The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration makes it common practice to shut down unsafe carriers, keeping both drivers and the general public safe. Recently however, these same carriers have been re-opening their doors – sometimes in as little as a few weeks – under a new name and pulling all the same tricks. These “Chameleon Carriers” often run with the same drivers, the same dangerous equipment, and the same dubious business practices because there’s no system in place to stop them from doing so over and over again.
A mere two months after the FMCSA ordered the closure of Lebanon, TN based Three Angels Farms because of flagrant safety violations, the agency was issuing another notice to Terri’s Farm under charges that it was operating as a chameleon carrier.
The FMCSA issued a press release saying Terri’s Farm of Murfreesboro, TN, was ordered to shut down because the company was “operating the same vehicles, and maintaining the same operational and safety management structure as former horse transporter, Three Angels Farms.” Three Angels Farms was owned by Edwin Ayache and Dorian Ayache.
The horse transport company was originally shut down because of two separate accidents which caused the deaths of four horses. Upon further investigation of those accidents, the FMCSA stated that not a single one of the companies drivers were “qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle.”
Thankfully, Terri’s Farm was shut down before any other serious accidents could occur, but chameleon carriers can go for much longer without being caught, often with serious consequences. If the FMCSA is so concerned with safety, shouldn’t they be doing more to prevent this? Or does the fault lie elsewhere?