DECEMBER 19, 2019
At least two truck drivers for GDS Express contacted the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association on Thursday, Dec. 19, saying the Akron, Ohio trucking company was going out of business and that their fuel cards had been turned off.
Attempts to confirm that the trucking company was shutting down were unsuccessful on Thursday afternoon. When reached on phone by Land Line, a dispatcher identifying himself as Mike would neither confirm nor deny the reports.
The Celadon Closure Assistance Group, a Facebook group started to help drivers who lost their jobs from Celadon’s recent closure, posted on Thursday that it had received reports that GDS Express was closing as well and that about 65 drivers were without fuel cards.
According to an FMCSA company snapshot, GDS has 75 tractors and 75 drivers.
A GDS Express truck driver, who asked to remain anonymous, told Land Line on Thursday that he received a Qualcomm message on Wednesday morning that stated the trucking company was going out of business and that dispatchers would be working to help get them home. The trucker also said his fuel card was shut off on Wednesday.
After making a delivery to Home Depot in California, the truck driver said the home improvement store provided him enough cash for fuel to get him back home to Missouri. The driver said he was heading home and was still waiting to be told what he needed to do to return the truck.
Land Line received no confirmation on Thursday to what may have led to the trucking company’s closure. However, GDS Express and one of its drivers were reported to lose a $2 million lawsuit in July after a tractor-trailer backed into a car on Interstate 35 near Kansas City, Kan., damaging the car and injuring its driver.
Dale Watkins, manager of OOIDA’s Business Services Department, advised drivers in this situation to do their best to do what the company asks for you to do with the truck and to document everything.
“You need to document everything the best way you can,” Watkins said. “If they sent you a Qualcomm message, take a photo of it.”