Through the discovery process in an ongoing federal lawsuit emails were provided of a safety meeting held at the Washington Companies Modern Machinery office in Rochester, WA following a tragic preventable bridge strike. The notes from the meeting show that its employees presented several safety improvement suggestions to the Washington Companies management. The internal meeting was to see if there were reasons to alter their site-specific safety procedures on what to do with outgoing equipment shipments after a bridge strike from equipment loaded incorrectly at the Washington Company site. There were several safety related ideas present which would have helped Washington Companies become a progressive shipper in the national campaign to stop accidental bridge strikes.
This Komatsu sub-contractor forwarded the safety meeting recommendation to a Mr. Jeremy Holt, Import Procurement Manager of the Komatsu America Supply Chain Division. Mr. Holt’s response, on behalf of Komatsu, was “at this point I would not offer any directions to the carriers.” Effectively, this response shuts down the Komatsu sub-contractors desire to do the right thing in protecting the United States interstate system from future bridges strikes, the motoring public from debris from future bridge strikes, and the American truckers transporting dangerous cargo unaware. There seems to be contempt by this international company to become engaged in the United States “Good Samaritan” philosophy of “Just do the Right Thing”.
In the end, Komatsu and its sub-contractor Washington Companies Modern Machinery site was more concerned about becoming legally involved if the facility were to warn the driver and carrier of an observed unsafe condition before leaving their facility. The meeting participants failed to take into consideration Washington Companies contractual obligation to load Komatsu (KAC) equipment per the KAC loading configurations versus what a driver might want the site to do. The meeting notes show the procedures Modern Machinery finally re-adopted would load the load without concern for the safety of the motoring public, public infrastructure, and the truck driver.
It is the contention in the on-going Federal lawsuit that Washington Companies and Komatsu had no desire to become a steward of safe shipping, as shown by their lack of concern for the safety of the equipment they load once it leaves their Modern Machinery Rochester, WA site. This lack of safety culture was present when they loaded two Komatsu excavators over height causing the load to strike a major bridge along the I-5 interstate in Washington State.
Modern Machinery discussions confuses the duty between how a commercial truck driver wants the equipment placed on his trailer for weight distribution versus the shipper’s duty to package the equipment for transport correctly, which is required by Komatsu the manufacturer to be configured for safe highway transportation.
Modern Machinery a part of a large consortium of privately held companies collectively known as the Washington Companies, owned by billionaire Dennis R. Washington. Modern Machinery sells and rents high quality heavy equipment and provides product support to the construction, mining, and forestry industries. The Modern Machinery terminal in Rochester, WA is a home to a large staging area for a variety of Komatsu product brought from overseas awaiting shipment to other Komatsu dealers.
ETON is a Las Vegas-based premier transportation company serving the Western United States with equipment, professional drivers and superior on-time service.
Komatsu America Corp. is a U.S. subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd., (OTCMKTS: KMTUY) the world’s second largest manufacturer and supplier of earth-moving equipment, consisting of construction, mining and compact construction equipment.
Mitchell Truman, ETON.me
http://www.ETON.me, +(702) 348 6370
Environmental Transportation of Nevada, LLC