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FMCSA grants authority to 8th carrier in pilot project

GCC brings nine drivers and 13 vehicles to the program. (The Trucker file photo)

The Trucker News Services

10/1/2012

WASHINGTON — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has granted operating authority to the eighth participant in the cross-border demonstration project.

The addition of GCC Transportes will triple the number of trucks and double the number of drivers approved for the pilot project, which has two more years to run.

GCC is domiciled in Juarez, Colima, Mexico, and brings nine drivers and 13 vehicles to the program, according to the FMCSA.

Even before the Federal Register notice announcing GCC’s passing of the Pre-Authorization Safety Audit was published in August, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association President Jim Johnston sent a letter to FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro suggesting that GCC had not properly disclosed its affiliations on its application.

Johnston noted that on its application where carriers are required to disclose affiliations or relationships with carriers registered with FMCSA in the past three years, GCC had noted that its affiliations were not available.

The FMCSA said in the Federal Register notice that through the PASA process it determined that GCC has affiliations with additional companies.

 “During the carrier vetting and PASA process, FMCSA reviewed its records related to the affiliates, and confirmed that the companies are in good standing,” the agency said.

The FMCSA also acknowledged GCC’s problem with its CSA Driver Fitness score as a carrier that now works within the commercial trade zone.

But the FMCSA ultimately rejected OOIDA’s concerns, saying it was satisfied that GCC was not trying to hide the affiliations and granted operating authority Sept. 18.

GCC obviously has been active in the commercial trade zone for several years.

In the past 24 months, FMCSA records reveal the company has had 2,471 driver inspections and 1,451 vehicle inspections.

It has never had a driver put out of service. Its 90.4 Driver Fitness score can likely be attributed to the carrier’s 60 violations for using a non-English speaking driver.

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The carrier has a 7 percent out-of-service rate for vehicles, well below the national average of 20.7.

 “FMCSA notes that the drivers proposed by the carrier for participation in the pilot program were tested for English language proficiency during the PASA and were found to be proficient,” the notice read. “However, two of the proposed drivers have been recently cited for violations of 49 CFR 392.11(b)(2) [English proficiency] during transportation in the border commercial zone. FMCSA brought this issue to GCC’s attention, and GCC advised FMCSA that it sent the drivers to additional training to improve their English language proficiency.”

The FMCSA also commented on GCC’s Vehicle Maintenance score, which at 66.4 is below the threshold for intervention.

 “FMCSA reviewed the violations cited, and determined that the only violation on a vehicle proposed for the pilot program was due to low air in a tire and this defect was remedied,” the notice said.

The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at editor@thetrucker.com.

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