Scammer Alert! 6/14/2011

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From Chuck Wirth, American Institute of Technology

An employee from AIT had a message from a Chris Johnson claiming to work for TransAm and needing drivers.  He was very rude on the phone. the employee googled his phone number and discovered that he was a scammer. The number he left was 205-381-3382. Please see the link below of others reporting this caller using a different name and carrier, but the same phone number.

From Dean Cochran
Director of Driver Recruiting
TransAm Trucking, Inc.

A school in TN just received a phone call claiming to be a TransAm Recruiter in need of students, he needed them to apply blind by calling him direct. He left a phone number of
205-381-3382 claims his name is Chris Johnson. Sounds like the scammers are at it again.  Please don't have your students call him and don't give his name and number to your students, I'm sure he will want them to wire money to him.

Beware the scammers are out there!!!!!

Thanks for the heads up!

Are Safety Rating Appeals Extensions History?

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of June 6, 2011
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

After a deadly accident involving a carrier appealing an unsatisfactory safety rating, DOT head LaHood calls for an end to appeals extensions for unsafe bus companies. Recent calls to Foley’s audit support team indicate that FMCSA may also be ending extensions for other types of carriers.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have been aggressively targeting unsafe passenger carriers in recent months. Their tactics, which include roadside inspections and full-blown compliance reviews, have removed hundreds of unsafe drivers and vehicles from the road in a relatively short time. Just last week DOT Secretary Ray LaHood upped the ante by ordering FMCSA to end the practice of appeals extensions for passenger carriers.

A Deadly Crash

The order was handed down hours after a fatal Sky Express bus crash on Interstate 95 in Fredericksburg, Va. Four passengers were killed and dozens injured when the tour bus crashed and flipped over in the early morning hours of May 31. Shortly after the crash, FMCSA announced that Sky Express was being placed out-of-service for an unsatisfactory rating following a compliance review.

Subsequent news reports revealed that Sky Express would have been shut down the Saturday before the crash if FMCSA had not given the company extra time to appeal the unsatisfactory rating. The company was operating under a 10-day extension on its appeal at the time of the accident.

An End to Extensions

LaHood was quick to speak out against the practice of appeals extensions: “Following Tuesday’s horrific bus crash in Virginia, I have directed the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to end its practice of extending the appeals period for unsafe motor coach companies. There is no excuse for delay when a bus operator should be put out of service for safety’s sake. On my watch, there will never be another extension granted to a carrier we believe is unsafe. I’m extremely disappointed that this carrier was allowed to continue operating unsafely when it should have been placed out of service for the benefit of its passengers and other motorists.”

Does the Ban Apply to Trucking Companies?

The Sky Express incident and LaHood’s subsequent statement appear to be having a wide-sweeping effect on how FMCSA is handling appeals for all carriers. Just this week, the Foley audit support team received a call from a carrier facing an unexpectedly tight deadline. He had just received a call from FMCSA’s Eastern Service Center informing him that his appeals extension, which was originally approved through July 10, 2011, was no longer valid. He had until the end of the day to make any necessary adjustments to his compliance efforts or he would be placed out-of-service as a result of his unsatisfactory rating. It remains unclear whether the end of appeals extensions for carriers with an unsatisfactory rating is official, or if FMCSA’s Eastern Service Center is just being extremely cautious in the wake of the recent motor coach crashes.

Earlier this month FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro said that her agency is considering the appeals extension ban for all carriers, including trucking companies. Calls to FMCSA’s Midwestern and Western Service Centers failed to gather any information on whether or not there was a nationwide ban. At press time, Fast-Fax is waiting for a call back from a DOT spokesperson to confirm and clarify the extent of the extensions ban. We will provide an update in future issues of Fast-Fax as soon as new information becomes available.

What Does this Mean for Motor Carriers?

All carriers — but especially bus companies and other passenger carriers — should be extra vigilant about their DOT compliance efforts. The DOT and FMCSA have been very explicit about and methodical in executing their crackdown on passenger carriers. In recent months, there have been several high-profile enforcement events involving roadside inspection and compliance review blitzes. In early May, FMCSA unveiled its Action Plan to improve passenger carrier safety. The plan includes the development and implementation of zero tolerance policies for unsafe companies and drivers, the introduction of a pre-authority safety audit and more.

