14-thousand trucks got a full top to bottom safety inspection in Arkansas last year.
40-percent --almost half -- FAILED.
Lt. James Speer with the AR Highway patrol says, "I was amazed at what I saw in the trucks running up and down the highway.">
Two million trucks roll over the bridges between Memphis and Arkansas every year.
Random inspections at this West Memphis weigh station regularly turn up big rigs with big problems --bad brakes, bald tires, busted fuel lines--hidden problems that put EVERYONE on the road in danger.
Inspectors initially flagged this rig from Craig Trucking in West Helena, because it had a dirty cab. Turned out to be a good call.
Speer continues, "I'm going to be marking your brakes with chalk."
The full inspection uncovered serious safety issues.
"His steering axle brake is out of adjustment," Speer says.
That wasn't the only one.
In all, three out of the truck's six brakes were not working properly.
Truck owner Corey Craig says, "The inspectors seem to think that there's a good shot that if you had to stop short like that you couldn't do it." Ah, that would be a 50/50 chance."
Not great odds considering inspectors also found an unprotected fuel line and loose bolts on the crossbars that support the trailer.
Inspectors say pulling this one out of service was a no brainer.
Craig continues, "You ever been stopped like this, every have any out of service before?... Nah, not out of service."
Our investigation shows otherwise.
Federal records show this SAME truck failed three other safety inspections within the last 30 months for the SAME problems.
In fact, inspectors pulled the truck out of service 60 percent of the time!
Plus, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration which tracks truck inspections, gave the company a deficient vehicle safety rating.
Our investigation turned up dozens of Mid-South trucking companies with deficient ratings...like Delta Express out of West Memphis.
Inspectors yanked the company's trucks off the road 35 percent of the time -- 158 failed inspections in less than three years.
Delta Express president Louis Hazel says, "Does it concern you these guys get pulled out of service so often?. Absolutely, absolutely it concerns me. That's something we try to work hard on every day to try to lessen that number."
Delta's president told us right now the company does monthly inspections on all of its trucks.
We asked if more frequent self inspections would help.