FMCSA reinstates Vermont carrier’s ‘conditional’ rating

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Updated Jan 9, 2016

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced late Thursday, Jan. 7, that it had reinstated the “conditional” rating of a 300-truck Vermont-based LTL carrier.

Land-Air Express of New England’s 330 trucks and 340 drivers had been idle since a Dec. 29 out-of-service order by the FMCSA.

The FMCSA Thursday said, “Based on a negotiated Safety Management Plan, and evidence of actions taken by the company to correct deficiencies in its safety management system, Land-Air’s rating has been upgraded to ‘conditional,’ and the out-of-service order lifted. As part of the negotiated agreement, FMCSA will closely monitor the carrier’s safety performance for the next two years.”

Land-Air President William Spencer earlier had said the company fulfilled FMCSA’s basic remedial requirements and was waiting to hear that it could resume work.

He wouldn’t offer specifics on measures taken to shake the out-of-service order, but said he and the staff are “doing our best to accomplish” what the agency asked.

FMCSA says it issued the “proposed unsatisfactory” rating to the fleet in October, giving the carrier 60 days to submit a corrective action plan or see its safety rating moved to “unsatisfactory.” Land-Air did not, FMCSA says, though the carrier still had the option of appealing the out-of-service order or submitting a corrective action plan following the Dec. 29 out-of-service order.

FMCSA spokesperson Duane Debruyne says more than 800 carriers each year move from “proposed unsatisfactory” ratings to “unsatisfactory” ones, effectively shutting those carriers down for good.