C. Bean to drivers: The company is ‘permanently closing’

| 3/12/2010

OOIDA members Larry and Anita Comby of Philadelphia, MS, have had their share of hard times these past few months.

Like some other flatbedders, Larry Comby went to work for C. Bean Transport Inc. of Fort Smith, AR, after his previous company, Arrow Trucking of Tulsa, OK, abruptly collapsed in December 2009.

Comby told Land Line on Friday, March 12, that he received one of two paychecks he is owed from C. Bean. He has already cashed that check. He estimates there were between 40 and 50 drivers waiting for their checks at the office on Friday.

Late Friday afternoon, he and Anita were at the bus station waiting for their bus to take them home. While they did receive $100 cash each for their bus fares, their tickets cost them $209 apiece.

“There was a little miscommunication when we went to the office,” Larry Comby said. “One person said the checks had already been mailed out, while another person said they would be handing out checks at 9 a.m. We spent the night in the truck so we could pick up our check to use toward getting us home.”

He said along with his check was a letter from C. Bean, stating that the company was “permanently closing.”

Earlier in the week, a C. Bean flatbed coordinator, told Land Line the company was “downsizing and restructuring.” Comby said based on the letter, it doesn’t appear the company will re-emerge from this.

“Due to unforeseeable business circumstances that have arisen … the receivership lawsuit and the inability to obtain capital in business that would have enabled C. Bean to avoid or postpone the cessation of operations, you are hereby notified effective March 16, 2010, B. Bean will permanently cease its operations except for concluding the receivership business in Fort Smith, AR, and Amity, AR.

Ron Fuller, spokesman for Bell Receivers LLC, who is the court-appointed receiver for C. Bean, told Land Line on Friday that he wasn’t aware of the letter C. Bean included with drivers’ paychecks on Friday. Fuller said Bell Receivers plans to issue a formal statement early next week outlining its plans for the company.

“To my knowledge [the letter] wasn’t sent out by the receiver [Bell],” Fuller said.

As for the Combys, they are already on the job search and are checking out potential companies while waiting for their bus that will put them close to home around 4:30 a.m. Saturday.

“We’ve had better days, but we’ve been through this before, and we’ll be OK,” Larry Comby said.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer