North Dakota company leaves drivers stranded, out of work after insurance lapses
April 10, 2018
Some drivers were stranded on the road and others left without work for up to two weeks and counting after a North Dakota carrier canceled its insurance.
On Monday morning, Fargo Cargo of Fargo, N.D., lost its FMCSA operating authority after the company’s insurance lapsed. What led the company to cancel its insurance is speculation at this point.
Although problems likely began sooner at Fargo Cargo, drivers were hit with the full effects on Saturday, March 31. Sources who wished to remain anonymous told Land Line that not only were the drivers’ insurance canceled, but fuel cards were shut off as well. Drivers still on the road were held up for up to three days before they were granted temporary insurance coverage.
Approximately nine drivers were out on the road when this happened. Sources say that drivers were told on Friday, March 30, of the impending insurance lapse. However, many suspected something was up at least a week before.
At least one driver had been stranded in Fargo, N.D., home base for Fargo Cargo, for two weeks with no work. Despite not receiving any work, that driver was still expected to pay Fargo Cargo for the truck payment.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website, Fargo Cargo has 72 trucks and 72 drivers. It is not known how many drivers were affected and for how long. Truckers on the road received temporary relief, but sources claim other drivers still remained uninsured.
Land Line reached out to Fargo Cargo President Jim Lund for more details. On Wednesday, April 4, approximately four days after insurance ran out, Lund told Land Line that there was a last-minute issue with underwriting, which caused a lapse in insurance. Lund said “all should be good by this afternoon.”
It wasn’t. Sources told Land Line later that evening that drivers had yet to receive insurance.
The next day, Land Line reached out to Lund again to get more answers. Lund said he was working with underwriting on a few small details and to expect insurance coverage that afternoon.
It never came.
On Monday, April 9, FMCSA revoked Fargo Cargo’s operating authority. Unlike being placed out of service, which requires proof of corrected practices and payment of violation fines, the process to have authorization reinstated is simpler. All Fargo Cargo needs to do is resubmit authorization forms with proof of insurance. The process takes about a week.
Problems began within the last 12 months when Fargo Cargo switched leadership. According to one source, Fargo Cargo had more than 100 trucks approximately a year ago. Soon after the change, approximately 40 drivers left the company.
Sources speculated that Fargo Cargo might be sold to another company, Cross the Line Transportation, also based in Fargo. When Land Line called the number listed for Cross the Line, Fargo Cargo President Jim Lund answered the phone. He declined to comment at the time, noting he was currently at a meeting handling issues with insurance.
According to the North Dakota Secretary of State’s website, Cross the Line filed as a limited liability company in May 2008. FMCSA lists two trucks and two drivers for the company. FMCSA documents reveal that Cross the Line currently has insurance that went into effect on Aug. 16, 2017. However, there is no insurance history prior to that date.
Fargo Cargo was established as a LLC in June 2006. The company held insurance since July 2006 before its most recent insurance coverage was cancelled on April 1.