By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration placed four trucking companies out of service after a previously shut down company apparently reincarnated the new companies.
Olathe, KS-based Royal Transport Inc.; Nationwide Inc.; Freight Inc.; and Midwest A Inc. have been ordered to immediately cease all interstate transportation service. FMCSA determined three of the companies are “chameleons” of a company the federal government already shut down.
In July 2008, FMSCA issued an out-of-service order against Olathe, KS-based Royal Transport Inc. for failure to pay civil penalties related to unsafe practices. In early 2013, FMCSA discovered the four companies had been used to “avoid a negative compliance history,” an FMCSA news release reads.
FMCSA’s out-of-service order says Royal Transport Inc. had a history of compliance issues and a conditional safety rating. The chameleon carriers allowed the company to avoid consequences of Royal Transport’s past, FMCSA said in the order.
FMCSA found the four carriers were operating the same vehicles, using the same drivers and maintaining the same operational and management structure as Royal. After receiving initial orders that the four carriers cease operations in January, FMCSA said Binder Singh had petitioned for an administrative review of the decision. Singh defended each of the companies.
A paragraph of the out-of-service order filed April 15 by FMCSA illustrates the ties between the companies: “Binder Singh admitted that he owned Royal. He also claimed that Nationwide was owned by his previous wife, Harjit Kaur,” the order reads. “He claimed that Freight is owned by his father and that he has a ‘manager role’ due to some language and communications barriers. He acknowledged that he owns Midwest.”
FMCSA and DOT leaders lauded the investigation.
“Safety is our top priority,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a news release. “Trucking companies that attempt to dodge safety regulations or hide a history of violations by hiding behind a new name have no place on our nation’s roadways.”
Click here to read FMCSA’s order.
“Today’s action is another step toward raising the bar for commercial vehicle and roadway safety,” FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro said, according to the release. “It sends a strong and important message that companies that attempt to evade safety regulations by reincarnating will be found and removed from the road.”