Drivers

FMCSA Orders Arrow to Secure Trucks; Web Site Goes Live

January 04, 2010

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued an Emergency Order to Arrow Trucking, directing the company's officials to pick up Arrow trucks and transfer them to appropriate facilities
, the order says. While the carrier suddenly ceased operations on Dec. 21, laying off all 1,400 employees without notice, Arrow's web site is back up, which includes an announcement about a new pay scale for drivers.

The web site could be an indication that the carrier is not out for the count, with a new pay package that says drivers could earn up to 0.42 cents per mile. Officials at Arrow could not be reached.

When Arrow suspended operations before Christmas, it left many drivers stranded. Many drivers first found out when their fuel cards no longer worked. Although Daimler Truck Financial, which financed most of the company's trucks, offered drivers $200 or a Greyhound bus ticket home (and Navistar came out with a similar offer for drivers of its make), many who had too many personal belongings, pets or other complications were stranded far from home just days before Christmas. (See "Tulsa's Arrow Trucking Suspends Operations," 12/23/2009)

Now the FMCSA is directing the company to retrieve the abandoned trucks because of "the threat to public safety posed by the potential abandonment or improper parking of, and/or lack of attendance to, over a thousand commercial motor vehicles around the United States, some of which may be carrying hazardous materials." The order was written by William Quade, acting associate administrator for field operations.

"Arrow failed to make advance arrangements for the return of its vehicles to Arrow's principal place of business in Tulsa, Oklahoma, or to otherwise pull the vehicles out of service in an orderly fashion," the order said.

Last week, the employees of Arrow filed a class action lawsuit against the carrier because of the abrupt way it ceased operations.

According to the Tulsa World, Arrow Trucking's business crashed to a halt when Transportation Alliance Bank of Ogden, Utah, froze the company's fuel credit cards and operating capital. (Transportation Alliance Bank is a subsidiary of Flying J, a company which has been struggling financially itself, announcing earlier this year a merger with Pilot Travel Centers that would allow it to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.)

The class action suit, filed by Philadelphia lawyer Charles Ercole, a partner with the law firm of Klehr Harrison Harvey Bransburg LLP, alleges violations of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (better known as the WARN Act), as well as state wage payment laws, for the company's failure to give 60 days notice before closing, and for bouncing paychecks prior to closing.

Arrow CEO Doug Pielsticker told the Tulsa World that he has been separated from the company since Dec. 19. Last week, he also released a statement saying that the company is negotiating with its principal lender.

"I know many others have been working tirelessly on a solution," he told the publication. "This is a good company with a good history. In the last decade, it has grown to one of the largest flatbed trucking companies in the country."

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