Columbia Trucker Laid Off Through Text Message

9:50 PM, Dec 26, 2009   |    comments
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Arrow Trucking Company shut down operations, stranding about 900 drivers

Columbia, S.C. (WLTX) - A Midlands trucker is counting his blessings after barely making it home for Christmas. While on the road this week, he and some 900 other truckers discovered their company had shut down, leaving most of them stranded across the U.S. and Canada.

Randy Dakin didn't think he'd be spending his Christmas weekend cleaning out his truck. "Tuesday morning is when I found out I really didn't have a job anymore," said Dakin.

His employer, Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Arrow Trucking Company shut down operations stranding about 900 of its drivers across the U.S. and Canada after the company canceled its fuel credit cards.

"I was fortunate enough to have had enough fuel in the truck to get back home,"said Dakin.

Before heading to Columbia from Virginia, Dakin says he knew something was wrong after an odd encounter with another Arrow trucker.

"He jokingly and with serious note to it said if that load was going to Alabama, that he was going to take the load and kick my (expletive) just so he could get home for Christmas," said Dakin.

Only after getting two text messages a short while later did Dakin realize he was out of a job.

The first message told him to turn in his truck at the nearest dealer. The second message offered him a bus ticket or $200 in cash to get home.

"The timing is the worst thing and not being told in a better way. I'm sure some guys are having to sell whatever they could,"said Dakin.

Just to get home. He says many drivers have clothing, televisions and other personal belongings that they may not be able to transport home.

"Greyhound will only let you carry so much,"says Dakin. He's wondering if he'll ever get paid for his last two trips. "That would have been my biggest paycheck ever with these people," said Dakin.

He says the company owes him about $1,300.

He joined Arrow Trucking in January and says he logged more than 84,000 miles with the company.

Arrow's website has been shut down and no one at the company's headquarters is answering the phone.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is assisting Arrow truckers who are still stranded across the country.

Meanwhile supporters have set up a Facebook page called "Support for Stranded Arrow Truckers" to help get them home safely.

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