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Amazon drivers say some delivery trucks are falling apart



Amazon truck drivers 3
Drivers who deliver
packages for Amazon said they have driven trucks with broken
windows, cracked mirrors, jammed doors, faulty brakes, and tires
with poor traction.

Peterson/Business Insider

Some Amazon delivery drivers say the trucks they have used to
transport packages to customers’ doorsteps were beaten up and
falling apart. 

In interviews with Business Insider, current and recently
employed drivers and managers of Amazon-affiliated courier
companies described anxiety-ridden work shifts where they drove
in trucks with broken windows, cracked mirrors, jammed doors,
faulty brakes, and tires with poor traction.

“You are riding on bald tires in trucks with broken mirrors and
messed up doors,” said Arnold Burns, a former delivery
driver for Amazon-affiliated TL Transportation in Langhorne,
Pennsylvania. “They have a serious problem with upkeep of their

Former driver Omer Childs said she drove vans with broken
windshields, broken doors, and low tire pressure when she worked
for Amazon-affiliated Second Samuel Transportation in

TL Transportation and Second Samuel Transportation did not
respond to requests for comment.

Sid Shah managed vehicle inspections and repairs for DeliverOL,
another Amazon-affiliated company, out of an Amazon facility in
Aurora, Colorado.

He described vehicle upkeep as “pathetic” and said it was a
constant battle to get funding authorization for
repairs. Workers were regularly forced to drive trucks
with expired registration tags, bald tires, missing side mirrors,
jammed doors, broken lights, and other
 he said.

“I had brake pads and brake discs on one van that needed to
be replaced. I called [DeliverOL] and said someone is going to
die in this truck if they drive it,” Shah recalled. “They
forwarded me to some maintenance guy who said, ‘You don’t need
new brake pads, they aren’t under warranty.’

“If brakes are screeching and it’s literally rubbing metal
to metal, you need to fix your brakes,” he said. DeliverOL did
not respond to requests for comment.

In response to the claims in this story, Amazon provided a
statement highlighting a new
that’s designed to alleviate some of the costs of
vehicle maintenance.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to safety and to assist
our small business partners scale, we recently launched the
Delivery Service Partners program,” the company said. “Among
other things, this program provides tools and services to our
small business partners including new state of the art delivery
vans; ongoing preventative maintenance services; regular
equipment audits; and technology to ensure the safe operation and
upkeep of their vans.”

Amazon isn’t technically responsible for vehicle

Amazon said reports of poor vehicle maintenance are

But the company isn’t technically responsible for
maintaining the vehicles that transport its packages. Amazon’s
delivery system pushes that burden onto the delivery companies it

Instead of employing drivers directly, Amazon transports
packages to customers using drivers employed by UPS, FedEx, USPS,
and a number of smaller companies that manage their own fleets,
like TL Transportation, Second Samuel Transportation, and
DeliverOL. Amazon calls these smaller companies delivery service

These delivery partners work out of Amazon facilities, and
Amazon provides them with packages, delivery routes, navigation
software, and scanning devices. 

Amazon requires the companies to abide by a code of
conduct, which reads: “Suppliers must implement a regular
machinery maintenance program. Production and other machinery
must be routinely evaluated for safety hazards.”

The code also requires that suppliers provide workers with
a “safe and healthy work environment.”

But some delivery companies working with Amazon are failing
to follow the code, sources said. 

“On one van we had, the driver’s side window wouldn’t roll
up — and this was during winter in Colorado,”

Eric Jefferies, a former driver for

He said he suffered severe anxiety while delivering
packages for Amazon from “not knowing if my van was going to
break down because the company didn’t keep up maintenance on

When former delivery driver Shanaea Burnett reported problems
like faulty brakes and broken mirrors to her manager at New
Jersey-based Prime EFS, she said he accused her of “always
complaining” and told her to “get out of his face.”

Prime EFS did not respond to requests for comment.

One courier company owner, who asked to remain anonymous,
admitted to sending broken vans out on the road when his company
delivered packages for Amazon.

He said profit margins were thin from his Amazon business,
and that he couldn’t afford to lose revenue by having a truck sit
in a repair shop for several days. 
On top of that,
Amazon fines couriers if they can’t complete a route assignment
because they don’t have enough vans to complete the work, he
said. Two other sources confirmed that Amazon fines couriers for
route assignments that they can’t complete.

He claimed that many other courier company owners were
facing the same pressures.

A former Amazon manager who acted as a liaison between
courier companies and Amazon itself also cited rampant problems
with vehicle maintenance and driver safety in

“Trucks were rusted out and driving around on spare tires,”
this person, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of
retribution, said. He said Amazon ignored some of his warnings
about driver safety.

“We were sounding the alarms,” this person said. “It rolled
off their backs.”

New Amazon program offers discounts on vehicle

In a recent push to grow its network of delivery service
partners, Amazon announced a new program that advertised
$300,000 in profits
for anyone willing to start a courier
company operating a fleet of up to 40 trucks. 

purchased 40,000 Mercedes-Benz
vans for the new program,
which courier companies can lease from Amazon,

 negotiated special rates for van insurance
and regular maintenance.

The rates are part of a package of incentives designed to
lower couriers’ costs of operating.


The incentives also include discounts on insurance plans
for employees and a customized payroll system.

The company said it launched the new incentives after
analyzing its current system of delivery providers and
determining where the companies could make

“We have worked with our partners, listened to their needs,
and have implemented new programs to ensure small delivery
businesses serving Amazon customers have the tools they need to
deliver a great customer and employee experience,” the company
said in response to a
recent Business Insider story
that highlighted problems
within its delivery network.

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