FMCSA Shuts Down Trucking Company for Violating Federal Regulations
Most companies found in violation of federal regulations are able to remain in business after providing proof that they will make appropriate corrections to their operations. However, a North-Carolina-based trucking company that ignored multiple large scale federal safety regulations has been completely shut down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Les’s Tree and Stump Inc., (USDOT No. 2512204) was ordered to cease all intrastate and interstate operations after a federal investigation discovered multiple blatant safety violations that created immediate safety hazards.
Many drivers were discovered to be piloting commercial vehicles without proper licensing, and driver logs had not been adequately maintained. In addition to this, vehicle maintenance was found to be lacking significantly when compared to industry standards. Vehicle out-of-service rates were well above the national average, and the company’s alcohol and drug testing program was all but non-existent. With so many glaring violations of basic and fundamental safety measures, the company was quickly shut down. However, this hasn’t been the first time the organization has ran into trouble due to a lack of regulatory compliance.
In June 2014, the FMCSA contacted the company repeatedly to notify them of a required safety audit. Despite constant reminders, the company neglected to schedule the inspection. Because of this, their registration was revoked immediately. While the company’s reapplication was approved last year, it was again informed about the mandatory safety audit. A month later, one of the company’s drivers was involved in a major crash. An investigation indicated not only that the vehicle was not safe for operation, but that the driver did not possess a valid CDL.
After repeated attempts at an investigation, the FMSCA was finally able to collect the information it needed to make a sound judgment in this case. While some have criticized the FMSCA’s act of green-lighting the organization for continued business after its first violation, most cases see companies achieving regulatory compliance after being contacted by the organization. However, this was not the case for Les’s Tree and Stump. And while the outcome may not have come as swiftly as some would like, the final decision stands and the company will not be operating in the future. While this does show that federal regulators do want to accommodate companies and give them a chance to remain in operation, it also shows that flagrant disregard for safety policies will not be tolerated.