Truck Safety Coalition calls for stricter truck regs in light of recent hazmat disasters

Ccj Logo White Headshot

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, March 15, 2023:

Safety coalition cites hazmat emergencies in call for stricter truck regs

The Truck Safety Coalition (TSC), a group dedicated to reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by truck-related crashes, is calling on Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to prioritize truck safety measures in the wake of recent hazmat emergencies.

In a letter to Buttigieg, TSC and other groups said government inaction contributed to the recent train derailment and the resulting hazardous materials spill in East Palestine, Ohio, and a similar scenario could be seen in trucking.

“Government inaction and relentless opposition by special trucking interests put the public at unnecessary and unreasonable risk of a deadly and dangerous crash,” the groups said. “It is past time to issue essential and overdue truck safety standards that will prevent hazmat crashes, save lives, protect communities, and put public safety ahead of corporate profits.”

TSC noted that trucks move approximately double the ton miles of hazmat that trains move per year. As a result, the group is calling on Buttigieg and the DOT to move forward and issue the following safety standards on trucks:

  • Require automatic emergency braking on all commercial motor vehicles
  • Mandate speed limiters on all commercial motor vehicles
  • Restore the 2011 hours of service rule and require a 30-minute rest break after eight hours of driving that does not allow non-driving work
  • Reinstitute the rulemaking requiring screening and treatment of safety-sensitive personnel for obstructive sleep apnea
  • Complete the New Entrant Carrier Proficiency Exam rulemaking

The group also voiced its opposition to several pieces of legislation that the group said “further endanger all roadway users and must be stopped.” These include the Ceasing Age-Based (CAB) Trucking Restrictions Act, which would allow under-21 CDL holders to pick up freight from ports; and the Safer Highways and Increased Performance for Interstate Trucking (SHIP IT) Act.

“The East Palestine train crash has revealed dangerous and deadly deficiencies in the rail transportation of hazardous materials,” TSC said in the letter. “Perilous deficiencies are also ubiquitous in the truck transportation of hazardous materials. There are no defensible excuses for further delays when public safety is clearly at risk. We urge you to act now on mandating these imperative and overdue safety improvements.”

Former FedEx contractor sentenced for role in fraud scheme

On Feb. 16, a former FedEx Ground contractor was sentenced on one count of misprision of wire fraud conspiracy felony.

Partner Insights
Information to advance your business from industry suppliers

North Carolina resident Leonid Isaakovich Teyf was sentenced to two years in prison and one year of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $1,378,702 in restitution.

According to the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General, Teyf and co-conspirators were owners and/or employees of Salt Lake Trucking Group (SLTG Ground). SLTG Ground, comprised of several trucking companies, contracted to carry packages for FedEx Ground (FXG).

OIG reported that Teyf and co-conspirators worked the scheme with FXG line-haul manager Ryan Mower -- the company’s highest-ranking Utah employee from about 2008 to October 2019. Using Mower's position at FXG, Teyf and the co-conspirators manipulated the company’s process for awarding new runs. Mower also helped the co-conspirators grow their business larger than FXG allowed for contractors by submitting false information to FXG.

The co-conspirators falsified mileage reports, OIG said, and Mower would occasionally inflate the number of weekly miles driven by one or more of the co-conspirators' companies.

During the approximate 10 years of the conspiracy, SLTG Ground received about $150 million from FXG, and the co-conspirators allegedly paid approximately $300,000 in bribes to Mower.

North Carolina-based Cooke Trucking acquires another N.C.-based fleet

Cooke Trucking Company announced last week it is acquiring BCJ Trucking Company to complement its existing fleet. 

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SAFER website, Cooke Trucking Company has 87 power units and 134 drivers, while BCJ Trucking has 32 trucks and 42 drivers. Both companies are based in Mt. Airy, North Carolina.

“The acquisition will enhance Cooke’s competitive position in the marketplace,” said Jay Boaz, President, Cooke Trucking Company.

Cooke has worked well with BCJ throughout the years and most recently has partnered on several lanes and movements. When considering the different lanes and established customer base, the acquisition further diversifies their trucking portfolio. Cooke and BCJ will share best practices, synergies and will grow a broader footprint.  “Our goal is to remain customer and employee focused while continuing to deliver best in class results and service,” Boaz added.  In business since 1984, BCJ is known as a family owned and operated trucking company, specializing in both regional transportation and coast-to-coast movements.  

XPO recognizes 254 drivers who surpassed million-mile safe-driving milestones

XPO (CCJ Top 250, No. 7) announced this week that 254 of its truck drivers reached new safety milestones in 2022, achieving one million, two million or three million miles of accident-free driving. Collectively, these drivers have covered more than 318 million accident-free miles over their careers.

“I want to congratulate the 254 drivers who reached this impressive milestone in 2022,” said Mario Harik, XPO’s chief executive officer. “They join more than 2,000 other distinguished million-mile drivers at XPO and are an inspiration to our entire organization. I’m grateful for their achievements and proud of each of our 22,000 drivers, mechanics, dockworkers and other North American employees for their shared commitment to safety.”

In 2022, David Frazier became the first XPO driver to surpass a landmark four million accident-free miles – the best driver safety record in the company’s history.

It typically takes about nine years and nearly 20,000 hours of service for LTL drivers to reach one million miles, XPO said.

Burnsed Trucking to invest in acquisitions, capacity, tech with new funding

Burnsed Trucking, an LTL carrier for perishable items with a focus on fresh fish and seafood, announced that it has closed on a capital raise of an undisclosed amount, which will be used for strategic acquisitions as well as to add additional capacity, modernize its technologies, and eliminate inefficiencies.

The refrigerated trucking market is estimated to reach $15 billion by 2025, up from $10.5 billion pre-COVID as capacity remains tight, the company said.

The company, headquartered in Ft. Pierce, Florida, serves over 200 of the largest seafood wholesalers and suppliers in and around Florida and all along the eastern seaboard, with plans to expand.

The new capital will also enable the company to modernize its infrastructure, offer additional services to its customers and add additional team-drivers.