Monthly Edition - September 2020
FMCSA Extends Emergency Declaration

FMCSA has announced that they have extended the Emergency Declaration that was set to expire on September 14th. 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 August 15th modified and extended declaration.

This extended declaration now expires on December 31st, 2020.

Please see the reprint of the August 18, 2020 article announcing the previous extension and limitations below.
FMCSA Extends and Modifies Emergency Declaration (AUGUST 18, 2020)

The FMCSA has extended—and modified—the emergency declaration that was set to expire on August 14th. The modified declaration provides regulatory relief for motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to COVID-19, and has been expanded to included emergency restocking of distribution centers and stores.

Specifically, the 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. 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;
  4. Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores. 

Please note, this modified declaration is not effective until 12:00 A.M. (ET), August 15, 2020 and expires on September 14th, 2020.

MMTA NOTE: This Emergency Declaration does not provide for the routine delivery of food, paper, and groceries. Motor Carriers who deliver these items on a routine basis and are not providing relief to an emergency are not afforded relief from Parts 390 through 399.

Under this declaration, emergency regulatory relief is provided from parts 390 through 399 of the FMCSRs, including the hours-of-service regulations. Emergency relief does not include certain FMCSR’s related to the safe operation of CMVs, such as controlled substance and alcohol testing, financial responsibility requirements, CDL requirements, operation of a CMV while ill or fatigued, size and weight requirements, and additional FMCSR’s which are outlined in the declaration. We encourage everyone to review the applicability, restrictions, and limitations which are included in the exemption posted to the FMCSA’s website.

US Department of Commerce & SBA Offers Loan Guidance

Join the US Department of Commerce, the Federal Reserve, and the Small Business Administration for an update on the new Main Street Lending Program. This program will provide credit support to eligible small and medium-sized businesses that are integral to the U.S. economy and create jobs for a large share of the U.S. workforce, particularly in the Trucking, Transport, Logistics and Warehousing Sector Companies.

Using established lenders, Main Street will offer several types of 5 year term loans supported by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department, ranging in size from $250,000 to $300 million. In addition, the SBA will give an update on the Paycheck Protection Program.

Registration is free- You must register to join the call.

MAINE BMV UPDATES (September, 2020)

Maine BMV has been working hard to accommodate Maine’s Trucking Industry. Since closing offices during the initial phase of the Pandemic with many employees working from home, most employees have now transitioned back to working from the office.

All branch offices are now open for “limited” walk in traffic based on the office size, with the exceptions of Springvale and Kennebunk. Kennebunk will continue appointment only services until late September, at which time walk in traffic will resume. No decision has yet been made with respect to re-opening at Springvale.

If you are attempting to call the CDL Exam Unit, calls coming in to the unit are answered by staff in the order they are received. BMV encourages patience and stresses that all calls will be answered as quickly as possible.

The CDL written and road test processes have not changed. Applications and supporting material must be filed and then notices of scheduled exams are mailed to the applicant. Because written tests only resumed in mid-August, there is currently a backlog with a waiting period of 4-6 weeks. The wait time for skills testing is approximately 6-8 weeks, however the wait time could vary by location, with the lower volume areas taking longer.

2021 UCR Registration Period Will Begin On October 1, 2020

UCR stands for Unified Carrier Registration program. It is a federally-mandated system for registering operators of commercial vehicles who are involved in interstate and international travel. This annual registration must be renewed by December 31 each year.

Registration for the 2021 UCR registration year will open October 1, 2020. Fees will remain the same as they were for 2020 and are currently listed on the UCR Website, as follows:

Cross-country semitruck tour commemorates Swain's first female vote
Wyoming News

CHEYENNE – Dee Sova started driving trucks in 1991, when she was 24 years old. While only about 7% of truck drivers are women, according to the American Trucking Association, the difference was even more stark when Sova started her career in the industry.

So when she was offered the chance to drive across the country in a semitruck celebrating the 150th anniversary of Louisa Swain’s historic vote in Laramie, the first ballot cast by a woman, Sova jumped at the chance.

“It’s women like her that pioneered a movement; it was bigger than just voting. For us to be able to walk into the career that we all have loved for all this time, it’s because of women like her that had the courage to step into places that most women would not,” Sova said. “And it takes the same amount of courage, at least it did when I started, to walk into a truck driving school and say, ‘Hey, I want to learn how to drive a truck.’”

Trucking Industry Asked to Rank Top Concerns

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA - The American Transportation Research Institute, the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research organization, has launched the 2020 Top Industry Issues Survey. The annual survey asks trucking industry stakeholders to rank the top issues of concern for the industry along with potential strategies for addressing each issue.

Now in its 16th year, ATRI’s annual analysis not only ranks the issues overall but also provides details on where critical topics are ranked differently by motor carriers and professional drivers. The report also allows stakeholders to monitor issues over time, to better understand which issues are rising, or falling, in criticality.

“Completing this survey only takes a few minutes, but its impact can be immeasurable. The data ATRI provides maps a course for the industry to speak with a collective voice on our most important issues,” said ATA Chairman Randy Guillot, president of Triple G Express and Southeastern Motor Freight, New Orleans, Louisiana.

The results of the 2020 survey will be released October 27, 2020 as part of the American Trucking Associations Virtual Management Conference & Exhibition.

“This year has been like no other we’ve seen and understanding how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of the trucking industry’s top issues will be a key feature of this year’s analysis,” said ATRI Senior Vice President Dan Murray.

Industry stakeholders are encouraged to complete the survey available through ATRI’s website by clicking here. The survey will remain open through October 16, 2020.
Maine Truck PAC Golf Tournament a Huge Success!

Members gathered at Natanis Golf Club on September 9th to raise money for the Maine Truck PAC. We would like to thank everyone who participated and/or supported the rescheduled event and congratulate the winners listed below. Funds raised at this event will be used to elect and support business friendly candidates and policies in Augusta.

MMTA Members Asked to Give Feedback on Forest Products Industry

We have been asked to reach out to MMTA members about an important Maine Forest Products Industry Public Survey. The survey is being conducted on behalf of Forest Opportunity Roadmap or FOR/Maine and is a quick 2 minute survey designed to help FOR/Maine better understand public opinion and awareness of key issues facing Maine's Forest Products Industry. For reference, FOR/Maine is a cross-sector coalition of Maine Forest Products Industry stakeholders working to help shape the future of Maine’s economy and MMTA Vice President Tim Doyle has participated in some of the group’s activities.

The results of the survey will play a role in developing future public communication priorities for the forest products industry which, as all MMTA members will agree, plays an integral role in the Maine economy and is vitally important to many sectors/segments of the overall trucking industry. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE IN THE FOREST PRODUCTS INDUSTRY TO FILL OUT THE SURVEY! There is no personal identification data collected as part of the survey. There is no requirement to submit name or email address to participate in the survey.

Please feel free to share the link with others in your circle who you think could offer important feedback.
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.