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FMCSA Declares Florida Carrier an ‘Imminent Hazard to Public Safety’

Hotshot hauler to FMCSA: Can I install sleeper berth in pickup?

The FMCSA today announced the agency has put the brakes on Grand Ridge, Florida-based carrier Ken’s Trucking, LLC, declaring the company, “an imminent hazard to public safety.”

The FMCSA has ordered Ken’s Trucking to “immediately shut down” after an investigation of the carrier found “numerous widespread violations of critical safety regulations.”

Ken’s Trucking operates a fleet of 33 trucks and transports general freight and refrigerated foods.

In August, FMCSA investigators began investigating Ken’s Trucking after the company’s trucks were involved in 5 crashes in a one-year period.  At least two of the crashes were attributed to mechanical deficiencies, including a broken driveshaft that fell onto the road and caused a wreck with a passenger car. Kenneth Branch, owner of and driver for Ken’s Trucking, was involved in a  crash in 2014 that was attributed to vehicle maintenance deficiencies.

In a separate incident, a driver for Ken’s Trucking was found to have been operating with a suspended CDL for perviously testing positive for methamphetamines.

In addition, in the past 12 months, 29 Ken’s Trucking drivers received 15 citations for speeding and 10 citations for other traffic violations.

FMCSA investigators found that Ken’s Trucking failed to properly maintain employee files, including drug and alcohol testing and record.  The  FMCSA alleges Ken’s Trucking allowed drivers who tested positive for drugs, were in possession of a suspended or expired CDL, had an expired medical card to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.

“In the past year, Ken’s Trucking dispatched two drivers who had tested positive for controlled substances during random tests and two other drivers who tested positive in pre-employment drug tests without requiring the drivers to undergo proper return-to-duty procedures.  For a period of 17 months, Ken’s Trucking continually dispatched a driver whose CDL had been suspended for speeding violations.  Mr. Branch, who was in charge of Ken’s Trucking’s safety compliance, did not himself participate in federally mandated random drug and alcohol testing of CDL drivers,” a press release from the FMCSA states.

Investigators also found that Ken’s Trucking failed to monitor drivers’ HOS, and failed to inspect, repair and maintain its vehicles.

“During the past 12 months, 42 roadside inspections were conducted on Ken’s Trucking vehicles resulting in 112 safety maintenance violations,” the press release states.

The FMCSA had ordered Ken’s Trucking to “cease all commercial motor vehicle operations, including all interstate and intrastate transportation, from all dispatching locations or terminals.”

“Safety is our highest priority and we will not allow truck and bus companies that disregard vital safety regulations to continue endangering the motoring public,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “Businesses that transport commercial cargo are responsible for ensuring that their vehicles are properly maintained and safely operated by qualified and well-rested drivers at all times, and we will continue to vigorously enforce these standards to protect every traveler on our roads.”

A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order can be viewed at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/Kens-Trucking-IHOOS