Texas-based carrier shut down following fatal crash, safety violations

Ccj Logo White

Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, March 8, 2022:

FMCSA shuts down Texas carrier just a week after driver banned from operating

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has effectively shut down Houston-based Koboat Trucking following an accident in February that killed a Tennessee sheriff’s sergeant. Christopher Savannah, the driver for Koboat Trucking who was involved in the crash, was also shut down recently by FMCSA.

On February 3, 2022, Savannah crashed in Tennessee and killed a Sergeant from the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office. The driver ignored a rolling roadblock and crashed into two cars before killing the sergeant, who had stopped to remove a ladder obstructing the roadway.

According to FMCSA, Savannah did not have a CDL, was prohibited from operating commercial motor vehicles due to a previous positive drug test and was arrested for being under the influence of marijuana at the time of the crash. 

A subsequent FMCSA review of Koboat Trucking found the carrier to be “egregiously noncompliant” with multiple safety regulations, FMCSA said, including: controlled substances and alcohol use and testing (49 CFR Part 382); commercial driver’s license standards (49 CFR Part 383); driver qualification (49 CFR Part 391); hours of service of drivers (49 CFR Part 395); and vehicle inspection, repair and maintenance (49 CFR Part 396). 

Koboat owner Frederick Boateng noted the situation capped a three-year stint in trucking after Boateng went into business with just a single truck in 2019. That truck remains "impounded in Tennessee," where the accident happened, and Boateng's started wading into the process of selling equipment and exiting the business entirely, he said. 

"I’m so down since this happened," he added, noting he at least tried to run the business right. He pointed out he carried valid insurance, which can't be said for a Florida-based carrier, Pereda Express, whose insurance was invalid at the time of a 2019 accident that damaged Boateng's truck severely while parked at a truck stop. FMCSA records indicate Pereda's authority had been revoked and invalid for the first part of that year, before being reinstated January 29, 2019. The authority was revoked a year later, after Boateng filed a complaint about the carrier's lack of insurance. The DOT number associated with that carrier remains inactivate.

"It cost me $28,000 to fix the truck" at that time, Boateng said, and now this. It's "too much for me. Enough is enough. I am done with trucking." 

Volvo recalls certain VNL tractors

Volvo Trucks North America is recalling approximately 230 model year 2022-2023 Volvo VNL trucks because the cabinets in the sleepers may not be properly secured, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

The recall notes that the bolts securing the cabinets to the walls may have been installed without the required washers.

Volvo dealers will install washers on existing bolts to correct the issue. Owners can contact Volvo Trucks' customer service at 1-800-528-6586 with recall number RVXX2201. NHTSA’s recall number is 22V-115.

Small number of Cascadias recalled for brake system issue

Daimler Trucks North America is recalling a small number of model year 2022 Freightliner Cascadia trucks due to a potential issue with the trucks’ braking systems.

In the nine trucks included in the recall, DTNA says a certain combination of software and anti-lock braking system hardware may lead to a system error, possibly causing a loss of vehicle braking and the inability to set the parking brake.

Daimler service facilities will update the software for free to fix the issue. Owners can contact DTNA customer service at 1-800-547-0712 with recall number FL919. NHTSA’s recall number is 22V-101.