The Georgia-based trucking company Daya Trucking was labeled an imminent hazard and placed out of service by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for trying to circumvent compliance with deceitful tactics, including non-compliant electronic logs.
In an investigation, the FMCSA discovered that Daya Trucking had failed to monitor the dispatch of its drivers and ensure compliance with hours of service regulations, and the company did not review its drivers’ records-of-duty status for falsification, completeness, accuracy, or violations of HOS regulations.
The company even used non-compliant automatic on-board recording devices to log hours of service, which allowed drivers to alter their logs and manually input odometer readings. While there is a grandfather clause for using AOBRDs through December 2019 in the electronic logging device mandate, the system that Daya used allowed drivers to adjust or change their records how they wanted, which is not in compliance with earlier regulations governing AOBRDs.
For instance, between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28, Daya’s system recorded 4,802 hours of unidentified driving time resulting from 51 instances of drivers unplugging or disabling their recording mechanisms.
Even more damning was the discovery that Daya was either a reincarnated version of or affiliated with Ekam Truck Line, a company that had been placed out of service for its terrible FMCSA rating.
In 2017, Ekam agreed to enter into a consent order as a way to upgrade its safety rating from Unsatisfactory to Conditional. The terms of the consent order required Ekam and its owners to take specific actions in order to improve safety. It also prohibited Ekam and its owners from applying for U.S. Department of Transportation registration as another motor carrier – which it appears is exactly what happened.
Ekam Truck lines failed to comply with nearly all of the provisions of the consent order and instead applied for U.S. DOT registration as Daya Trucking. This hidden connection was discovered during a compliance investigation into Daya, which also found numerous other safety violations of federal safety statutes and regulations.
The company also failed to test drivers for drugs or alcohol before dispatching them. Seven of its drivers were allowed to operate a commercial vehicle before receiving negative pre-employment tests, and four drivers who had already tested positive for a controlled substance were found to have been dispatched by Daya.
In addition to other ignored driver qualification requirements, it was found that Daya also failed to regularly inspect, maintain, and repair its vehicles or ensure that they met minimum safety standards. Daya vehicles had been placed out of service at an astonishing rate of 46%, with citations for inoperable required lamps, exposed tire fabric, defective brakes, broken or missing axle position components, and oil or grease leaks from hubs.
FMCSA’s investigation found that Daya Trucking’s “complete and utter lack of compliance” with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, and its effort to avoid the 2017 consent order to Ekam Truck Lines “…substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death for its drivers and the motoring public if the operations of Daya are not discontinued immediately.”