Just two weeks after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was given new authority to go after reincarnated carriers, the agency is already cracking down on those who close up operations and reopen under a new name to skirt enforcement action.
On June 7, the FMCSA issued an out-of-service order and record consolidation order under §386.73 against WTSA US Express LLC, TJA Express Transportation and Wolf Trucking Company LLC, all listed at the same address in Racine, WI.
According to the FMCSA order, WTSA US Express was closed down and deactivated by its owner, Tadeusz Wrzesniewski, and his son Adrian Wrzesniewski, to allegedly avoid submitting to a mandatory safety review, then started up operations under a new name, TJA Express.
“WTSA US Express LLC was ‘reactivated’ in order to avoid a new entrant out-of-service order and order to cease all interstate transportation that was served on TJA Express,” according to the FMCSA order. WTSA was deactivated in January 2012 and reactivated in March 2012.
A third company, Wolf Trucking Co., was created in February 2012 “to serve as a hedge against FMCSA enforcement actions against WTSA US Express and TJA Express.”
According to the order, Tadeusz Wrzesniewski admitted to an FMCSA safety investigator that he “created TJA Express Transportation because the original WTSA US Express (prior to deactivation) had accumulated high safety scores and was scheduled for a safety review.”
All of WTSA, TJA and Wolf Trucking’s records maintained by the FMCSA – including safety, performance, compliance and enforcement records – will be permanently consolidated, according to the FMCSA order.
Unless a request for administrative review is served and filed in accordance with 49 C.F.R. §386.73, the order will become final on June 28.
On June 8, the FMCSA also issued an imminent hazard order against Tadeusz Wrzesniewski and Adrian Wrzesniewski, along with WTSA, for failing to “monitor drivers’ hours of service requirements, drivers’ qualification requirements, commercial drivers’ licensing requirements and the controlled substance and alcohol testing requirements.”
The order alleges the owners ignored two state-issued out-of- service orders after Adrian Wrzesniewski was cited for not having a valid medical certificate.
Also, the order states that WTSA also defied five state-issued out-of-service orders and “allowed both Tadeusz Wrzesniewski and Adrian Wrzesniewski to continue operating commercial vehicles with commercial driver’s licenses that were previously revoked or disqualified.”