Special Edition - V60

MMTA members might remember that last year we had to cancel the Truck Driving Championships and Professional Technician Skills Competition due to the pandemic. Up until now, we have proceeded with an unwavering commitment to host these events in 2021 and have been making plans and organizing our strategies to implement a successful and safe Championship Saturday. While we have been working hard towards this goal, we have run into some practical realities that requires us to face the unfortunate decision to cancel the events once again.

There are many components to putting on successful events in this day and age of COVID and there are too many nuances to list in one article. Equipment concerns and legal liability are two of the most prominent roadblocks we have come up against this year and the MMTA Board of Directors, guided by the recommendation of the event committees, has decided it would be prudent to cancel this year as well.

HOWEVER, we understand from our counterparts in other states and the ATA, there may be other options to consider that would engage and celebrate the countless professionals in our industry. As these ideas take shape, we will share with MMTA members.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Randy or Brian.
MMTA Board/Membership/Annual Meeting April 14, 2021

Due to the pandemic, the MMTA office is currently limiting visitors by holding trainings and seminars virtually, and our current plan is to open the conference room back up starting in April with our first in-person training occurring April 7th. We will still be doing all of the prudent things to keep our staff and guests safe – taking temperatures, requiring masks, sitting 6-feet apart, limiting occupancy to 20 people, not serving food or coffee, etc. – but our reopening plan will continue to change as safety permits additional modifications.

As we develop the agendas for the April 14, 2021 MMTA Board/Membership/Annual Meeting we need your help to decide whether we hold this meeting in-person or virtually via Zoom. We realize there may be strong sentiment on both sides of the coin; that we know enough about the virus to implement precautions and safely meet in person, that it is too early to be meeting in-person, or that the convenience of meeting virtually would encourage far greater participation. So we have decided to ask members to take a 1-minute survey to gauge people’s preferences. Please click on the link below.


MMTA has been asked by the New England Clean Energy Corridor to make a presentation to our members about this important Maine project in an effort to answer questions you may have about it. From environmental impact to tax benefits to broadband development to COVID-19 recovery, the NECEC project is one of the biggest infrastructure investments in the history of our state, and it will impact communities across Maine in different ways. 

Please join us by Zoom on March 10th at 8:00am. MMTA will host the session without endorsement or opposition and the presentation will be made by Thorn Dickinson, CEO of NECEC Transmission LLC. Regardless of where you stand on the project, we hope you will see this as an opportunity to have your questions answered or concerns addressed.

To register for the discussion, please click on the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwrceGrrTgjHdIJ2oZF6CVyp97OCInzsKsW

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
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.

The Snow and Ice Removal Challenge

Nobody wants vehicles clear of snow and ice more than professional truck drivers. The problem, however, is finding a safe, effective and practical way to accomplish this goal.

We all recognize that it is fairly easy for most people to brush newly fallen snow off of a passenger motor vehicle. It is more difficult however to remove ice which tends to accumulate after sleet, rain, snow or precipitation freezes.

Clearing snow and ice from the tops of commercial trucks and trailers is a different story. The top of commercial motor vehicles can be up to 13.5 feet above the ground making it extremely dangerous for anyone to try to remove snow or frozen precipitation from a trailer roof. These roofs are either thin metal or translucent plastic and are simply not designed to bear much weight. Even lower flat bed trailers, after winter storms, could present treacherous risks for slips and falls. OSHA regulations generally prohibit such well-intended but dangerous activities.

Posted Roads – Mud Season in Maine!

There are things in life you can count on like death, taxes, and if you live in Maine…posted roads. Mainers, especially those in the Trucking Industry, are quite familiar with the spring thaw and the necessity of the State and Towns to post roads during mud season. This article is a refresher of the posted road law to help our members comply.

Title 29-A MRSA §2395 gives Maine DOT the authority to restrict heavy loads on State and State Aid roads. Most municipalities adopt the State rule by reference, thus making the requirements the same for State and local roads. That is not the case in all towns, however, so you must obey the requirements of each town as posted.

Maine Adopts Age-Based Approach to Expanding Vaccine Eligibility
Office of Governor Janet T. Mills

In an effort to save lives and ensure that health care providers can efficiently and quickly vaccinate as many people as possible, Governor Janet Mills announced today (2/26/21) that Maine will adopt an age-based approach to expanding vaccine eligibility. As a result, beginning next Wednesday, March 3, 2021, Maine will expand eligibility for the vaccine to those 60 years and older.

The update to Maine’s vaccination strategy, decided in consultation with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, reflects recent scientific data indicating that age is among the strongest predictors of whether an individual is likely to get seriously ill and die from COVID-19, even more so than risk factors such as underlying medical conditions.

Maine lawmakers deadlock on federal aid control, taxes with key budget vote looming
Bangor Daily News

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Legislature’s budget committee agreed on Thursday to fully forgive state taxes on federal loans to small businesses, but the parties remain $32 million apart as Republicans withhold support for a spending plan requiring supermajorities to pass.

It means that Gov. Janet Mills’ short-term budget plan is in danger as lawmakers hurtle toward an initial round of votes during a pandemic-altered 2021 session at the Augusta Civic Center next week. For now, they run the risk of emerging with no deal before Tax Day on April 15.

Truckers Against Trafficking Hosts Addressing Demand Facebook Watch Party

Do you know what fuels sex trafficking? What creates the need for victims who can be exploited? It’s demand! Do you know what factors feed demand and how to control them? Join a Facebook Watch Party on Addressing Demand from 4-5 p.m. (PT) March 18, to watch Truckers Against Trafficking's informative video addressing the demand for commercial sex and how it relates to human trafficking. The video will be followed by an open discussion, moderated by Louie Greek, TAT training specialist, and Alan Smyth, executive director of Saving Innocence. Learn more about how men can play a critical role in bringing an end to human trafficking. To receive information and a link to participate in this upcoming event, please click on the graphic.
Biden Administration Withdraws Letter on Sleeper Berth Pay
Heavy Duty Trucking

A 2019 Department of Labor Opinion Letter clarifying whether truck drivers must be paid for time in the sleeper berth has been withdrawn by the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division under the Biden administration.

The Biden administration has reinstated two prior Opinion Letters that “opined on the existence of limits related to when and how much sleeper berth time can be non-compensable,” according to an alert from the transportation attorneys at Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary.

Under the guidance that has been reinstated, WHD interpreted the regulations to mean that while sleeping time “may be excluded from hours worked where ‘adequate facilities’ were furnished, only up to eight hours of sleeping time may be excluded in a trip 24 hours or longer, and no sleeping time may be excluded for trips under 24 hours.”

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.