FMCSA shuts down Texas trucking firm, Massachusetts bus companies

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration declared a Texas trucking company an imminent hazard to public safety and revoked the operating authority of two Massachusetts-based bus companies.

The trucking company ordered shut down by FMCSA is FTW Transport LLC of Forest Hill, Texas. Federal investigators found that the company “failed to require its drivers to comply with federal limitations on driving and on-duty requirements,” according to a news release announcing the shutdown.

“Drivers were not required by the company to turn in hours-of-service records or other required documentation such as driving itineraries and fuel receipts,” the release stated. “The carrier failed to monitor and ensure that its drivers complied with controlled substances and alcohol use and testing regulations.”

Investigators also found FTW Transport failed to ensure that its vehicles were properly inspected, repaired and maintained. In the past 12 months, the company was involved in five preventable crashes, four of which involved serious injuries or fatalities according to the shutdown order. In two of those crashes, FTW Transport drivers were cited with careless driving.

The company also posted “alert” status above FMCSA intervention thresholds in four Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs): Hours-of-Service Compliance at 96.1 percent; Vehicle Maintenance at 91.9 percent; Driver Fitness at 88.7 percent; and Unsafe Driving at 74.2 percent.

A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order, issued March 19, is available here.

The two passenger carriers ordered shut-down by FMCSA are Crystal Transport Inc. of Boston and Pandora Travel Inc. of Lawrence, Mass.

In February, FMCSA investigators conducted a compliance review of Crystal Transport and discovered “continuing serious violations and non-compliance with previously identified federal safety regulations,” according to the report. Examples of continuing violations found by investigators included evidence that three drivers had been allowed to transport passengers for most of 2013, despite testing positive for controlled substances. Investigators also found falsified records-of-duty as evidence of drivers being required or permitted to drive far in excess of hours-of-service restrictions. 

The company was given a 30-day period to provide evidence demonstrating that it was operating in compliance with safety regulations and that its federal operating authority should not be revoked, but it failed to respond. A copy of the March 19 order revoking operating authority registration is available here:

Also in February, FMCSA investigators initiated a compliance review of Pandora Travel and discovered “continuing serious violations and non-compliance” with federal safety regulations, according to the report.

Examples of continuing violations were “numerous speeding and traffic violations incurred by Pandora’s drivers over a period of years and throughout 2013,” the release stated. The company took no disciplinary action in some instances and allowed the individuals to continue to transport passengers. 

Pandora responded but failed to demonstrate compliance with federal safety regulations, the agency stated. A copy of the March 26 order revoking operating authorityis available here:

According to FMCSA, the agency has revoked the operating authority of more than 75 unsafe bus and truck companies in 2014. A total of eight motor carriers and four commercial drivers have been declared to be imminent hazards to public safety.

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