Some recent news in the wide world of trucking has portrayed the industry in a less-than-flattering light: a multiple-fatality crash, a trucker jailed for driving an overweight rig; a trucker jailed for operating his moving company with a revoked DOT number; a trucker sentenced for lying on his job application; the gold brick that was recovered from the recent $5 million tractor-trailer heist; and, finally, three girls in a truck who represent the foolishness on the highways that truckers have to put up with every day. To put a better spin on these incidents, let’s consider them ‘teachable moments.’
The road ahead: Five nursing students were killed last week in Savannah, GA, in a crash that involved three tractor-trailers, one of which failed to slow down before slamming into slowed traffic, according to the Georgia State Patrol.
To make matters worse, as far as the public perception of the trucking industry goes, Atlanta’s Channel 2 Action News started digging into the safety records of the driver who first crashed into the students' vehicle and his company—a very large one. The picture FMCSA data paint isn’t a pretty one.
“Shocking. This company should have been severely curtailed in their operations by the authorities," said a transportation specialist, but his comment wasn’t shocking at all: he’s an attorney. You can bet plenty of attorneys will be involved in this one.
Moving out: The owner and operator of Mr. Move, a moving company operating out of the New Orleans area, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in New Orleans for conducting interstate household goods (HHG) moves using a revoked U.S. DOT number and without registering for DOT HHG Operating Authority. He was sentenced to six months incarceration, 50 hours of community service, and twelve months of supervised release.
Mr. Move was placed out of service by the FMCSA in 2008 for failing to comply with safety review requirements. As a result, Mr. Move did not have operating authority to conduct interstate HHG moves, which the company did nonetheless.
The DOT Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted the investigation with assistance from FMCSA and the Louisiana State Police. Read the full article.
Slipped his mind? Another trucker seemed to forget a previous run-in with authorities, and failed to mention it in applying for a new driving job. He was recently sentenced in U.S. District Court, Raleigh, NC, for false statements on a commercial driver employment application.
After sentencing, he was transferred to the custody of South Carolina authorities to await trial on State charges related to a January 2013 fatal truck accident.
The investigation determined that in January 2013, the man was charged with reckless homicide and possessing an open alcohol beverage container. The arrest followed the crash of his tractor trailer which resulted in one fatality and three injuries. As a result of the accident, he was terminated as a driver by his employer in February 2013. Two months later, the man applied to work as a truck driver for a North Carolina based trucking company and was subsequently hired. Per FMCSA regulations, drivers are required to list all previous accidents on driver employment applications. Read the full article.
Know your limits: A Florida truck driver was jailed for four days in Pennsylvania earlier this month for not being able to pay a portion of the $17,000 fine he got for driving an overweight rig loaded with gas drilling pipe.
He was arrested after police saw him drive his 40-ton rig onto a road with a 10-ton limit, according to the Associated Press. Because the driver spoke broken English, police couldn't be sure what he was trying to do.
A local judge refused to release the driver unless he posted $10,000 to secure his appearance at a hearing on the $17,386.50 fine. The judge also issued an order impounding the truck until the whole fine is paid, the AP report says.
Golden opportunity: The FBI has released a photograph of one of the gold bars stolen during the March 1 gold heist in North Carolina. The gold bar, weighing approximately 26 pounds and valued between $470,000 and $500,000, was recently recovered in South Florida.
“We believe that additional gold bars from the robbery may still be in South Florida, and we continue to need the public’s help in solving this crime,” said the agent leading the investigation. “The FBI reward of $25,000 still remains in effect.”
Since this is an ongoing and active investigation, details as to where, when, and how the gold was recovered are unavailable at this time, the FBI said.
On March 1, a tractor trailer departed Miami and was scheduled to arrive in Boston on March 2. While traveling on Interstate 95 in Wilson County, NC, the occupants of the tractor trailer pulled over along the side of the Interstate. The cause for the stop is still under investigation.
Two males, who gave instructions in Spanish, restrained the truck’s occupants and led them into the woods before making entry into the trailer and stealing approximately $4.9 million in gold bars.
Kids, kids, kids: So how do you take one pickup truck, divide by three underage girls, and get two DUI arrests and a trip to the hospital?
Well, the short answer is alcohol, according to the News 9 report out of Oklahoma. How intoxicated were they? It took ten minutes before two of the girls noticed the third was missing from the front seat of the truck.
If you come across anything more ridiculous on the road this week than the stunt explained below, please let us know.