Related Houston motor carriers ordered out of service

November 21, 2022

Chuck Robinson

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Two Houston-based motor carriers – one with many out-of-service violations and the other formed to duck an out-of-service order for the other – have been ordered to cease operations.

Texas Interstate Express LLC (U.S.DOT 3818527) and PAC Express LLC (U.S.DOT 3918055), deemed related motor carriers, have been declared to be imminent hazards to public safety by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The two motor carriers and officials involved with them have been ordered to immediately cease all interstate and intrastate operations. The federal order was served on Nov. 11.

According to the order, Carlos Gusman was identified as the primary official for both motor carrier operations. Also named in the out-of-service order were Patricia Macias and Felipe Gusman.

The FMCSA SAFER website lists Texas Interstate Express as having 10 power units and 10 drivers. PAC Express is listed as having seven power units and five drivers.

Roadside inspections conducted on Texas Interstate Express demonstrated egregious violations, including these:

  • Using drivers who were prohibited in the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.
  • Using drivers who had no commercial driver’s license.
  • Using drivers who had no records of duty status.
  • Allowing drivers to violate roadside out-of-service conditions.

PAC Express LLC began operating after the FMCSA began attempting to conduct a compliance investigation on Texas Interstate Express LLC, according to an FMCSA statement. Texas Interstate Express shifted its operations to PAC Express. It did so even though Texas Interstate Express had been issued an out-of-service order for failing to produce the records demanded to conduct a compliance investigation.

Drivers’ signed statements

Two of Texas Interstate Express’ drivers spoke against the motor carriers in signed statements to FMCSA.

The two drivers said officials at Texas Interstate Express and/or PAC Express instructed them to disregard being placed out of service for hours-of-service violations and continue on with trips after the roadside inspectors were no longer monitoring them.

They also stated they were also instructed to avoid inspections and bypass scales and that they would be dispatched on trips that could not be made within hours-of-service rules without speeding.

FMCSA found that PAC Express lacked programs to address several issues:

  • To detect and deter the use of controlled substances by its drivers.
  • To ensure its drivers were qualified and licensed.
  • To control its drivers’ hours of service.
  • To ensure its vehicles were appropriately inspected and repaired.

A copy of the imminent hazard order issued to the two motor carriers, Texas Interstate Express and PAC Express, is available here.

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Chuck Robinson formerly was senior copy editor for a weekly trade publication serving the fresh produce industry. He has served trade publications, horticultural journals and community newspapers for 25 years.