Special Edition V.53 (September 2020)

The MMTA’s quarterly Board & Membership meetings will be held remotely via Zoom video conference on October 14, 2020 starting at 7:30am. In order to join the meeting, you will first have to register online and then instructions and a link unique to you will be emailed to you prior to the meeting. If you have any questions about registration, please contact Makala at the MMTA.

We hope this format will encourage additional participation and we look forward to seeing you on October 14th at 7:30am!
MMTA Celebrates National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

Given our industry’s essential role in delivering supplies and relief during this pandemic, MMTA felt is was more important then ever to recognize our amazing professional truckers. As a small token of appreciation, we handed out T-Shirts on separate days – at Dysart’s in Hermon and at the Kennebunk rest area. Here is the MMTA-designed graphic on the T-shirt:
We want to thank Dysart’s and the Maine Turnpike Authority for allowing us to safely interact with truck drivers during these two days. We also want to thank the American Trucking Associations for sending us their own NTDAW shirts and challenge coins that we were also able to hand out.
REMINDER: Hours-of-Service Changes to be Effective September 29, 2020

As reported earlier this year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced a Final Rule revising federal hours-of-service (HOS) requirements. FMCSA’s rule increases driver flexibilities and introduces modifications to the existing ruleset, including changes to the 30-minute break requirement, sleeper berth splits, adverse driving conditions, and revisions to the current short-haul exception. 

After being published in the Federal Register, the effective date is September 29, 2020 for the new rules. 

The following four changes have been incorporated into this Final Rule:
Short-Haul Operations  
  • Extends drivers’ maximum on-duty period from 12 to 14 hours;
  • Extends the air-mile radius within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.

Adverse Driving Conditions
  • Modifies the adverse driving conditions exception by extending, by 2 hours, the maximum on-duty window during which driving is permitted;

30-Minute Break
  • Requires a 30-minute break only when a driver has driven for a period of 8 hours without at least a 30-minute interruption. If required, the break may be satisfied by any non-driving period of 30 minutes, i.e. on-duty, off duty, or sleeper berth time.

Sleeper Berth Exception
  • Allows drivers to split their required 10-hours off duty into two periods: an 8 and 2 split or a 7 and 3 split, either off duty or in the sleeper berth;
  • Neither period counts against the driver’s 14-hour driving window.

ATA has produced an informative white paper on the changes that can be found here.
ATA Praises DOL Proposal Clarifying Status of Independent Contractors

Arlington, VA – The American Trucking Associations praised a proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Labor that would clarify the definition of employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act as it relates to independent contractors.

“Secretary Scalia understands that many Americans choose the independent contractor model — including hundreds of thousands of owner-operators in the trucking industry — because it expands their opportunities to earn and empowers them to choose the hours and routes that suit their individual needs and lifestyle,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “This proposal is about giving working Americans the freedom to pick the occupation and flexibility they desire, and we thank Secretary Scalia for putting it forward.”

In its announcement today, DOL stated the proposed rule:

  • Adopts an “economic reality” test to determine a worker’s status as an FLSA employee or an independent contractor. The test considers whether a worker is in business for himself or herself (independent contractor) or is economically dependent on a putative employer for work (employee);

FMCSA Announces Extension of CDL/CLP/Med Card Waivers

FMCSA has announced an extension of the CDL/CLP waiver that was set to expire on September 30th. This new waiver becomes effective on October 1, 2020 and expires on December 31, 2020**.

**NOTE: This waiver is a bit nuanced, so please read the specific provisions below, as the dates and applicability vary.

For CDL/CLP Drivers, the waiver will:

  • Extend until December 31, 2020, the maximum period of CDL validity for CDLs due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020;
  • Extend until December 31, 2020, 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 December 31, 2020, the requirement that CLP holders wait 14 days to take the CDL skills test;

Medical Requirements for CDL/CLP and non-CDL drivers:

  • This notice will waive, in accordance with the following periods of eligibility, the requirement that CDL holders, CLP holders, and non-CDL drivers have a medical examination and certification, provided that they have proof of a valid medical certification and any required medical variance that were issued for a period of 90 days or longer:

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.