While it is gunning hard for motor coach companies, FMCSA has shown that it is not easing up on trucking companies and other types of carriers. If you have not done so recently, now is the time to review your company’s safety management practices to ensure you are in full compliance. Then make any necessary improvements before an inspector pulls you over or you are notified of an upcoming audit.

Call Foley for Help

Foley Carrier Services provides motor carriers with the tools they need to comply with the complex Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. If you need help with any of your requirements, please call a Compliance Specialist at 1-800-253-5506, ext. 0869.

Transportation Ticker

Passenger Carriers Behaving Badly. FMCSA proved that it is serious about going after carriers who attempt to “reincarnate” themselves to evade enforcement action. At the end of last week, the agency issued a cease-and-desist order against Sky Express, Inc. after learning that the bus company was attempting to operate despite an out-of-service order handed down on May 31.

According to FMCSA, Sky Express continued to sell tickets and was in the process of painting some of its vehicles in an attempt to circumvent the out-of-service order by operating under a different company name.

Also, this week FMCSA declared Georgia-based JCT Motor Coach, Inc. an imminent hazard to public safety and ordered the company to immediately cease all transportation services. The company had “reincarnated” itself as JT’s Travel & Charter to skirt a previous out-of-service order.

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • • Vol. 111, No. 690 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011

Roadcheck Returns During Time of Increased Attention to Compliance

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of May 30, 2011
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

The annual 72-hour safety inspection blitz returns just as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration starts a media-driven purge of non-compliant carriers.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) — the not-for-profit organization behind the annual Roadcheck CMV safety blitz — recently announced that this year’s event will focus on two key areas of the DOT’s motor carrier safety agenda: hours-of-service compliance and distracted driving. During Roadcheck, which runs from June 7-9, inspectors will also be targeting household goods and passenger carriers.


Hours-of-service violations frequently top both FMCSA’s and Roadcheck’s annual roadside inspection driver violations list. To avoid trouble, drivers should comply with all applicable hours-of-service requirements and keep their log books updated to the time of their last change of duty status. To ensure hours-of-compliance, carriers should be providing warnings and feedback to drivers as part of their regular log book audits.

Household Goods

The emphasis on household goods carriers was added in response to a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hunch that a number of companies may be operating under the enforcement radar. The agency believes that some unscrupulous companies are moving household goods without the necessary or proper authority.

Roadcheck Inspections

The majority of drivers stopped during Roadcheck events are subjected to a North American Standard Level I Inspection. The 37-step Level I inspection takes about an hour to complete and focuses on a variety of driver and vehicle factors, including alcohol and drug use, log books, brake systems, safe loading and lighting devices.

More information about Level I Inspections — including a step-by-step description of the process — is included in Foley’s 23-page What to Expect During a Roadside Inspection guide. For a limited time, the guide is available for just $9 when you use Coupon Code “Roadcheck11” at

FMCSA Under Pressure

As any veteran driver will tell you, every year Roadcheck is an intense flurry of enforcement activity. This year, however, drivers should be prepared for particularly stringent inspections. FMCSA has found itself under the media spotlight, thanks to a third fatal motor coach crash in as many months.

FMCSA has been criticized for not taking these carriers off the roads before they caused fatal accidents. In the most recent accident, which occurred in Fredricksburg, VA, on May 31, the company was “Alert” in all five of the public BASICs of the CSA compliance monitoring system.

This accident occurred despite FMCSA already performing additional inspections of carriers. During the first two weeks of May, FMCSA conducted more than 3,000 passenger carrier inspections and removed 442 unsafe buses and drivers from the road. Out-of-service citations were issued to 127 drivers and 315 vehicles during the unannounced crackdown. The agency also recently initiated 38 full-blown compliance reviews on passenger carriers.

In a May 5 media event, FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro announced the agency’s “Action Plan” to improve passenger carrier safety. The plan includes the development and implementation of zero tolerance policies for unsafe companies and drivers, the introduction of a pre-authority safety audit and more.

Surviving Roadcheck

Roadcheck comes at the same time every year and, by now, most drivers should be used to it. Before you head out on to the roads, be sure to perform an extra-detailed pre-trip vehicle inspection. Make sure that you have all the appropriate paperwork and be sure that your logbook is both neat and up-to-date. Budget for extra time, Level I inspections last up to an hour, sometimes even longer. Finally, even if you find the delay frustrating, keep your cool with the inspector; be polite and professional at all times.

