FMCSA orders South Dakota operator-owner to cease operations

A South Dakota-based trucking company and a driver has been ordered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to immediately cease operations for violating multiple safety regulations.

Hall Trucking was declared an imminent hazard and was served a federal order on Nov. 19 forbidding the Rapid City, South Dakota, company from all interstate and intrastate operations. 

The federal agency ordered the company’s owner and truck driver, Clayton Hall, who holds a South Dakota-issued commercial driver’s license (CDL), to be out of service. Hall is prohibited from operating any commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce.

An FMCSA investigation found Hall Trucking to be egregiously noncompliant with several federal safety regulations.

Violation of drug rules

In June 2020, Hall tested positive for amphetamines and was notified that, as required by federal regulations, he was prohibited from operating a CMV until such time he successfully completed the return-to-duty process overseen by a substance abuse professional. 

Hall’s drug test result was also reported to FMCSA’s CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.  Despite the disqualification, Hall continued to operate a CMV on at least 20 occasions, including at least three interstate trips in October 2021.   

FMCSA investigators also discovered that a Hall Trucking driver did not have a current medical examiner’s certificate required by federal regulation for interstate commercial operations. The employee also possessed an “intrastate only” CDL, which did not allow him to legally operate a CMV outside South Dakota.  Despite these prohibitions, the employee, on at least three occasions in 2021, was dispatched by Hall on commercial interstate trucking trips, investigators said.

Financial penalties possible

FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order states that Hall Trucking’s “complete disregard for the (federal safety regulations) substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death for its drivers and the motoring public if its operations are not discontinued immediately.”

Failing to comply with the federal imminent hazard order may result in civil penalties of up to  $28,142 for each violation. Hall Trucking may also face civil penalties of more than $11,000 for providing transportation in interstate commerce without operating authority registration, and up to $15,876 for operating a CMV in interstate commerce without USDOT Number registration. The violations also could result in criminal penalties. 


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