Monthly Edition - February, 2021
John W. Austin Memorial Scholarship Fund Increases Future Awards - APPLICATION NOW OPEN

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.

COVID Vaccine – Employer Legal Considerations Webinar Now Available for Viewing

As the prospects of an increase in the availability of the COVID vaccine improve, we know that MMTA members are preparing for the eventuality that trucking’s workforce will be eligible to receive the vaccine. In response, we hosted a webinar to answer a lot of the questions our member have had such as:

  • Can employers make the vaccine mandatory and, if so, what are the practical implications?
  • If an employer makes it mandatory and an employee refuses, what should employers do?
  • Are there accommodation considerations for those not wanting the vaccine and/or having them take time off to get the vaccine if it is mandatory?
  • If an employer requires the vaccine, are there liability implications for any adverse reactions/complications? Is there any way to limit this liability? Is it different if the vaccines are delivered on-site versus at a clinic they direct employees to?


Initially released in December, the MMTA’s Training and Event Schedule has added three Air Brake classes and two TIA Basic Commercial Tire Service sessions. As always, you can register for trainings and events online at as well as find sponsorship opportunities that are available.

It is important to note that we have developed this schedule based upon our belief that things will start to ease back into “normalcy” with in-person meetings by the spring. It is for this reason that we have also added more virtual and webinar options so MMTA members can get the important information they need to help their companies comply with regulations and advance highway safety efforts.

If you do not see a training you are looking for and think it would be valuable to your company, please contact Randy DeVault at
Featured Virtual Training: FMCSR Regulations (2/26/21)

Over the past several years many changes have been made that affect the trucking industry. Among the most significant are those affecting the Hours-of-Service, Load Securement, and Driver Training areas of the Federal Motor Carriers Regulations. The State of Maine has also adopted many of these changes.


  • Company Owners,
  • Dispatchers,
  • Safety Directors,
  • Drivers,
  • Others who are involved with checking drivers logs for accuracy and the company’s compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

Help Needed for Texas

As Texas recovers from this week’s weather events, they still need relief supplies. If you are inclined to help – be that financially, through a donation of water/supplies or financial support – we ask that you reach out to us. We will put you in touch with our counterparts at the Texas Trucking Association, or with the ATA campaign through Trucking Moves America Forward.

If you can help, please let us know. And please keep our friends in Texas in your thoughts and prayers.
FMCSA Extends Emergency Declaration – Expires May 31, 2021

FMCSA announced that they have extended the Emergency Declaration that was set to expire on February 28th. This extension includes the same regulatory relief for motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to COVID-19, as included in the December 1st declaration.

This expanded declaration is limited to the transportation of:

  1. Livestock and livestock feed;
  2. Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19;
  3. Vaccines, constituent products, and medical supplies and equipment including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines, related to the prevention of COVID-19;
  4. Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants, and;
  5. Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores.

Please note, this expanded declaration becomes effective at 12:00 A.M. February 17th, and expires on May 31st, 2021.

FMCSA extends CDL/CLP and Medical Card Waiver

FMCSA issued another extension to the previous CDL/CLP and Medical Examination waivers that were set to expire the end of this month. This waiver becomes effective on March 1, 2021 and expires on May 31, 2021. 
NOTE: MMTA has been advising members for months that renewal of CDL’s and Medical cards should take place as normal. and that FMCSA permits but does not require State Driver Licensing Authorities to extend the validity periods as part of the waiver. Maine BMV has chosen not to extend the renewal periods and is fully open for business. Driver who do not self-certify their medical status and provide a valid DOT card on time will receive a downgrade letter from Maine BMV.
For CDL/CLP Drivers, the waiver will:
  • Waive until May 31, 2021, the maximum period of CDL validity for CDLs due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020;
  • Waive until May 31, 2021, the maximum period of CLP validity for CLPs that are due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020, without requiring the CLP holders to retake the general and endorsement knowledge tests;
  • Waive until May 31, 2021, the requirement that CLP holders wait 14 days to take the CDL skills test;

Trucking Bankruptcies Surged in 2020 as Pandemic Hits Small Carriers
Transport Topics

The COVID-19 pandemic forced more than 3,000 trucking companies out of business in 2020 — a significant leap from about 1,000 the year prior — as the early months of the global health crisis proved too difficult for some in the industry to withstand.

A total of 3,140 trucking companies ceased operations last year, according to a report from transportation industry data firm Broughton Capital, up from 1,100 in 2019. And of those that closed last year, slightly more than half — or 1,580 companies — shuttered during the months of April, May and June, when freight volumes plunged amid the widespread economic disruption that pushed businesses to close and put millions of people on unemployment. In May alone, 760 trucking companies closed their doors.

The case for training younger drivers

Across the trucking industry, the commercial driver shortage is often a topic of discussion. In fact, for the fourth consecutive year, the driver shortage was the top industry issue overall on the American Transportation Research Institute’s Top Industry Issues list for 2020.

And while there are a large number of issues that need to be addressed, more often than not there are an equally large number of ideas for helping to solve one of the industry’s biggest challenges. One of those is the long-standing topic of whether to license 18- to 20-year-old drivers to haul loads across state lines.


If you can’t wait for the Virtual Annual Banquet and Safety Awards edition of the MMTA Magazine to show up in the mail, you can now view it online! Click on the cover image to the right that will bring you to the awards page and scroll down past the video… or watch the video while you are there!

Congratulations again to all of the award winners and to every member who places safety as their first priority.
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.