Special Edition V.20 (April 2020)
Trucking Still Deemed Essential

The Maine Motor Transport Association has received numerous calls regarding Governor Mills’ Executive Order (EO) that is effective 4/2/20 at 1201 am. The intent of this article is to clarify the EO as it pertains to the trucking industry.   

On March 24th, Governor Mills issued Executive Order 19FY 19/20 in which she deemed the Trucking and Logistics Industry to be an ESSENTIAL BUSINESS. At our request, Governor Mills made this determination for Transportation and Logistics utilizing the definition that we provided her from the Department of Homeland Security.  

In response to member requests, and as a way to aid our members with the designation of ESSENTIAL BUSINESS, MMTA created an ESSENTIAL WORKER template that drivers and other employees who work in the Trucking and Logistics sector could carry with them. Although carrying this document is not required, it may be helpful and is therefore recommended. A pdf version of this document can be found here. MMTA has received a number of calls asking where they get a number that confirms their business’s designation as Essential. There is no such confirmation that we are aware of and the ESSENTIAL BUSINESS template is what we recommend carrying.

On March 31st, Governor Mills issued the most recent “Stay Healthy, Stay Home mandate” EO 28 FY 19/20. This EO acknowledged essential businesses, non-essential businesses that could stay open (not public-facing and under 10 people) and then instructed everyone else to stay home, except for limited essential functions such as obtaining food, pharmacy products, or limited outdoor exercise, etc. Unfortunately, this EO introduced some gray area for non-essential businesses that can stay open by referring to worker travel for “the purpose of engaging in Minimal Operations”. We do not know what the definition of “minimal operations” would be.

The EO further directs Essential Businesses to take additional steps in terms of social distancing and these requirements are spelled out in the EO. Essential businesses (and non-essential businesses remaining open) should carefully read the EO and implement more stringent social distancing measures as mandated.

As part of the original EO, the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has given Mainers the ability to request that the service your business provides be deemed as essential for purposes of the Executive Order.  You can access this request form here.

The bottom line of the Governor’s order as it relates to the Trucking and Logistics Industry is that we are considered an Essential Business and may continue to operate to deliver the essential goods and relief supplies that our country continues to require. The new EO does not change trucking operations from what had been issued on March 24th. Truck Drivers, and those support functions that are required in order to operate and support the Trucking Industry are also Essential Businesses based on the March 24th EO.  

This article has paraphrased the EO’s in an effort to provide brevity and clarity. The full orders are linked in the article. MMTA recommends carrying the ESSENTIAL WORKER designation form when travelling in personal vehicles to and from work.

The Stay Home, Stay Health EO is in effect for the entire month of April unless rescinded earlier by Governor Mills.
MMTA (Virtual) Call on Washington
April 1, 2020

In light of the COVID-19 emergency, MMTA’s original face-to-face meetings set up in Washington, DC for March 31st were replaced by teleconference or video conference. The original topics included workforce development challenges, infrastructure investment through Highway Reauthorization, the HOS NPRM, environmental initiatives and escalating insurance premiums. For a copy of the original packet of information, click here.

Instead, the discussions focused on talking about the trucking industry’s role in delivering emergency relief supplies, the desperate need for personal protective equipment for drivers once healthcare workers and first responders are protected, and the critical nature of rest facilities throughout the supply chain. To nobody’s surprise, each of Maine’s members of congress that we spoke with had a firm grasp on not only the critical responsibility of the trucking industry during this emergency, but they also outlined the proactive steps each of them are taking to support the health and safety of Mainers.

We want to thank Senator Collins, Senator King and Congressman Golden for making themselves available to discuss these issues and assure our industry that what we do is necessary, essential to the well-being of our citizens and – with an emphasis on this last one – very much appreciated by them and the American people.
NATSO Provides State Chart for Restrictions Impacting Truck Stops
National Association of Truck Stop Operators

States continue to issue statewide "stay at home," "shelter in place," or other lockdown-type orders. At the current time, all of these pertinent state orders permit truckstops, travel centers, and convenience stores to remain open and operational. NATSO fully expects future state orders will also permit truckstops, travel centers and convenience stores to remain open and operational. However, these businesses will remain subject to local restrictions such as maximum occupancy limitations. NATSO is providing a chart linking to current state lockdown Orders, as well as the respective Order's application to NATSO members. We continue to update this chart as new orders are issued.

Please note that NATSO is providing members with a letter template for your employees to complete and carry with them, explaining that they are expressly included in a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During the COVID-19 Response.

Disaster Loan Assistance - SBA
Federal Disaster Loans for Businesses, Private Non-profits, Homeowners and Renters


SBA is collecting the requested information in order to make a loan under SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program to the qualified entities listed in this application that are impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The information will be used in determining whether the applicant is eligible for an economic injury loan. If you do not submit all the information requested, your loan cannot be fully processed.

We will keep MMTA members posted as new information comes in. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to email Tim, Randy or Brian if you have questions.