FMCSA shuts down 2 related Texas airlines

A Houston-based trucking company that was put out of business over safety violations but was reportedly attempting to revive itself under a different name has been ordered to cease operations, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said.

The FMCSA shut down both Pac Express LLC and Texas Interstate Express LLC on Thursday after federal officials determined the two companies were related. A state decommissioning notice was served on the airlines on Nov. 11, according to a press release.

Texas Interstate Express had 10 trucks and 10 drivers, while Pac Express had seven and five, respectively.

“[Their] … avoiding compliance with the [safety regulations] and the shutdown order significantly increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to your drivers and motorists if your operations are not immediately halted,” the FMCSA said.

Pac Express began operations in July after the FMCSA began conducting a compliance investigation into the Texas Interstate Express.

“FMCSA had identified Texas Interstate Express for investigation based on widespread airline violations documented by FMCSA and its roadside inspection partners,” the federal agency said.

Violations included employing drivers who did not have CDLs and were prohibited from working for carriers in the FMCSA’s Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse, using drivers without records of duty status, and allowing drivers to violate the Violating roadside operation conditions.

While Texas Interstate Express was under investigation, the airline shifted its operations to Pac Express.

The Texas Interstate Express had already been issued with a shutdown order for failing to comply with an investigation. The FMCSA did not specify when the carrier was granted a decommissioning.

“In signed statements, two Texas Interstate Express drivers told the FMCSA that officers from the Texas Interstate Express and Pac Express auto carriers instructed them to ignore a suspension for HOS (hos) violations and to continue driving after road inspectors cleared them.” no longer monitored,” the agency said. “The same two drivers said they were also instructed to avoid inspections and bypass weighbridges and were sent on journeys that could not be made within HOS rules and without speeding.”

FMCSA said Pac Express does not have programs to detect drivers’ use of controlled substances, ensure they are qualified and licensed, monitor their duty hours, and ensure company vehicles are properly inspected and repaired.

Officials from both companies did not immediately respond to FreightWaves’ request for comment.

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