Trucking companies complain of being booted, towed while delivering essential supplies in CLT

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — At least a half dozen truckers say they were towed or booted in the Queen City while trying to deliver critical supplies, in just the past week.

Truckers hauling food, water and sanitizing supplies complain overly aggressive towing companies are quick to pounce, often forcing them to pay thousands of dollars, and showing little concern for what they are carrying or where they are going.

“My company’s been running real hard over the last two weeks,” said Dimetrius Wingo, who drives for and owns Y-Fly Express.

Wingo says his small trucking company was contracted by FEMA to transport bottles of water.

“They’re going to Harris Teeter, Walmart. We just keep the stores stocked up,” he said. “The way the stores are emptying, I would think it’s real critical.”

He lives near Home Depot on Albermarle Road in Charlotte. For the past nine months, he says he’s had permission from the store manager to park his truck in their lot. This week, he says brand new warning signs popped up and his truck was towed by A1 Towing Solutions, without any notice.

Wingo was on his way to pick up water for a delivery when he noticed his truck was gone. A1 Towing Solutions demanded more than $4000 to get his truck back. They tacked on extra fees because it took him more than 24 hours to come up with the money, he said.

“How much of a hit was this for you guys?,” asked FOX 46 investigative reporter Matt Grant. “Did this hurt?”

RELATED: TOWING COMPANIES TO REFUND TRUCKERS BOOTED WHILE DELIVERING ESSENTIAL

“Well, it definitely did,” said Wingo. “It took our truck away from us. So, you gotta realize, we missed our loads.”

LaJuan Monroe says he has been parking at the same Home Depot for years. His truck was getting ready to haul meat when he was also towed and forced to pay more than $4000 to get it back.  

“I was on my way to pick up a load of meat to take to a grocery store in DC and I explained that to him,” said Monroe, describing his encounter with A1 Towing Solutions. “And, he was like, ‘Well if you don’t come up with $4000 you’re not going to pick up anything.”

“You know, I just don’t understand why they’d want to take advantage of truckers at a time like this,” he added.

Home Depot is looking into the matter.

In just the past week, FOX 46 has received at least a half dozen similar complaints. The owner of Mo Trucking in South Carolina wrote to us to say their driver was booted by A1 Trucking Solutions – while paying for gas at 7-Eleven on Little Rock Road – on his way to deliver Clorox supplies to an Amazon distribution center in the Queen City.

“During this difficult time our drivers are just trying to service our customers and deliver products as soon as possible to provide to all locations in need,” owner Whitney Hitchcock wrote in an email. “I feel this is injustice as we are only trying to help provide relief to locations in need.”

A1 Towing Solutions is oddly named very similar to A1 Towing & Recovery. There is no relation and the owner of A1 Towing & Recovery says what his competitor is doing is “predatory.” Reached by phone, a man who answered A1 Towing Solutions refused to give his name or even consider refunds.

“I’m not giving them nothing,” the man said defiantly. “We have a towing agreement to keep tractor trailers and cars off that property after hours. If they don’t work there, the place is closed, they have no right to park there.”

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein’s office has received, and is investigating, four similar complaints. Wingo has also filed one.

“What I would urge any trucking company, or, frankly, any person,” said Stein, “if they’re being gouged because of this emergency, let my office know so that we can investigate it.”

File a complaint with Attorney General Josh Stein’s office by clicking here

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