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AdBlue Emulators

DVSA has advised that use of AdBlue emulators is an offence on a par with using a magnet to falsify drivers’ hours records. Such emissions cheating devices disable the AdBlue system.  Operators found using such devices will in all probability be subject to a full fleet maintenance inspection and referral to the area traffic commissioner, who are taking a dim view of operators using such devices.

What is surprising and questionable is the claim from operators that they were totally unaware.   We at Freightlink Europe have requested our maintenance provider to, where possible, check for such devices at inspection.  A simpler way of checking however is to check that drivers are drawing adblue.

3rd May 2018

Earned Recognition Launch at CV show

On 24 May 2018 at the CV Show DVSA officially launched the Earned Recognition Standard. .   Head of DVSA Gareth Llewellyn thanked operators for working with DVSA to make the launch possible.

Freightlink Europe’s Transport Manager, Tom Peterson collected the certificate on behalf of the company and said he was delighted that Freightlink Europe was one of the first general haulage company to be accredited with the standarTo see the full list of operators:

To see the full list of operators:

Freightlink Europe sister company, Freight Train, is available to work with operators wishing to achieve the standard.




3rd May 2018

New updated release of Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness

DVSA took the opportunity to launch its new revised edition of the Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness. The guide is no longer available in hard copy, but can be accessed at:

The main updates are

  • Safety inspection intervals.   The previous annex A of the guide has been removed. This has been replaced with case studies to encourage operators to evaluate their own safety requirements when considering inspection intervals
  • Safety Inspection Records. The example inspection report has been updated to include brake temperatures and an amended report sign off
  • Safety Inspection and Repair Facilities. This section has been amended, putting the onus on operators to ensure that both in-house and external inspection facilities are fit for purpose and sufficient for the job. There is a recommendation that both workshops and technicians are able to demonstrate competence.
  • Tyre Management.   Tyre defects are amongst the most common when issuing prohibitions. The Guide gives further information with regard to tyre management
  • Brake Testing.   The Guide has more information with regard to brake testing. It is strongly recommended that laden roller brake testing to be carried out at every inspection. The guide however includes information on Electronic Braking Performance Monitoring Systems (EBPMS). If road testing is being used to assess brakes, the Guide recommends that b rake temperature readings are recorded on the inspection sheet
  • Drivers’ Daily Defect Report. This report has been updated to include vehicle height checks and Adblue system checks. An example is given in Annex 3B.   The Guide details the legal responsibilities of drivers
  • Third party traction. The Guide clarifies the duties of the operator and vehicle owner with regard to third party traction
  • Emissions and Air Quality. There is a new section on exhaust emissions. This stresses the importance of correct maintenance of vehicle emission control systems.
  • Using IT systems for vehicle maintenance. Other guides have now been incorporated into the Guide for Roadworthiness

It is strongly suggested that operators take the time to familiarise themselves with the new Guide

3rd May 2018

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) – 25 May 2018

Like many companies, we at Freightlink Europe are busy putting together our GDPR policies and procedures – quite a daunting task!

The sending of a newsletter is a quick and easy way for us to keep in contact with our clients. We want to keep you up to date with not only what we are doing, but what is happening within our industry.

As part of our preparation, we shall be cleansing our database and only sending our newsletter to individuals with company e-mail addresses.   Should you no longer wish to receive our news, then please unsubscribe. We will be sad to see you go.

3rd May 2018


Following a tweet by Lesley O’Brien earlier this year asking Motor Transport why there were no women in its ‘Top 10 Power Players’, Lesley was contacted by Commercial Motor and invited to write a column for its ‘red line’.   You can read Lesley’s articles to date by clicking the links below:

10th March 2018


On 20 March the Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey 2018* was released highlighting the number of potholes on our roads.   Lesley spoke to local BBC Radio Leeds about the impact for the road haulage fraternity.  ‘More potholes mean more breakdowns mean more roadworks and more delays’ said Lesley.  With an increase in online purchases very few deliveries begin and end on a motorway or trunk road.  There is therefore a requirement for increased commitment to local roads as well as main roads.  The road network is our industry’s place of work.  Road conditions affect our ability to do our job well.  The Asphalt Industry Alliance report claims that ‘one in five of local roads are now classed as structurally poor – with less than five years’ life remaining’.   The long term strategy for roads must include traffic flow, signalling technology and information technology. President of the AA, Edmund King pointed out that responding to a Parliamentary question, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Transport Jesse Norman revealed that four cyclists had been killed and 60 seriously injured in 2016 following accidents involving pothole and since 2007 defective road surfaces have contributed to 22 cyclist deaths  and 368 serious injury incidents!

