Updated on October 14, 2011
Truckers Stranded by Company’s Sudden Closing
I know this is a Military blog, but Christmas is only 2 days away and I hate to see my fellow drivers stranded on the road with no way to get homeÂ becauseÂ their company shut the doors with no notice. The times are tough for everyone these days. But for many Arrow Truck Lines drivers, it got worse yesterday. All I ask is that you read the story below and look into your hearts and help how ever you can. Please remember that truck drivers are a big part of what keeps this country going. The Military protects us our Freedoms, but without truck drivers you would not have food, clothes, or anything else you have in your house or sustains you lives. Living on workman’s comp right now, I can’t afford to help with money, Â but I have offered anyone in my area a place to stay for a few days or a ride to the bus station or air port.
I am sure that many of you have seen the white and green Arrow trucks rolling down the road over the years. Yesterday they closed their doors and left their drivers stranded all over the country. According to “Tulsa World“, the 61-year-old Tulsa-based flatbed company, closed it’s door without any notice to the office staff or the drivers.
After closing down the company phone system Tuesday morning and not accepting cell phone messages throughout the day, the company issued a statement from CEO Doug Pielsticker at 6:21 p.m.
“The company has been in negotiations with its principal lender,” Pielsticker said. “Those negotiations are continuing, but the lender has elected to proceed with securing its collateral. The company is communicating with several interested parties and continues to seek a prompt resolution.”
Beginning just before noon Tuesday, callers to Arrow’s west Tulsa offices were greeted with a recorded message: “Drivers, if you’re in Freightliner KW, please take your truck to the nearest Freightliner shop. Call this hot line number to Daimler, (877) 294-9679. They will arrange for you a bus ticket home.”
“I’m shut down near Cheyenne, Wyo.,” Arrow driver Denny Carter said by phone. “They asked me to bring the truck and load into Tulsa, but I don’t have fuel to do it. I’ll be taking the truck to a Kenworth dealership in Cheyenne.”
“I haven’t heard nothing and haven’t been able to get ahold of anybody,” driver Ruben Bradley said by phone. He shut down his rig at a truck stop in Wichita Falls, Texas, on Monday night when other drivers phoned to tell him their gas credit cards weren’t working.
Bradley was hauling a load of steel pipe for delivery in northern New Mexico. He had three-quarters of a 240-gallon tank of diesel fuel he thought would take him to his delivery but not enough to return the truck to a terminal or Tulsa.
And with no working fuel card, he didn’t have $500 to $600 of his own money to fill the tank.
“I’m not going to move the truck. I’m not going to get stuck way out in New Mexico without fuel and no way to get home,” Bradley said. “I can’t get ahold of anybody, not even extended operations or the fuel desk.”
Doug Evans was in similar straits early Tuesday.
“I’m not in a very good mood,” the Arrow driver said by phone, his fuel gauge at a quarter tank as he motored west toward Little Rock with a load of steel tubing.
“I’m fixing to be out of fuel. I can’t get any answers. I got a message to take the truck to the nearest Freightliner dealer. We haven’t gotten any paychecks, either.”
By Tuesday evening, Bradley was driving south to a Freightliner dealer and a new job he’d just been offered in Houston. He had just enough fuel to make it, he said.
Evans, whose load was bound for Houston, had run out of fuel. He was parked in a truck stop 60 miles east of Little Rock.
“I’m waiting for somebody to send me some money â€” Western Union so I can get enough fuel to get the truck to the Freightliner dealer in Little Rock,” Evans said. “And then I’m going to have to walk home to Monroe, La. There are seven drivers I know about â€” from North Carolina to Arizona â€” who are walking home.”
Carter, who was stranded in Cheyenne, almost 2,000 miles from his home in O’Brien, Fla., was nearly alone among the drivers in that he will have a merry Christmas.
“Friends out here, people I met on the road, pooled together and bought me an airplane ticket home,” he said.
“I’m flying Cheyenne to Gainesville on Wednesday.”
Land Line Mag reported the story yesterday with the following statement:
Stephanie Ortega, who works in the Fleet Services department at Daimler, said she found out when she arrived at work Tuesday morning that Arrow Trucking was shutting its doors and about the companyâ€™s plan to help get Arrowâ€™s drivers home.
She was instructed to tell drivers to drop their vehicles off at the nearest Freightliner dealership and to leave their keys with an attendant there or at a truck stop if they are out of fuel.
Ortega said drivers are asked to then call Daimler at 877-294-9679 and she and others there â€œcan get them a bus ticket through Greyhound or the company will reimburse up to $200 for alternative transportation costs.â€
However, one drawback to the plan is that drivers are on their own to find transportation to a local Greyhound station once they have surrendered their trucks.
â€œIf they can get themselves to a local Greyhound station, we will get them a bus ticket and get them home,â€ Ortega told Land Line.
The trucking world is coming together to helps it’s own. There has been a Facebook page created with the sole purpose of helping drivers connect with people that can help. Weather it is with money, a ride home, or just a place to stay till someone can get them home, any help a person can give would be greatly appreciated by the many drivers left standing in the cold.
“CDL of it” also have a list going in their Christmas Group Forum of drivers that need help and people that are willing to help. According to a message felt on the Facebook page, there are 2 lists there, one with drivers needing rides, fuel, help. another with a list of folks that can provide rides, help, etc. you can also call 866-929-9627 or 417-200-4411.
4 State Trucks – The Chrome Shop Mafia also made a statement on their Facebook page:
All of us at CSM certainly feel for these Arrow drivers that may end up stranded. If someone knows of a driver that needs a lift home for the Holidays, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try our best to hook them up with one of our customers, fans or friends to get them back home. We all agree that the trucking business can be tough, but things like this shouldn’t happen.