Meadow Creek hauler flunks safety audit

Another company hauling logs for Meadow Creek Cedar has been taken off the road for safety violations.

Another company hauling logs for Meadow Creek Cedar has been taken off the road for safety violations.

Partap Farm & Transportation Ltd. of Surrey failed a recent audit, according to Ministry of Transportation spokesman Jeff Knight.

“The next step for Partap is a show cause process,” he explained. “That’s where the carrier has to demonstrate why it should not have its National Safety Code certificate cancelled. A carrier cannot operate without that certificate.”

Knight didn’t say why the audit was conducted, but it resulted in one vehicle being removed from service after it was found to have deficient brakes.

The inspection was conducted as part of an enhanced roadside enforcement program launched a year ago to remove unsafe commercial vehicles from BC highways.

According to the government’s website, vehicles with “critical defects” that render them unsafe are subject to “tough new requirements before re-licensing can occur.”

However, this marks only the third time since the program began that a vehicle has been removed from the road.

The Ministry says the commercial vehicle safety and enforcement branch inspects more than 30,000 vehicles per year and spot checks hundreds of thousands of others.

Partap’s license was also involuntarily revoked by the US Department of Transportation in 2008, then reinstated, and revoked again the following year.

Partap has three trucks, although one bore a Daminis Transport sign on its door. Daminis, an associated Surrey company, also hauled for Meadow Creek Cedar before being grounded for safety infractions.

Knight said the truck was actually registered to the Partap fleet and passed a safety inspection prior to the audit.

“But the bottom line is both companies are now out of service,” he said.

Four Daminis trucks were taken off the highway following a roadcheck by Kaslo RCMP and government inspectors in November. The violations related to brakes, lights, suspension, tires, load security, and coupling devices.

Police also took a closed trailer full of cut wood operated by staff from Meadow Creek Cedar off the road after finding it had defective brakes.

Daminis faced an audit, but the company refused to provide its records, so its trucks were suspended.

Meadow Creek Cedar owner Dale Kooner is believed to control both Daminis and Partap and has been involved with other troubled transport companies.

In 2003, eight charges were laid against Kooner and Grand Pacific Transport Inc. and Quick Service Transportation Ltd., both of Surrey, after an employee was pinned between two trucks.

Kooner pleaded guilty to one count and was fined $7,500, while the charges against the companies were dropped.

Both companies had their licenses to operate in Ontario revoked due to poor safety records.

It’s believed Meadow Creek Cedar has been taking logs to other local mills since shutting down its own Lardeau Valley operation in the spring.

Kooner did not respond to a request for comment.

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