October 12, 2023

40-year-old Montana trucking company, freight brokerage shutters operations


A Montana trucking company and freight brokerage has apparently shuttered operations, leaving nearly 275 truck drivers and office personnel without jobs, sources say.

Meadow Lark Transport Inc., of Billings, Montana, had 273 drivers and 337 power units at the time of its closure, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SAFER website.

FMCSA data states the company’s broker authority was involuntarily revoked on Aug. 15 and its contract carrier authority is slated to be canceled on Oct. 28.

It’s unclear why the 40-year-old company was forced to shut its doors. 

However, some motor carriers that hauled brokered loads for Meadow Lark claim they have been fighting to get paid for months.

In an email to carriers, Meadow Lark stated it is not accepting phone calls related to payment status but has “allocated all of our resources towards working on emails” sent to it.

“At Meadow Lark, we greatly value the relationships we have established with our Carrier Partners over our 40-year history,” Meadow Lark wrote in the email, which was obtained by FreightWaves. “We recognize the importance of timely payments and acknowledge that our account with you is overdue. Be assured that we are taking this matter very seriously and are committed to resolving this as promptly as possible.”

According to its website, Rick and Donna Jones started the asset-based 3PL in 1983.

In 2011, the Jones’ oldest daughter, Amanda “Mandy” Roth, purchased Meadow Lark from her parents.

In January, Roth said during an episode of “Take the Hire Road” that Meadow Lark had 40 terminals across the country and posted revenue of more than $200 million.

As of publication Thursday, Roth, who serves as CEO of Meadow Lark, had not responded to FreightWaves’ calls or messages seeking comment.

In June 2022, a former truck driver for Meadow Lark filed a lawsuit seeking class-action status over the company’s lease-driver business program, known as the “driving opportunity.”

The suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana alleges Meadow Lark failed to disclose material facts about the economics of its lease program. After paying their truck lease payments, fuel, maintenance and other expenses, the drivers “often had little or no compensation and sometimes even owed Meadow Lark money despite the long hours they worked as drivers,” the suit states.

Drivers also allege in the suit that Meadow Lark failed to pay them the “full promised 75% of the actual gross revenue that it received from its customers,” according to court filings.

No trial date has been set. However, the deadline for pretrial motions is set for Feb. 8, 2024.

This is a developing story.

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