Transportation Ticker

Trucking Community Rallies Around Joplin

Two weeks after the storm hit, Joplin residents are still sifting through the rubble that once was their town, hoping to find some sign of life buried in the destruction.

Current reports have the death-toll at 139 with 990 people injured. 29 more people remain unaccounted for. Damage to the city is estimated to be more than 3 billion.

The trucking community has rallied around Joplin, delivering time, supplies, rescue equipment and personnel to the city. If you would like to help, we have compiled a list of aid-agencies collecting monetary and material donations on the Transportation Ticker blog.

Go to for more information

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • • Vol. 111, No. 689 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011

Industry Groups Challenge Provision of New Licensing Rule

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A coalition of industry groups is challenging a provision of the recent federal rule that sets tough new testing standards for commercial licenses.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rule, posted last month, contains a provision that prohibits third parties from administering skills tests to the applicants they have trained. The agency put in the prohibition as protection against a possible conflict of interest arising from a trainer at a commercial training school also acting as a state-certified test examiner.

But the industry coalition, in a petition filed yesterday at the agency, said this will cause problems for the industry and the states. It will "greatly exacerbate" the driver shortage by limiting entry-level drivers and will impose burdens on states that allow third-party testing.

The coalition members are American Trucking Associations, the Commercial Vehicle Training Association, the National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools, the Truckload Carriers Association and the Professional Truck Driver Institute, an arm of TCA.

They complain in their petition that this provision was not included in earlier versions of the rule. "Had it been included, there would have been a great outcry from both trucking interests, and the entry-level commercial driver training industry," the coalition said.

The provision evidently got into the final rule after Oregon and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association suggested it in their comments on the proposed rule, the coalition said. It added that the suggestion should have been noticed for comment by other parties before it was adopted.

The coalition also said that the final rule already contains safeguards against fraud, such as background checks and training for third-party testers. And, the July 8 effective date of the rule means that training schools and motor carriers will have just a month to implement significant changes in their business practices, the coalition said.
... Continue reading...


Scammer Alert! 6/1/2011

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From Roadmaster:

We received a call at approximately 12:00 noon from a guy who said his name was Chuck Davis. He claimed he was the Director of Driver Service for Con Way. Said he was looking for 3 drivers to fill empty seats. His phone is 205-381-3382 also said felony over 5 years ok, DUI over 3 years ok pay scale of $425 per week for 6 weeks after .28 cents a mile. This for some reason didn't sit well so I contacted Con Way to verify Mr. Davis was who he claimed to be. After speaking to Con Way, they informed me that no such employee existed. I had one of our employees to call Mr. Davis looking for one of these positions he was told that he needed to supply a phone # where Davis could call him back.

Beware the scammers are out there!

Joplin, Missouri Needs Our Help

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From Dave Heller of TCA

Good morning:

As you know, the city of Joplin, Missouri, was ravaged by one of the most devastating tornadoes in U.S. history and has requested assistance from the trucking industry. Joplin-based carrier Con-Way Truckload has informed TCA that many of its neighbors have asked to borrow trailers for storage. While Con-way is happy to help, it simply does not have enough equipment to meet the demand. About 15-20 more trailers are currently needed and given the circumstances, each would have to be on loan for an indefinite period of time. If you can help, please contact Randy Cornell, vice president, maintenance, at Con-Way Truckload at (417) 623-5229 x5737 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thank you for your assistance.

Petition for Reconsideration to All Members

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As many of you know, on May 8 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a Final Rule regarding Commercial Learner's Permits.  The Final Rule prohibits schools from testing (as third-party testers) students that they have trained.

The CVTA Board of Directors authorized the filing of a Petition for Reconsideration of the third party testing prohibition with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.  Following that authorization, CVTA shared its concerns and coordinated with others impacted by the provision. 

We are pleased to report that a Petition for Reconsideration was filed today on behalf of five entities:  the American Trucking Associations, Inc.; the Commercial Vehicle Training Association, Inc.; the National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driver Training Schools, Inc.; the Truckload Carriers Association, Inc.; and the Professional Truck Driver Institute. CVTA is very pleased to have the support of these other organizations on this important issue.

Click here for a copy of the Petition.  (Log-in Required.)