The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration declared a small Aurora, Colorado-based trucking company to be an imminent hazard to public safety and ordered it immediately shut down on Feb. 12, according to a news release issued Wednesday.
A recent federal investigation revealed numerous widespread violations of critical safety regulations at Sorbon Transport Inc.
Earlier this month and without prior notice, FMCSA safety investigators launched an investigation of Sorbon Transport during which numerous serious violations of federal regulations were found, including the company failing to systematically inspect, repair, and maintain its commercial vehicles.
According to the agency Sorbon Transport also failed to provide vehicle inspection reports or evidence of a maintenance program for the company.
During a roadside inspection of one of the company’s vehicles in early February, eight separate out-of-service violations and six other maintenance-related violations were identified. Days later, a different company vehicle was subjected to a roadside inspection in which two out-of-service violations and 12 other maintenance-related violations were identified.
The carrier also failed to ensure that its drivers complied with hours-of-service regulations, including limitations on daily driving and maximum on-duty hours. FMCSA said Sorbon Transport could only provide limited driver duty records covering a single trip and that those records for that single trip reflected multiple hours-of-service violations.
Also, Sorbon Transport Failed to ensure drivers were qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle, noting the fleet was unable to provide records related to controlled substances and alcohol testing requirements. It said the company identified five current drivers to investigators, but none went through pre-employment substance screening and only one was enrolled in a random drug and alcohol testing program.
In the out of service order, FMCSA said earlier this month when it began its investigation, the carrier initially denied officials access to company records and later only gave limited access. Shortly after, FMCSA says investigators were asked to leave Sorbon’s facility and refused to cooperate any further. The company also reportedly refused to allow investigators to inspect all of its nine trucks.
The FMCSA imminent hazard order directs Sorbon Transport to cease all commercial motor vehicle operations, including all interstate and intrastate transportation, from all dispatching locations or terminals. The agency also revoked the carrier’s federal operating authority and suspended its U.S. DOT number.
FMCSA outlined nine steps Sorbon Transport must take before it will be permitted to resume operations.
Violating an imminent hazard out-of-service order and operating without operating authority and a U.S. DOT number may result in civil penalties up to $60,000 as well as a criminal penalty, including a fine of up to $25,000 and imprisonment not to exceed one year.