffic Commissioner to issue an interim licence. Following submission of the GV79, applicants may complete a separate form INT1 to indicate the need for an interim licence and giving reasons why the issue of an interim is being requested. The Traffic Commissioner may grant the interim licence which is subject to a special fee. The interim licence will remain in force until the full application is considered. It is important to remember that the issue of an interim licence is no guarantee a full licence will subsequently be issued.
The form INT1 to apply for an interim licence can be downloaded from here.
The current fee for an interim licence is £68.
- driver cards to be downloaded at least every 28 days
- lost driver cards to be reported to DVLA within 7 days
- maximum days of driving without a replacement driver card = 15 calendar days; in other words, if driver has forgotten his card at home – he can’t drive without it; if he’s lost it – he can drive for 15 days until he gets a replacement.
- drivers must take VU printouts at the beginning and end of each day when their driver card is lost or stolen
- VU data to be downloaded at least every 90 days
- digital tachographs must be fully recalibrated every 2 years
- all downloaded data must be kept for at least 1 year
On the GV79 the applicant must state the number of vehicles and trailers (including semi-trailers) he wishes to specify on the licence. Most applicants apply for authorisation for more vehicles and trailers than they currently have in their possession. This is to allow scope for expansion of the business and to meet day to day operational problems such as breakdowns. This provision for vehicles and trailers to be acquired is known as the “margin” on the licence. There’s no limit to the number of vehicles that the applicant can ask for as a margin. However, this does not mean that the Traffic Commissioner will automatically grant all that is required, particularly as the Commissioner has to be convinced that the applicant has both sufficient off street parking and sufficient financial resources to facilitate safe and legal operation of the additional vehicles.