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Indiana trucking company files for bankruptcy after FMCSA orders operations halt

Data shows carrier exceeded safety thresholds in unsafe driving and HOS compliance

Indiana-based JCB Trucking Enterprises files Chapter 11 after receiving unsatisfactory rating from FMCSA. Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

An Indiana-based trucking company recently filed Chapter 11, more than a month after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ordered the carrier to suspend interstate operations after receiving an unsatisfactory rating.

JCB Trucking Enterprises LLC, headquartered in Lafayette, Indiana, filed its petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Indiana on March 18.

In its filing, JCB Trucking Enterprises lists its assets as up to $50,000 and its liabilities as between $1 million and $10 million. The trucking company states that it has up to 49 creditors and maintains that funds will be available for distribution to unsecured creditors once it pays administrative fees.

Its affiliate company, JKM Storage and Rentals LLC, also headquartered in Lafayette, filed for bankruptcy on the same day.

Priority creditors listed in the petition include Michael C. Bloom and Jacob C. Bloom, owed $4,500 apiece for March wages, and Kristen Bloom, owed $2,400. All are listed as working at the trucking company’s headquarters in Lafayette.

Company owner Michael Bloom did not respond to FreightWaves’ request seeking comment.

Among the largest unsecured creditors are Lower Great Lakes Kenworth, a truck parts and services facility, headquartered in South Bend, Indiana, owed nearly $198,000; M&K Truck Leasing LLC of Byron Center, Michigan, owed more than $188,000; and Heritage Interactive Services of Indianapolis, owed more than $97,000. JCB Trucking Enterprises disputes all three creditors’ claims in its bankruptcy petition.

The trucking company also lists the U.S. Department of Transportation as a nonpriority creditor “for potential fines from audit,” but no amount was listed. 

History of safety violations

The FMCSA data cites “denial of access” as the reason JCB Trucking Enterprises was placed out of service on Feb. 18. The agency updated its authority history to state the Indiana-based trucking company’s contract carrier authority was revoked because of a “safety suspension” on March 21. The company’s operating authority had been revoked and reinstated three times previously since 2007, according to the FMCSA website.

The FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) system, used to prioritize enforcement actions against motor carriers, lists that JCB Trucking Enterprises exceeded the safety threshold in two of the seven BASICs compared to its peers. CSA data shows the trucking company had an 89% in unsafe driving and 93% in HOS compliance. 

Its trucks had been inspected 31 times and three had been placed out of service in a 24-month period, resulting in a 16.7% rate, which is lower than the industry’s national average of about 21%. Drivers for JCB Truck Enterprises were inspected 31 times and five were placed out of service, resulting in a 16% out-of-service rate. The national average for drivers is about 5.8%

Since the trucking company’s authority was granted in March 2001, JCB Truck Enterprises was ordered to pay more than $17,000 in fines for enforcement cases in 2015 and 2018, according to FMCSA data.

Drivers for the Indiana trucking company were involved in three crashes — including two with injuries and one towaway — over a 24-month period.

The last time one of the company’s trucks was inspected was in North Carolina on Feb. 23. According to the inspection data, the truck was placed out of service for “operating a commercial motor vehicle after the effective date of an unsatisfactory rating.” 

A meeting of creditors is scheduled for April 19.

Got a tip? Contact Clarissa Hawes at [email protected] 

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Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa has covered all aspects of the trucking industry for 14 years. She is an award-winning journalist known for her investigative and business reporting. Before joining FreightWaves, she wrote for Land Line Magazine and If you have a news tip or story idea, send her an email to [email protected]