FMCSA shuts down North Carolina carrier violating multiple regulations

By Land Line staff | 3/25/2016

A North Carolina-based carrier has been deemed an imminent hazard to public safety by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration after the owner was discovered violating several federal regulations, according to a U.S. Department of Transportation press release.

Leslie Erickson of Hendersonville, N.C., was ordered to stop all intrastate and interstate operations. Erickson owned and operated Les’s Tree and Stump Inc. In February, FMCSA safety investigators found Erickson violated the following regulations:

  • Failing to conduct pre-employment background checks on drivers;
  • Failing to ensure drivers were qualified before dispatching them in commercial operations; 
  • Failing to properly monitor drivers to ensure compliance with hours-of-service requirements; 
  • Failing to conduct random drug and alcohol tests on drivers, and; 
  • Failing to ensure that its vehicles were regularly inspected, maintained and repaired and met minimum safety standards.  

In June 2014, FMCSA approved of Les’s Tree and Stump application. However, Erickson failed to follow up with the required information validation and with scheduling a new entrant safety audit, according to FMCSA documents. Les’s Tree and Stump’s application was revoked in February 2015 after repeated attempts by FMCSA to obtain the required documents.

FMCSA approved of a new application for the company in July 2015. Approximately one month later, a truck owned by Les’s Tree and Stump crashed into four cars stopped at a traffic light. The driver claimed brake failure was the cause. The State Highway Patrol discovered the driver did not possess a CDL, and seven of 10 brakes on the truck were either inoperative or out of adjustment.

Following the crash, FMCSA attempted to schedule a compliance investigation but with no success. Les’s Tree and Stump was issued a proposed civil penalty of $7,700 for failure to comply with FMCSA’s demands after the company again denied the agency the requested records.

The company finally complied with FMCSA in February. Investigators discovered the above violations and consequently ordered Erickson to cease all operations.

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