FMCSA shut down HP Distribution LLP following a thorough review of the company's operations that uncovered extensive drivers' hours-of-service violations.
FMCSA immediately placed HP Distribution, its vehicles and drivers out of service after agency investigators found a range of serious safety violations. For example, investigators discovered that the company knowingly permitted its drivers to falsify the number of hours they operated the vehicle in an attempt to conceal hours-of-service violations.
"You are fully aware of driver violations though your own log checking reports but have taken no discernible steps to stop driver behavior," said the Imminent Hazard Operations Out-of-Service-Order.
Additionally, HP Distribution dispatched potentially fatigued drivers on interstate trips without regard for the safety of the drivers or the traveling public.
According to the government order, the company has a history of non-compliance and violations of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
Compliance reviews in 2006 and 2009 uncovered serious hours of service violations. In response, HP Distribution submitted a corrective action Safety Management Plan that promised to use its existing GPS vehicle tracking system and Rapid Logs checking software. The company also promised to implement a progressive driver disciplinary program to control drivers who violate the FMCSRs. However, the company never acted on these promises.
HP Distribution has Safety Measurement System scores of 87.8% in the Fatigued Driving BASIC, 73.1 % in the Unsafe Driving BASIC, 82.8% in the Crash Indicator BASIC and 81.2% in the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC. Last month, agents started a third compliance review.
After sampling eight drivers using the carrier's own Rapid Logs reports, the agent discovered a 25% falsification rate for seven of the eight drivers. The Kansas Division reconstructed the drivers' actual hours of service with the carrier's own NexTraq GPS2 vehicle location system and discovered that the false logbooks covered up "egregious" HOS violations. An expanded investigation found that 72% of the drivers audited falsified their log books at a rate exceeding 10%. Five drivers had falsification rates that exceeded 30%, five more drivers falsified more than 40%, and one was over 50%. Only one driver had no false entries on his log books.
A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service orders can be viewed at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2012/HP-Distribution-IH-OOS-Order-signed.pdf.