Federal regulators last week shut down an Alabama trucking firm identified as a “chameleon” carrier set up to evade an earlier out-of-service order in May.
MTI Transportation was shut down after safety investigators found it was run by the owner of out-of-service carriers BM&L Trucking and IDM Transportation.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shut down BM&L and affiliated carrier IDM May 11, charging they violated truck driver and vehicle safety rules.
BM&L and IDM were owned by Isaac McWilliams. McWilliams managed and controlled MTI, owned by his brother Ollie McWilliams, the FMCSA said.
MTI operated trucks and employed drivers previously with BM&L and IDM from the same premises as the previous carriers, the agency said in its out-of-service order.
“MTI Transportation continues, in all significant aspects, the operations of BM&L,” the FMCSA said. MTI Transportation is a disguised reincarnation of BM&L.”
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is pursuing an increasing number of truck and bus safety violators, shutting down ten trucking outfits in 2012.
The agency committed to getting more high-risk carriers off the road in a draft strategic five-year plan released last year, and is targeting “chameleon” carriers.
Chameleon carriers are trucking companies that change names to avoid out-of-service orders, often using the same offices, phone lines, drivers and trucks.
A regulation that took effect May 29 helps the FMCSA agency target chameleon or “reincarnated” companies and move to shut them down more quickly.
The transportation bill signed into law by President Obama July 6 also gives the FMCSA greater leeway to shut down companies it identifies as “chameleons.”