FMCSA seeks comments on GCC; OOIDA protests carrier's cross border application
If approved, GCC would become the fifth Mexico carrier granted authority to participate in the cross border project. (Associated Press)
The Trucker News Services
WASHINGTON — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in a Federal Register to be published Thursday, will request comments on the application of GCC Transportes to participate in the cross-border demonstration project.
GCC, which is domiciled in Juarez, Colima, Mexico, recently passed the agency’s Pre-Authorization Safety Audit.
The comment period is the final step in the process of receiving operating authority to participate in the project.
If approved, GCC would become the fifth Mexico carrier granted such authority.
Even before the Federal Register notice was made public, 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.
The carrier’s Driver Fitness score far exceeds the threshold for intervention at 87.9 percent, largely because the carrier has been hit during the past 24 months with over 50 violations for its drivers not being able to speak English, a fact also noted in OOIDA’s letter.
“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 66.3 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 deadline for comments will be established when the notice is officially published Thursday, but in past cases for carriers applying for authority, the comment period has generally been about two weeks.
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