*The ALARM survey 2018 was completed by 60% of authorities responsible for roads in England, London and Wales and was carried out during December 2017, January and February 2018

21st March 2018


On 7th March 2018 Freightlink Europe were pleased to see that they had coverage in their local newspaper about being accepted on the Earned Recognition pilot.

8th March 2018


This year Harrogate Ladies College celebrated 25 years and chose to mark the occasion by celebrating International Women’s Day and opening the college to a host of female business leaders. Lesley was invited to speak on the topic ‘How to survive in a male culture’. Lesley said, ‘I was invited to inspire, but was inspired by these very talented, passionate and confident girls who live a privileged existence.   Nevertheless, like many other young girls they had little appreciation of the importance and potential in the transport industry. It is entirely this calibre of person that we need to reach out to if we want to fill our skills gap with talented and ambitious young people’. Joanne Harris of ‘Chocolat’ fame concluded the day with an interesting talk of how she achieved her success.   Harris amused the girls by suggesting they ask awkward questions, stating ‘women who change the world ask awkward questions’, and not to be put off by rejection as ‘rejection was only a landmark on the road to success’. She continued to state that the girls should therefore be’ persistent in pursuing their goals’. Said Lesley,’ I think this is great advice not only for these young girls, but all women……I’m going to persistently asking awkward questions!



9th March 2018


From Monday 5 March 2018, DVSA traffic officers will start issuing on-the-spot fines for any drivers’ hours offences committed in the last 28 days.

Officers will be able to issue fines for five offences in a single check. With fines of up to £300 for each offence a driver could be liable for £1,500 in a single stop whether the offences were committed in the UK or abroad. DVSA will also have the option to immobilise the vehicle.

To remind your drivers, planners and transport managers of drivers’ hours rules, please download Freight Train’s guidance on drivers hours and the road transport working time directive

Drivers’ hours regulations:

Road Transport Working Time Directive:

Read the DVSA article:

28th February 2018


Are you prepared for the new GDPR regulations which come into force this May?

Proposed fines for failure to meet the deadline is said to be 4% of annual turnover to a maximum of 20 million euros. The current maximum fine is £500,000. We are considering organising a seminar to be delivered by a transport solicitor, specifically focussing what vehicle operators should do. If you are interested, please contact Nicola –   Following on from the seminar, the idea could be to have a forum of operators working together to assist one another.

GDPR Guidance:

28th February 2018


Following a tweet by Lesley O’Brien earlier this year asking Motor Transport why there were no women in its ‘Top 10 Power Players’, Lesley was contacted by Commercial Motor and invited to write a column for its ‘red line’.   You can read Lesley’s articles to date by clicking the links below:

1st February 2018


This month Lesley and Tom visited the prestigious Mercedes site in Barnsley, where they saw the latest Mercedes vehicles.

Vehicle stopping without ABA Active Braking:


Vehicle stopping with ABA Active Braking:

28th February 2018


In February we celebrated 100 years since women got the vote. Lesley was invited to speak on BBC Radio Leeds about the challenges of being a women working in transport.

28th February 2018


Earlier this month Lesley visited the large prestigious automated M & S distribution centre operated by XPO on the M606 industrial estate. We are delighted that XPO/M&S have kindly agreed to hold a She’s RHA event on 7 March, the event of International Women’s Day. This is an opportunity to visit the prestigious site and hear XPO employees discuss their career progression.

