FMSCA slams door shut on Indiana trucking company

By Sandi Soendker, Land Line editor-in-chief | 2/8/2012

The list of safety violations reads like a rap sheet of trucking “deadly sins.” In the past four months 26 road inspections of an Indiana trucking company netted 10 overweight citations, 21 violations for drivers with insufficient English skills, 12 violations of drivers operating without a CDL – and more.

It’s no surprise that U & D Service Inc., a trucking company based in Indianapolis, got swatted on Monday, Feb. 6, with a regulatory two-by-four wielded by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The company, a “new entrant carrier” that commenced business in May 2011, hauls general freight, produce and refrigerated cargo. According to the FMCSA, it has 44 vehicles and 43 drivers.

After U & D “blatantly” ignored warnings, FMCSA ordered the company to immediately cease all transportation services in or affecting interstate commerce, declaring it an “imminent hazard” to public safety. This order follows an extensive review of the company’s operations, which found multiple federal safety violations in a continuous pattern. 

FMCSA ordered U & D immediately shut down after agency investigators discovered that the company was using drivers who did not possess valid CDLs, or read and speak the English language sufficiently to safely operate a commercial vehicle on U.S. roads. 

According to the U.S. DOT’s out-of-service order, the Indiana State Police found that many of the U & D drivers could not answer basic questions such as “where are you going” and “where are you coming from.” In more than one case, ISP told a driver employed by U&D he was out of service and could not leave the inspection area. The driver responded by starting the engine and driving away.

FMCSA may also take enforcement action against the non-CDL-holding drivers, including civil penalties and/or driver disqualifications.

Calls made to U & D on Tuesday, Feb. 7, by Land Line were unsuccessful.  

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