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Alabama flatbed carrier suddenly closes its doors

For the second time in less than a week, a trucking carrier has shut its doors with no advanced warning. According to media reports in Alabama, Dothan-based Williams Trucking told its drivers on Wednesday to finish deliveries and then return to headquarters to clean out their belongings.

According to a driver who spoke anonymously to WDHN TV in Alabama, the closure was a complete surprise.

“We were rolling already, but (I) got that message and listened to it and I had to pull over and make sure I was listening to what I was listening to,” the driver told WDHN.

Calls by FreightWaves to Williams’ office went unanswered and email requests for comment to company officials had not been returned as of publication.

On April 27, 2019, Falcon Transport, a flatbed company based in Ohio with over 500 drivers, suddenly closed its doors, leaving drivers stranded. Williams was not as large; its website said it had 20 company trucks and 14 owner-operators, although a Facebook commenter said it was entirely owner-operators.

Official Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration records indicate the company has 48 power units and 48 drivers that totaled 5.1 million miles in 2017.

Founded in 1994 by John and Wanda Knopp as a single-truck operation, Williams quickly grew, specializing in the hauling of flatbed freight, mostly shingles and poles, according to its website.

A separate Facebook comment indicated the company had a poor maintenance track record. The website listed its truck models as 2012 Volvo VNL 630s and 2013 Freightliner Cascadias. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) SAFER website, Williams’ trucks had received 24 vehicle out-of-service notices in the past 24 months, out of 74 total inspections, for a 32.4 percent out-of-service rate. An additional 5 drivers were placed out of service.

FMCSA also recorded two crashes with injuries resulting and four additional crashes that required the vehicle to be towed.

Alabama companies are expected to follow the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) when layoffs affected more than 50 people are anticipated. The act requires 60 days notice for employees. It is unclear whether Williams Trucking employed more than 50 and was required to follow the provisions of the act.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and fleetowner.com. Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.

22 Comments

  1. FMCSA rules and regulations are a joke! They change continuously, and you can tell they are written by desk squatters that have NEVER driven a truck in their life. Yes they need rules, but the rules these people are forced to follow are ridiculous. The driving hours and rest time need to be fixed. If you are sitting waiting 4-5 hours to be unloaded then you should not be charged for in service time. Most drivers will nap or eat and then be in their way but they just lost that time and they still have to stop to rest. Anyone who reads the laws usually have to have someone decipher what they say because they are written in Ancient Greek! Truckers keep this nation going. You stop enough of them and you’re up shit creek without a paddle!

    1. This is not new it has been going on for years, I know many companies that did it this is the American way untill the people unite this will keep happening

    2. I hated having to sit and wait 5 hours at a customer and my company using that towards sleeper birth. I ALWAYS took a minimum of 8 hours after leaving a customer and getting parked so I could e.s.s.s, eat shit shower and sleep. Just me tho.

  2. I work for Brown Trucking Company, corporate office located in Lithonia, GA. I know we are hiring O/O and company drivers for various locations. We have over 12 terminals in 9 states. Please give us a call at 770-482-2556 and ask for the recruiting department. Someone would be glad to speak with you and email an application.

  3. And what happens to their trucks semi and trailers? If they are in ” auction ” , for sale , then I would like to bid for one or two for cash . Thank you and My best regards . My cell number is : 240 551 9852
    email : anamhama3@gmail.com .
    Yours Sincerely , Anam Yaotse-Ife Hama
    PS : CDL -A /B + HAZMAT-TANK , Doubles and Triples , Tank , Hazmat , Buses .

  4. Thank God. At least our interstates will be a bit safer with some of these diesel jockeys who think they own the roads out of service. Put the rest of them out and go back to freight trains.!!!!!

