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Indiana trucking company to shut down after insurance costs double, rates fall (with video)

Image: Facebook/A.L.A Trucking Inc.

An Indiana-based trucking company will lay off all its drivers and close its doors for good later this month.

A.L.A. Trucking’s 41 drivers and 15 other employees will lose their jobs in the layoff, owner Alan Adams confirmed late Wednesday night.

Adams blamed the company’s rising insurance costs for its ultimate demise, noting that insurance rates at the company jumped to more than $700,000 this year from less than $340,000 last year. He said the jump was due to factors beyond the company’s control, including the way the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) handles Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scores.

“I didn’t do anything wrong with the company. It’s the way the government has this new grading system that is affecting a lot of companies,” Adams said. “If there’s a situation on the road where a car comes off the on-ramp and bumps into a tractor-trailer, until that claim is settled, the insurance company charges a company with that claim.”

While insurance rates may have been what ultimately pushed the company over the ledge, the shutdown comes amid a general slowdown throughout the freight market as a whole. Adams admitted that falling freight rates have taken a toll on the company.

“These rates are ridiculous,” Adams said. “The shippers and receivers are adding to it.”

He said rates have dropped so low, in fact, that the company cannot even afford to haul freight anymore.

Adams lamented the overall state of the trucking industry today and said the shutdown will hit him hard personally, as well as professionally.

“At 61 years old, we put every dime into this,” he said. “I don’t want anything to do with the trucking industry anymore, but it’s all I know. I have to go back to it as a driver. Not as an owner, but I have to go back as a driver and put up with the bull.”

The company’s circumstances have changed dramatically in the last two years. A.L.A. Trucking broke ground on a new headquarters in 2017, setting up shop at a former lumber yard at a cost of nearly $1.3 million, according to Adams.

The company, which was founded in 1988, received a six-year tax abatement which would save an estimated $118,000 upon building its new headquarters. At the time, Adams planned to hire 20 additional drivers to complement its existing 33 drivers, at an additional annual salary cost of $1.1 million.

A.L.A. Trucking is expected to haul its last load by Wednesday, June 26.


  1. Steven

    More to go out including myself.
    Nothing new here…I said it at the beginning of this spring that if this situation doesn’t change including insurance cost and CSA bs many might go out until the end of this year.
    CSA was the latest invention from Obama administration to put an end to small trucking co .
    This way mega corporations can and they will…control the entire trucking market.
    It’s like a long time investment from mega carriers into this market with help from US politicians…since they can get sufficient donations for their organization.

    1. Dave

      If you thought CSA was hard on motor carriers with bad performance, wait until IRT (Item Response Theory) replaces CSA . It could be out as early as fall.

  2. Steve Webster

    The rates are too low to pay for higher insurance costs and truck drivers wages. Other jobs are paying better than truck driving . Many Owner-ops in Canada haven’t seen good rates since November 2018. The rates are good enough on produce until this October or November. Many Owner-ops are going to take insurance off for the winter and in Canada get another job or get U.I for the winter. Without minimum rates for trucking a strike like Brazil got could bring a shortage worse than in the spring of 2018. The only way to improve truck safety is to pay a decent freight rate set by the a non shipper control group plus set truck drivers pay after 3000 experience of at least $20.00 u.s. per hour plus

  3. Grace Sharkey

    I love Freightwaves and the way that you report on issues in this industry, but I am deeply saddened by the lack of due diligence in this report. This carrier’s 411 page shows that they are very bad at holding themselves to HOS standards AND are in the worst percentile for their Crash Indicator Percentile and have had 5 injuries from crashes in the last 6-12 months. I think the owners statement of “I did nothing wrong” is highly inaccurate and I am very surprised that your company does not due this research when speaking on insurance rates, seeing that high of an increase is abnormal for a company who has been working in this industry for that long. If you would like me to supply you with their violation report so you can also see other aspects of their company that they are lacking including ELDs, proper equipment, and drivers who can legally drive.

    1. keith smith

      Until you participate directly and get the road experience word of advice: “ Zip It “
      Some people have no ideal what us truck drivers really face day to day.
      You can get an Hos violation merely because you forgot to sign a log or put the correct information in petty things that had no bearing on safety per se.
      DOT NIT PICKS ON EVERYTHING WHILE DOING AN INSPECTION. Something as small as a simple crack on the passenger side of a double sided windshield or a rock chip. Small stuff like that cost us thousands of dollars. Picture you just got that glass fixed brand new $300 , get on the highway a rock from a car pops up and recrack it. What would you do ? Fix it immediately or get a ticket down the road at a scale? You would never get anything done period.

      1. Bisket

        So right, the company I work for here in TX had to get audited. Too many warning for no washer fluid, which is not against the law. Jug could be filled, but if the sprayers are plugged or the usual malfunction and it doesn’t spray, it gets counted as no fluid. DOT and insurance are conspiring together.

      2. Marty

        Man, a huge percentage of people that work in transportation, SPECIFICALLY safety, have had experience as drivers. ALL of my companies regional safety managers, are individuals who came off the road. Also, the same things you mention , are happening to EVERY company. So no…. This is not normal and IS very likely a direct representation of how this company handled safety conversations with their employees. My company sends a safety message EVERY day, as well as ending EVERY conversation with a safety reminder. These drivers have a lot on their minds, and it does help to remind them to put “less obvious” safety thoughts back into their thought process.

        1. Russ J. Alan

          The safety manager will always back over the orange cone placed behind their car by the truck driver watching out the TV room window.

    2. P

      Thank you for your information. I didn’t check them out myself but found it very odd that a company in this business that long and I am sure weathered many storms like we are in now would just give up running that many trucks on the road. My motto with insurance is “you got to pay to play.” I also wondered why a company that size would not try to self insure the cost of moving to a new facility costing that much money???Maybe they over stepped. I have only been in this game less than 10 years and I’ve seen hardships and the insurance racket is one of the worst but I still believe that this is a business that will be here for the “Long Haul” so we must weather the storms and keep it moving the best way we can.

  4. Ron

    He is not the only one who is quitting. I was running 13 trucks and now down to 3. Possible 0 in a few weeks. The rates are not down the brokers are taking 50% of the load.

Comments are closed.

Ashley Coker Prince

Ashley is interested in everything that moves, especially trucks and planes. She works with clients to develop sponsored content that tells a story. She worked as reporter and editor at FreightWaves before taking on her current role as Senior Content Marketing Writer. Ashley spends her free time at the dog park with her beagle, Ruth, or scouring the internet for last minute flight deals.