September 19 - UK crane rental company Baldwins Crane Hire has inked an agreement with North Yorkshire based Metcalfe Farms Haulage for the outsourcing of its haulage operations.

As part of the deal, HLPFI understands that Metcalfe will take over the operation of Baldwins' heavy haulage fleet, and also employ its own vehicles to move Baldwins' cranes.

This move follows news posted by HLPFI on August 8 regarding the revocation of Baldwins' vehicle licences and the disqualification of four of the company's directors.

The UK traffic commissioner, Kevin Rooney, said that compliance at Baldwins should have been at the highest possible level but was not.

The industry regulator concluded that drivers had falsified their records in order to ensure cranes would be on site ready to work on time and at times this had, directly and indirectly, been caused by director Wayne Baldwin.

Media reports suggest that Baldwins' agreement with Metcalfe enables it to continue operating heavy crane services through a legal loophole despite its ban, since mobile cranes are not subject to the same stringent regulations as trucks.

In a statement, Baldwins said that its heavy crane fleet will "continue to operate as normal" and its customers will not see any change in the standard of its service.