The FMCSA has issued an out-of-service order for Atlanta-based carrier General Trucking, Inc., declaring the company an “imminent hazard to public safety.” The agency has ordered the carrier to immediately shut down its operations and cease all service.
The agency began investigating General Trucking, Inc., after the company was involved in 8 preventable crashes in the last 12 months. The investigation revealed the company violated several regulations: the company employed unqualified drivers, did not monitor the drivers’ RODS, the drivers did not comply with HOS rules and the company’s vehicles were unsafe and grossly overloaded.
“Safety is our highest priority,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Truck companies that operate unsafely have no place on our nation’s roadways.”
According to the out-of-service order:
FMCSA began a comprehensive investigation of General Trucking, Inc. because the carrier had four alert BASICs placing it in the top percentiles for poor safety performance:
- Unsafe Driving (100%)
- Hours of Service Compliance (95%)
- Driver Fitness (99.9%)
- Crash Indicator (96.8%)
FMCSA’s investigation revealed egregious regulatory violations and a business practice demonstrating General Trucking, Inc.’s continuing and blatant disregard for public safety.
The investigation revealed, General Trucking, Inc. dispatched and operated CMVs “grossly exceeding the manufacturers’ GVWR.” In addition, during the past four months, General Trucking has received multiple violations for operating overweight vehicles. In fact, 39 out of 48 roadside inspections resulted in an overweight citations.
- On December 18, 2012, the Florida Highway Patrol issued an overweight citation to General Trucking, Inc. because the vehicle was 15,440 lbs heavier than the manufacturers’ GVWR.
- On December 5, 2012, the South Carolina State Transport Police issued an overweight citation to General Trucking, Inc. because the vehicle was 26,500 lbs. heavier than the manufacturers’ GVWR.
Additionally, the FMCSA says General Trucking, Inc. is in blatant disregard of FMCSA’s driver qualification requirements by dispatching drivers who are not qualified to operate CMVs, because they do not possess valid CDLs to operate overweight vehicles. Therefore, the drivers lack the training to operate overweight vehicles.
Furthermore, General Trucking, Inc. does not maintain proper drug and alcohol testing for its drivers.
12-Month Accident History:
- March 15, 2012, a General Trucking driver hit another vehicle on I-20 while changing lanes
- April 2, 2012, a General Trucking driver lost control of his vehicle while traveling onto an exit ramp, flipped over and slid down an embankment.
- May 25, 2012, a General Trucking driver struck the concrete median and another vehicle while traveling onto an exit ramp.
- July 23, 2012, a General Trucking driver struck the expressway’s median cable barrier in attempting to avoid colliding with another vehicle.
- August 13, 2012, a General Trucking driver collided with another vehicle because he was unable to stop his vehicle in the slowing traffic.
- September 6, 2012, a General Trucking driver struck a road sign and overturned on the expressway.
- November 30, 2012, a General Trucking driver swerved to avoid a vehicle that pulled in front of his commercial motor vehicle and struck the concrete barrier wall and railroad support overpass.
- January 25, 2013, a General Trucking driver stopped in front of a bridge because the vehicle was too large to pass under the bridge, resulting in a second vehicle striking the General Trucking vehicle.
“Safety is our number-one priority,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “Every trucking company and driver has a role and responsibility to make it theirs as well. Companies that place the public at risk by demonstrating negligent behaviors and business practices will be shut down.”