FOX19 Investigates: Treacherous Trucking

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A FOX19 investigation into the safety of tractor trailers on Cincinnati area roads has revealed hundreds of them are not being maintained properly and one company in particular is under scrutiny by state and federal investigators.

T&T Enterprises, a U.S. mail hauler which has its headquarters in West Chester, has been cited time and time again for not maintaining its fleet up to federal safety standards and not monitoring whether its drivers have had enough rest on long-haul trips throughout the Midwest and up the East Coast.

FOX19 News repeatedly tried to contact T&T Enterprises' owner, Eric Trautman, Sr. However, he did not respond to our requests for answers to our questions even when we showed-up Thursday afternoon at T&T's headquarters.

Among the major findings of the FOX19 investigation: That T&T's maintenance record is so poor, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued an "alert" under that category on its website.

The documents reviewed by FOX19 under a Freedom of Information Act request show that federal investigators have been worried that even when drivers complain about a safety issue with a truck T&T does not fix it promptly.

Meanwhile, state authorities have also cited T&T nine times in recent years for brakes not working properly on its trucks.

The documents show that T&T has been fined tens of thousands of dollars by federal and state authorities.

But it made more than $14 million off its contract with the U.S. Postal Service last year.

However, T&T Enterprises is just one of many companies sending trucks out onto the highways going through and around Cincinnati.

Ohio's top tractor trailer investigator tells FOX19 News that his inspectors force about 30% of the trucks they conduct inspections on off the road until their safety issues are fixed.

Milan Orbovich says semis have ten brakes and if two or more of them are not working properly, the truck has to be idled until they're fixed.

But Larry Davis, president of the Ohio Truckers Association, wants people to know that usually its passenger car drivers who cause wrecks involving big rigs.

Our analysis of Highway Patrol statistics from 2009 to 2011 show that nearly 70% of the fatal crashes in Ohio involving big rigs were the fault of the car driver.