Chameleon companies Daya Trucking/Ekam Truck Lines declared imminent hazard
April 24, 2018
•Land Line Staff
Acworth, Ga,-based Daya Trucking LLC has been declared an imminent hazard by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. It has been ordered to cease operations.
The company is suspected of being a reincarnated version or an affiliated entity of Ekam Truck Line LLC, which FMCSA had rated unsatisfactory, according to a news release from the FMCSA.
In 2017, Ekam Truck Line agreed to take actions to raise its FMCSA rating from unsatisfactory to conditional. Ekam Truck Lines, however, failed to comply with virtually all provisions in the consent order.
After investigating information that Daya Trucking may be a reincarnation of Ekam Truck Line, on March 24 FMCSA reinstated Ekam’s unsatisfactory safety rating and placed the company out-of-service. FMCSA also merged and consolidated the federal safety and enforcement records of Daya Trucking and Ekam Truck Lines.
The compliance investigation into Daya Trucking revealed numerous violations of federal safety statutes and regulations. Among them:
- Failing to properly monitor the dispatch of its drivers to ensure compliance with maximum hours-of-service limitations;
- Not reviewing its drivers’ records-of-duty-status for falsification, completeness, accuracy, or violations of HOS regulations; and
- Using a noncompliant automatic on-board recording devices system in which drivers can alter their records of duty.
Between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28, FMCSA reports that Daya’s AOBRD system recorded 4,802 hours of unidentified driving time resulting from 51 instances of drivers unplugging or disabling the recording mechanisms.
Investigators found an instance in which a Daya driver recorded his off-duty time commencing in Orangeburg, S C. After disconnecting the AOBRD, the driver continued operating his vehicle. Global positioning system records showed the vehicle leaving South Carolina and passing through Georgia and Florida, before arriving in Brewton, Ala., where the driver reconnected the AOBRD.
The following day, the same driver, after crossing Mississippi and now near Ruston, La., again recorded that he was commencing his off-duty time. However, he again disconnected the AOBRD and continued driving through Louisiana and across Texas before arriving in New Mexico, as documented by GPS records.
Investigators also discovered Daya allowed seven drivers to operate a commercial motor vehicle before receiving negative pre-employment tests as required. Also, four drivers known to have tested positive for controlled substances were found to have been dispatched.
Daya vehicles in the past year also have been placed out of service at a rate of 46 percent for various vehicle safety violations, including inoperable required lamps, exposed tire fabric, defective brakes, broken or missing axle position components, and oil or grease leaks from hubs.
Daya Trucking may be assessed civil penalties of up to $26,126 for each violation of the out-of-service order. The carrier may also be assessed civil penalties of not less than $10,450 for providing transportation requiring federal operating authority registration and up to $14,739 for operating a commercial vehicle in interstate commerce without necessary U.S. DOT registration.
If violations are determined willful, criminal penalties may be imposed, including a fine of up to $25,000 and imprisonment for up to one year.
FMCSA also is considering civil penalties for the safety violations discovered during the investigation and may refer this matter for criminal prosecution.