The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has ordered Kansas City-based trucking company HP Distribution LLP and an affiliated company, HP Distribution LLC, to immediately cease all transportation services following a review of the company’s operations that uncovered extensive hours of service violations.
FMCSA said its investigators found the company allowed drivers to falsify the number of hours they drove to conceal HOS violations. The FMCSA shut down order chastised the company for allowing drivers to “flagrantly falsifying their records of duty status. You are fully aware of driver violations through your own log checking reports but have taken no discernible steps to stop driver behavior,” the FMCSA order states. “The evidence demonstrates that you refuse to comply with the hours of service regulations and refuse to require drivers to do the same. As a consequence, you dispatch drivers to the highways in a potentially fatigued or excessively fatigued condition and without regard for their or the public’s safety.”
HP Distribution had previously been fined $63,000 and ordered to take corrective action when a record check discovered a 34% logbook falsification rate (103 for 299 records checked) for the 11 drivers sampled.
As a consequence, HP Distribution LLP submitted a corrective action Safety Management Plan that promised to address driver falsifications — in part by using its existing GPS vehicle tracking system and Rapid Logs checking software. HP Distribution LLP promised to implement a progressive driver disciplinary program to control drivers who violate the hours of service regulations, FMCSA said.
However, the fleet never acted on these promises; the violations continue unabated, FMCSA stated. The “current investigation discovered extreme, broad-based violations of the hours of service regulations and a company management philosophy that encourages hours of service violations,” FMCSA stated.
The latest investigation determined that 72% of the fleet’s drivers audited falsified their records of duty status at a critical rate exceeding 10%. This represents more than 60% of HP Distribution LLP’s 50 drivers. Five drivers had falsification rates that exceeded 30%. Five more drivers falsified more than 40% of their records of duty status — with the most heinous violator exceeding 50%. Only one driver had no false entries on his records of duty status.
“This case sends a clear message that we will use every tool at our disposal to identify and remove from our roads unsafe truck and bus companies,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro. “Our agency is committed to raising the bar for commercial vehicle and driver safety.”
"Commercial truck and bus companies that violate federal safety standards and jeopardize public safety will be shut down," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Safety is always our top priority."
To read the imminent hazard out-of-service order, visit www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2012/HP-Distribution-IH-OOS-Order-signed.pdf.