Please telephone or e-mail us should you wish to attend –

28th February 2018

DVSA Earned Recognition announcement 31 January 2017

Freightlink Europe is proud to be included in the list of operators announced today as part of the DVSA Earned Recognition pilot. Transport operators accepted on the pilot have not only had to show their commitment to safety and compliance with industry standards but have undergone an intensive audit to evidence their processes and procedures. There is an ongoing commitment to provide DVSA with information to meet KPIs, which if not maintained will result in the standard being revoked. Operators who have achieved this standard have been given a blue OCR score.

We feel that the industry should embrace this as the only official standard which hopefully will be approved. This is an opportunity for transport operators and DVSA to work together and drive out the non-compliant and rogues in our industry, who only serve to reduce profit margins, make our roads unsafe and give our industry a bad name.


Well done Team Freightlink Europe. I am so proud of us all for leading the way and showing our commitment to safety and industry compliance. One of the few operators country wide to be accepted into the DVSA pilot – see the list here

Well done Team Freightlink Europe. I am so proud of us all for leading the way and showing our commitment to safety and industry compliance. One of the few operators country wide to be accepted into the DVSA pilot – see the list here:

1st February 2018

Working with DWP to address the skills gap in transport

In January Lesley worked with the DWP to create a series of interviews. The aim was to help job centre staff to understand the needs of our industry and encourage young people and the unemployed to chose transport as a career choice. Lesley spoke about her experiences as a woman working in the transport and logistics centre.

To listen to the interview dial 02081961998 , pin 9499770 (available for limited period)

1st February 2018

Bradford Rotary

It was lovely to support my father and Bradford Rotary on Friday 8 December when I delivered a talk entitled ‘An introduction to the world of transport and the life of a woman in transport’. My father has been a member of Bradford rotary since I was a child. I am used to listening to him giving hilarious fabulous talks, so it was strange for the tables to be turned. We both had a tear in our eye as I paid homage the support my parents have given me – my father responsible for my business ethics, principles and teaching me how to barter! My mother the strong voice of defiance against the imposter syndrome, from which most women suffer!

Did you know: Department of transport figures reveal that we are most influenced between the ages of 1 and 5 years old. Very few children will draw a woman when they are asked to draw a truck driver. Girls are influenced by their mothers and teachers to take up nurturing jobs such as nursing or teaching. For this reason only 8% of the transport and logistics industry workforce is female.

20th December 2017

Leeds Clean Air Zone (CAZ)

In a bid to cut emissions Leeds City Council announced plans to charge trucks and taxis entering the Leeds Clean Air Zone (CAZ). The proposed tax for trucks is £100.00 per day for vehicles that do not meet the Euro V1 standard, to come into force in 2020. Given that small hauliers are the backbone of our economy and the average life cycle of a truck is 10 years, this could result in the closure of many small operators, who simply will not be able to afford new trucks , the cost to upgrade or the crippling fines.  It most definitely will result in an increase in transport costs.

Did you know:  90% of everything we eat, drink consume, comes on the back of a lorry?  In 2015, HGVs accounted for just 10% of total NOx emissions. Between 2014 and the end of 2016, NOx emissions from HGVs reduced by a third. 

18th December 2017

RHA Northern Region Dinner – Harrogate

All work and no play, makes the Freightlink Europe team, dull and boring, so we donned our glad rags for the RHA dinner at The Majestic Hotel in Harrogate.

20th November 2017

Earned Recognition update

DVSA advised that as from 31 January 2018 DVSA examiners would no longer stop vehicles of operators taking part in the earned recognition pilot scheme and that site visits would also be less likely – great news for operators who have committed time and effort to this project

Industry is putting so much pressure on operators now to comply with a variety of standards, not without cost, that it is hard to know what to do – FORS, CLOCS and now Earned Recognition! As opposed to FORS, which in my view focusses on documents and procedures, with no evidence of adherence to the same, Earned Recognition focusses on evidence of compliance with operators’ licence Undertakings. As Undertakings are linked to safety on our roads, this must be better for the transport industry, allowing the professional operators to get on with their work and the allowing the DVSA to focus on the serially and seriously non-compliant. It gets a thumbs up from me.

A list of operators taking part in the earned recognition scheme shall be publish on the GOV.UK website in January 2018  DVSA confirmed that this decision has been taken in recognition of participating hauliers’ commitment to meet driver and vehicle standards.

20th November 2017
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