Monthly Edition - April, 2021 (CORRECTED)
Maine Truck PAC Golf Tournament

The Truck PAC golf tournament will again be played at Natanis Golf Course, located on the Webber Pond Road in Vassalboro, on June 16, 2021. Natanis features 36 great holes of golf and will serve as an excellent host for this year’s primary fundraising event for the Truck PAC.

We are still working out the details on how lunch will be provided and what safety precautions will need to be implemented. We ask for your patience as we host an outside event in an effort to bring back some pre-pandemic normalcy!

Sponsorship opportunities are also available (Major Sponsors $500 or Hole Sponsors $150/hole)

All registrations must be received by June 5th. You can register online at www.mmta.com/golf. The cost is $500 per team or $125 per player.

When: June 16, 2021
Location: Natanis Golf Course, Vassalboro
Registration: 8:00 am
Shotgun Start: 9:00am
Lunch: On the course

We hope you consider supporting the PAC and registering a team of golfers and sponsoring the event. The Truck PAC funds are used to support business-friendly candidates to the Maine Legislature.
MAINE & NATIONAL NEWS
Trucking Industry Groups Support Bill to Allow Younger Drivers
Heavy Duty Trucking

In an April 14 letter addressed to members of Congress, the DRIVE-Safe Act Coalition — along with 117 companies and organizations in the trucking industry — have expressed strong support of a new bill that proposes allowing certified commercial truck driver’s under the age of 21 to cross states lines.

Although 49 states and the District of Columbia currently allow individuals under the age of 21 to obtain a commercial driver’s license and operate in intrastate commerce, these same individuals are prohibited from driving a truck across state lines until they turn 21. The proposed Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy (DRIVE-Safe) Act would change that through implementing a two-step program of additional training, which includes "rigorous performance benchmarks."

In the letter, the coalition urged members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure to include the act in the forthcoming infrastructure legislative package and/or surface transportation reauthorization bill.

“This strongly bipartisan legislation, which garnered the support of more than one third of the House and Senate in the 116th Congress, will address the nation’s growing truck driver shortage by promoting opportunity and enhanced safety training for emerging members of the transportation workforce,” the coalition wrote.

Truck Driver Shortage Affecting Deliveries Nationwide
Fox Business

A widespread shortage of truck drivers in the U.S. is posing threats to delivery services nationwide. As a result, consumers may be hit with higher delivery fees.

One key reason for the dearth of drivers, according to an instructor at the Secaucus, New Jersey-based EZ Wheels Driving School, is that it's taking longer for students to acquire a commercial driver's license.

Prior to the pandemic, it would take about two months to gain a license in New Jersey. Now, it's taking upward of six months, Victor, one of the driving instructors at EZ Wheels told FOX Business' Lydia Hu.

It's an issue being felt nationwide, according to industry experts.

U.S.-Canada Border Closure May Affect Start of International Bridge Replacement
ConstructionEquipmentGuide.com

A long-planned effort to rebuild the Madawaska/Edmundston International Bridge across the Saint John River from Madawaska, Maine, to Edmunston, New Brunswick, along with the new U.S. Land Port of Entry (LPOE), will each likely transform the face of the tiny Maine community.

But the continued closure of the U.S.-Canada border, which began in March 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, has created uncertainty as to exactly when construction will begin. In addition, the final details on both projects remain uncertain.

Contractors for both the LPOE and the International Bridge have prepared to start work in the coming months, with Woolwich, Maine's Reed & Reed, specialists in bridge builders, planning to move trailers into town by the end of April, according to the St. John Valley Times.

Meanwhile, there is no official start date for the LPOE project either, with the federal General Services Administration (GSA) saying only that the current timeline marks this summer for the site preparation. GSA and its Tennessee-based contractor J & J Contractors are still designing their project, which should continue for another six to nine months, the GSA told the local new outlet.

Truck transportation job growth — cause for celebration or concern?
Freight Waves

March’s truck transportation employment figures can be viewed as a glass half full or half empty — both perspectives have merit.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), total jobs in March were recorded at 1,482,700, up 3,300 from February’s tally — a sign that things are headed in the right direction.

On the other hand, March’s figures totaled 33,500 fewer truck transportation jobs than last March, just as the industry was on the precipice of the pandemic — a sign that we may still be in the early stages of recovery with a long road ahead.

“The economic recovery has been accelerating over the last two months or so, and promises to have very vigorous economic growth,” said Reliance Partners Chief Financial Officer Thom Albrecht, who suggests that gross domestic product (GDP) growth may rival that of 1983’s economic growth of 7.9%. “There’s a good chance that economic growth will be between 6% and 7% this year, so it is improving; it’ll be more visible in the job numbers as the year unfolds.”

