Rase Distribution has quit Palletways bringing an end to a troubled relationship that saw the Lincolnshire haulier challenge the network’s guidelines by refusing to deliver pallet loads weighing more than 750kg to residential addresses on the grounds of safety.

The move sees Rase Distribution exit its 10-year contract with Palletways almost two years ahead of its October 2021 planned exit.

Rase Distribution introduced a pallet weight ban in November 2018 following a risk assessment that led it to conclude that tail-lift deliveries of pallets above 750kg to residential addresses posed an unacceptable risk to drivers.

However, Palletways refused to acknowledge the limit, which left the Lincolnshire haulier shouldering thousands of pounds of courier costs for the delivery of pallet loads above 750kg, which it refused to handle under its safety policy.

Confirming the haulier’s exit from Palletways, Rase Distribution MD Geoff Hill said: “My only regret about coming out of Palletways is that we have lost our voice on pushing for pallet weight legislation.”

Pointing to the death of HGV driver Petru Pop in November 2016, who was crushed by a 1,400kg pallet of tiles he was delivering to a domestic address in High Wycombe, Bucks, for Palletways member Reason Transport, Hill added: “I cannot believe it has taken so long for legislation to be put in place and that it is still not in place more than two years after the death of Petru Pop. Drivers are at risk when making these deliveries and something needs to be done urgently.”

The long-awaited HSE guidance on the handling of tail-lift delivery pallet weights has been in discussion for more three years and has failed to meet a number of deadlines, including a plan to announce it at last year’s CV Show.

Areas covered by Rase, which is owned by HW Coates, will be split between George H Kime and East Trans.