    1. Great answer… love to see a train pull right in to a Walmart parking lot… you would then bitch about that too I bet. Damn those bumpy rail road tracks. And waiting for all of the train crossings… think before you speak…

  5. Another one bites the dust!
    Gee! I wonder why!
    If freight haulers can’t make it financially, even when subsidized by poor driver pay, where is the freight-hauling trucking industry headed?! Consumers need to pony up for realistic shipping and freight costs which have been declining since 1975. Retailers must also get a grip and remove “free shipping” advertising, marketing and sales gimmicks. It ain’t free in this world folks! If you want an item shipped from CA to NY then fucking pay for it! As a commercial driver, I am disgusted with subsidizing consumer crap purchases at Wal-Mart and Costco with my 50% pay rate and no benefits.

  6. Well here is another , with the maintenance track record and mainly the incidents that accured ,it is no wonder they have to close up Lawsuits .

  7. This is unnecessary this has to stop. At least get them to the yard and help them get home.

  8. Dot makes new regulations every day. The is no way you can learn them all. Recently I got violation for not having holder for my phone. And this is not a joke.

  9. Dont complain when you have to drive hours away from the comfort of your city to go to the train yards to pick up EVERYTHING you buy as a consumer.

    1. Yes and a warehouse is not an air conditioned Walmart with hot dogs and sodas. Shop in a hot crowded and dangerously stacked products in shipping cartons with no pretty labels or an unpacked item to view it. No prices or scanners. Hmmm gotta love those truck drivers. Show them some love and stop taking advantage of them and when your out on the highway let them in on the merge lanes, dont pull in front of them and slow down.. it takes a lot of fuel to get that truck back up to speed. Lower fuel usage equals lower shipping costs and less expensive products. Trucking isn’t easy and you four wheelers need to think about your crazy driving which causes a lot of the crashes. Cutting off truckers bcuz its Friday night and the liquor stores about to close… Not worth your life or others lives. If you want to bitch about trucking… quit buying products.. that’s not happening though.. you need to eat…da da da. Just be thankful for the truckers that give up so much of their lives to bring you everything you own. Stop bitchin and complaining and be thankful that you dont have to the driving and be away from your home and family for weeks and even months at a time. Just a little of the information… just saying!!!

  10. I just met a driver from Mexico ( with a mexicanCDL) in Indiana
    Who told me that they are allowed to come to all 48 states now
    Is this true? If yes I am done driving trucks

  11. A lot of things are going on with these closings. These things are not what they seem on the face but what is legally posted posted without having gag orders or lawsuits. All of these situations were created at birth before growing to closure.
    Truckers, clean up your act at truck stops and rest areas.
    Trainers, actually train the driver if you know how.
    Driving schools, train realistically; backing with 140 feet of turning distance into a large open space is fictitious. Company’s, stop selling dedicated routes as OTR to get experienced drivers. Make OTR’s real and worth it.
    Distributors, stop having large trucks go downtown for your pick up and deliveries. Keep us outside the city limits and get your own straight trucks and panel trucks for end local hauls.
    Company’s, start paying for time we have to spend on the trucks not mileage only. Not my fault you milk my on duty time for load detention and 75 miles of backed up traffic which I cannot avoid. Put these non-driving condescending and mouthy dispatchers to work or behind the wheel for 6 months. Stop automatically milking 14’s for quicker turn around on 34 hr. resets do you don’t have to paydrivers reasonable miles. And get rid of the in-cab cameras and auto recorders.
    D.O.T., no one but no one spends 10 hours in sleeper birth…no one. It’s rare at home. Stop hammering drivers for weight distribution by not allowing them to adjust tandem slide. We have to do that for each state for separate states laws on trailer transportation through that particular state.
    If you want to find something just say so and do it. There isn’t a truck made sitting in a show room that I can’t find ateast 3 warnings and a violation. Cool it with the citations and violations because a truck is forced to stop for ten hours because of your stupid law. WE HAVE NO PLACE TO PARK. There is only 3.5 million of us. Who says a traffic jam has to be 75 miles long for 4 hours due an accident?
    Summary: its life. It’s dog-eat-dog. Everyone swap roles for for 6 months or longer (don’t measure to an end time) and let’s get a new found appreciation for the things we order.

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