A closer look at truck regulations for drivers, companies - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

A closer look at truck regulations for drivers, companies

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Channel 3 is looking at truck driver, and their company's, requirements and regulations in light of last week's fatal crash on I-75.

All commercial trucks and drivers can be randomly inspected at any time. Inspections are done in areas right off the interstate like rest stops and weigh stations
    
In some cases, if the truck or the driver fails the inspections, they can not get back on the road.

"That trooper can physically park the truck and trailer until that item, that safety item is corrected, before he can continue down the road," said Lt. John Harmon, Tennessee Highway Patrol.
    
Its called being taken "out of service". Channel 3 has learned three trucks owned by Cool Runnings Express were taken off the road in the past two years.
    
The company, which Benjamin Brewer was working for, was randomly inspected on 8 occasions.

During that time their failure rate was almost twice the national average.

"It's up to the employer what quality of driver he's looking for to put in his business," Lt. Harmon said.

Channel 3 was contacted by a recruiter who wants to remain anonymous. She says Benjamin Brewer sent her an application in hopes of getting a truck driver job.

"I received it back in April but I didn't accept it, I thought about it, tried to work through it and just could not justify it," the recruiter said.

The recruiter says Brewer's application had too many red flags, specifically pointing to a previous job with a trucking company in Kentucky.

"He also refused to let me contact them or to get his drug and alcohol results so I knew right away there was something not right in that story," said the recruiter.

All trucking companies are required by law to check a three-year driving background.

THP says drivers must also pass a drug test to first get behind the wheel. Companies must then comply to federal requirements to have a random drug/alcohol testing program.

It's left up to each company if they want to know more about a driver's past before hiring.

"Some of the companies can't afford to do it, or they don't have the knowledge to do it, or they have the incentive not to dig too deep," the recruiter said.

Legislation was introduced in congress earlier this year that would create national hiring standards in the trucking industry.
    
That bill has yet to pass the house.
    
There are several tools out there for trucking companies to run backgrounds on drivers, some more pricey than others.
    
Again, we reached out to Cool Runnings Express to ask if the owner was aware of Brewer's background when he hired him.
    
The owner continues to say no comment.

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