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FMCSA shuts down apparent chameleon carrier

Southern Transportation operated out of the same address as General Transportation, which was shuttered March 21 by the FMCSA.

The Trucker News Services

3/29/2013

WASHINGTON — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Friday shut down Atlanta-based trucking company Southern Transportation Inc. using new authorities given to FMCSA under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).

Earlier this week, Southern Transportation stopped cooperating with FMCSA safety investigators and failed to provide copies of company safety records.

Under provisions contained in MAP-21, signed into law by President Barack Obama in July 2012, FMCSA may place a motor carrier out of service if it fails to comply with a letter demanding release of company safety records. 

Although the FMCSA did not say as much in a news release announcing the closure, the facts strongly infer that Southern Transportation was a chameleon company of General Transportation, and likely refused to give the FMCSA records because Southern Transportation and General Transportation operated out of the same address and used the same business practices, sources told The Trucker.

On March 21, the FMCSA declared General Transportation, an Atlanta-based motor carrier, to be an imminent hazard to public safety and ordered the carrier to immediately shut down its operations and cease all transportation services due to a pattern of serious safety violations.

The FMCSA said it investigated General Trucking after its trucks were involved in a series of crashes. The FMCSA’s investigation found a company-wide practice of violating federal safety regulations, including disregarding driver qualification requirements by dispatching unqualified drivers, inadequate monitoring and controlling of driver compliance with Hours of Service requirements, and dispatching and operating unsafe vehicles which were grossly overloaded.

A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order can be viewed at: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2013/SouthernTransportationInc.pdf

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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