SPECIAL REPORT: C. Bean drivers brace for 'massive layoffs'

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer | 3/9/2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010 – Flatbedder Richard Rush of Hot Springs, AR, is the first to admit he hasn’t had good luck with his job choices so far in his three-year trucking career. His first truck driving job was for Arrow Trucking, which collapsed in December 2009. Then he says he received word on Tuesday, March 9, that his current employer, C. Bean Transport Inc. of Fort Smith, AR, was “laying everybody off.”

Rush told Land Line on Tuesday that a Qualcomm message earlier in the day alerted him that there was going to be “massive layoffs at C. Bean.” He was to turn in his truck to TruckCenter.com in Blue Mound, TX, as soon as possible.

On the same day, he confirmed with his driver manager that he would receive his final check if he turned in his truck at the instructed location, scanned in all of his paperwork, and mailed in his logs and other miscellaneous paperwork.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Web site, C. Bean had 226 power units and 208 drivers as of Feb. 16, 2010.

Late Tuesday, a flatbed coordinator with C. Bean confirmed that the company was indeed “restructuring and bringing our trucks in.”

“Well, the only thing I can say at this current time is that we are downsizing and restructuring,” said the flatbed coordinator who didn’t want to be named. “We are temporarily laying off everyone.”

She said key executives at C. Bean were meeting today to address the situation and “nothing is final right now.”

“Everything could change for us at any moment. It’s temporary, and we’re just restructuring,” she said.

Rush said he had an inkling that something was wrong when he first received a Qualcomm message on Monday from his DM, instructing him to fill up his tanks at the nearest Love’s Travel Stop and that more information would come the following day.

Then “first thing Tuesday,” Rush said he received a Qualcomm message asking him “how many belongings do you have,” followed by a message from his DM stating that “all of us are being laid off and that it was real nice working with you.”

He previously worked for the now-defunct Arrow Trucking of Tulsa, OK, which abruptly shut down in December 2009. He said he left Arrow Trucking in mid-September 2009, before “the ship went down,” but he knew several drivers who were caught up in that mess. Some former Arrow Trucking drivers also went to work for C. Bean Transport after the previous company collapsed.

According to court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Hot Springs, AR, 1st Source Bank filed a complaint on Feb. 3 against C. Bean Transport, Curt Bean Lumber Co. and Bean Lumber Co. and Curt Bean “to recover amounts allegedly owed to it by the defendants under several loan agreements.”

Then on Feb. 5, 2010, the court appointed Bell Receivers LLC as the “order appointing receiver.”

Then on or about March 5, First Financial Credit Inc. filed a motion stating that C. Bean Transport was in “default of its obligations under a pre-existing forbearance agreement between FFCI and CBT.” The agreement also stated that the finance company was willing to advance funds to CBT for an orderly shutdown to “maximize the recovery of creditors and reduce expenses of the estate,” but not after March 12.

For Rush, he has already rented a car and plans to head home after dropping off his truck.

“I have terrible luck in picking companies so far, but I am going to be OK,” he said.

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