Some ATS Specialized drivers delayed by 'shut down' message

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | Friday, April 17, 2015

Some drivers for ATS Specialized, headquartered in St. Cloud, Minn., received a Qualcomm messages asking them to shut down, find a safe haven, and wait until further notice.

At press time on Friday, April 17, it was still not exactly clear why or how many drivers received the message, but it appears to have been a stoppage in order to conduct a series of conference-type safety calls reminding drivers to drive with care.

At this point, Land Line has confirmed it appears to be only drivers for ATS Specialized who received the message. While the message made drivers nervous, fearing another incident like the one that shut down Arrow Trucking several years ago, there are no indications that’s the case.

OOIDA Life Member Robert Brown Jr., an owner-operator from Vinton, Va., says he was on the road near Harvey, N.D., under a load headed to Minneola, Minn., when he received the alert.

“We are asking all drivers to shut down ASAP. Please find a safe haven until further notice. Thanks.” That was the Qualcomm message ATS Specialized drivers received Friday morning.

About four hours later, Brown told Land Line he received a call from his dispatcher explaining the Qualcomm message.

“They shut everybody down until they had a conversation about value safety driving,” Brown said.

Brown, a 37-year trucking veteran who has more than 4.5 million miles under his belt, said dispatchers were planning to talk to each driver individually about “safety driving” before they could head back out on the road.

“And then at the end of the message, you have to send a message back (via Qualcomm) that you understand about value safety driving,” he said.

Aaron Kryscynski, an owner-operator from Saint Clair Shores, Mich., admits he was a little panicked when he first received the Qualcomm message this morning, but that his fears were put to rest after receiving a call from his dispatcher.

“The phone call was just a reminder to take a breath, take a minute, realize what you are doing, and pay attention to what you are doing on the road,” he told Land Line. “My understanding is that they will be doing these types of calls in other divisions, as well.”

In his four years hauling oversize loads for ATS Specialized, he said this is the first time he has received this type of message. Kryscynski said he was sidelined for two hours, but is back on the road.

“I think this was a good reminder to all of us today because our goal is to get home safely to our families,” he said.

As of press time on Friday, calls to Mary Besser, director of administration at ATS Specialized, were not returned.

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