Significant liability insurance hike floated again in Congress
CCJ

A bill that would tie truck owners’ minimum liability insurance requirements to medical care inflation has been reintroduced in the U.S. House.

Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Illinois) first introduced the legislation, dubbed the “Improving National Safety by Updating the Required Amount of Insurance Needed by Commercial Motor Vehicles per Event (INSURANCE) Act” in 2019, but it never advanced past the House Transportation Committee.

Trucking’s safer, self-driving future is around the corner
Fleet Owner

By the end of this decade, trucks powered by supercomputers will be hauling freight across the country on some of the safest roads in a century. Driver assistance technologies on commercial and passenger vehicles are more prevalent each year, creating the potential to reduce road crashes caused by human error. As artificial intelligence (AI) grows more powerful, there won’t be drivers operating some commercial vehicles running on major freight corridors.

The efficiency that could come with Class 8 autonomous vehicles (AVs) is nearly endless. But how safe can what equates to an 80,000-lb. robot be motoring among human-controlled vehicles on the interstate? That is a question that Ariel Wolf, general counsel for the Self-Driving Coalition, welcomes.

FMCSA warns motor carriers to be wary of potential scams
Landline

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is once again warning motor carriers not to fall victim to fraudulent, misleading or aggressive marketing attempts when it comes to filing biennial registration reports.

In a post on Facebook on April 9, FMCSA showed a picture of one of those letters that is designed to look like an official communique but in fact is nothing more than a “phishing” attempt.

“Important reminder: Be wary of fraudulent, misleading or aggressive marketing attempts,” FMCSA’s post states. “FMCSA is aware that motor carrier officials and new entrant applicants often receive confusing or misleading solicitations from service providers or third-party administrators by telephone, e-mail, text and U.S. mail.”

TSA seeks input on mobile driver’s licenses to inform REAL ID rulemaking
Transportation Security Administration

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) published a request for information in the Federal Register seeking information about security standards and technologies concerning mobile driver’s licenses. Responses to the request for information will support future DHS/TSA rulemaking to update the REAL ID Act implementing regulation to accommodate mobile driver’s licenses....

The Request for Information, solicits comments and input regarding technical approaches, applicable industry standards and best practices to ensure that mobile driver’s licenses can be issued and authenticated with features that ensure security, privacy and identity fraud detection. Comments may be submitted until June 18, 2021.

MMTA NEWS
Important Due Dates To Remember
MMTA

MMTA receives many calls asking for help with the many registration-related recordkeeping duties for which the trucking industry is responsible. We also receive reports from many motor carriers that vendors attempt to scare motor carriers into hiring them to perform these functions, which are easily accomplished by the motor carrier, or with a little assistance from MMTA.

Below is a list of many (but not all) of the administrative functions needing to be performed. Other registrations such as NY or KY HUT may also need your attention. Those expiration dates vary and must be filed by the motor carrier themselves, so you should keep an eye on their expirations. These items must also be renewed by the carrier themselves.

Please mark your calendars!
  • UCR...
  • DOT updates (aka MCS-150 or biennial update)...
  • Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (IRS)...
  • IRP (interstate carriers)...
  • IFTA Reporting (interstate carriers)...

LAST CALL FOR SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS - DEADLINE IS MAY 1, 2021
John W. Austin Memorial Scholarship Fund Increases Future Awards
MMTA

After decades of helping Maine students achieve their educational and training goals, the MMTA is pleased to announce exciting changes to the John W. Austin Memorial Scholarship Fund starting with this year’s applicants.

In the past, scholarships have generally been for $1,000 for graduating high school seniors seeking higher education, including technical training, in areas relevant to the motor carrier industry. Starting this year, the number of awards will be limited to nine, but the amount of the awards will be a one-time scholarship payment for up to $2,500 each. As has been the case in the past, the online application will be available starting January 1st and the submission deadline remains May 1st.


IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO FITS THE CRITERIA – MAKE SURE THEY APPLY!!
FEATURED MMTA TRAINING: Drug & Alcohol Supervisor Training
MMTA

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations mandate that all drivers required to have a commercial driver’s license be part of an alcohol and drug testing program. Further, that supervisors must be trained to identify the physical, behavioral, speech and performance indicators of probable alcohol misuse and use of controlled substances.

Training Dates:
  • 4/30/21 – Augusta – MMTA
  • 7/30/21 – Augusta – MMTA
  • 11/12/21- Augusta – MMTA

Time: 8:30am to 11:30am

Fee:
  • $70.00/attendee for MMTA members
  • $95.00/attendee for non-members

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES
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.
THANK YOU MMTA ANNUAL SPONSORS