Special Edition V.54 (October 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 next week on October 14th at 7:30am!
Hours Of Service Changes Clarified – Change Does Not Impact Maine 100 Air Mile Exemption

The recent hours of service changes that were effective September 29, 2020 have caused a few misunderstandings, resulting in questions to MMTA. The intent of this article is to clarify the difference between the Maine 100 air mile rule and the new Federal 150 air mile rule.

It is important to note that the recent federal changes do not in any way change the MAINE 100 AIR MILE RULE that has long been afforded to drivers and motor carriers who operate in Maine and within 100 air miles of their normal work reporting location. In short, the Maine 100 air mile rule exempts motor carriers and drivers that operate within 100 air miles of their normal work reporting location (and do not further interstate commerce) from hours of service and from the medical card requirements found in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. These drivers may not drive when sick or fatigued, but are not required to keep a log book or ELD and do not require a medical card. This is due to the fact that Maine adopts the federal regulations with some state amendments, most notably in the area of hours of service and medical card requirements.

Janet Mills sets Nov. 2 bar reopening, loosens gathering limits as cold weather sets in
Bangor Daily News

Gov. Janet Mills said Tuesday that she has issued an executive order to move into a fourth stage of restarting Maine’s economy beginning next Tuesday, Oct. 13, expanded a face-covering mandate statewide and set a Nov. 2 reopening date for bars and tasting rooms.

Stage 4 increases limits on indoor seating in restaurants, churches and movie theaters to 50 percent capacity of permitted occupancy or 100 people, whichever is less, while maintaining many coronavirus-related health measures. The decision was made as cold weather sets in.

ATA's Costello: 'The recession is over'
Fleet Owner

“The recession is likely over.”

Bob Costello, the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) chief economist, delivered this promising, unofficial news to virtual attendants of the 2020 McLeod Software User Conference during a Sept. 30 presentation on the economy.

While the recession might be over, the U.S. economic landscape might forever be changed as the COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping consumer habits in a way that has benefited the trucking industry — unlike past recessions that hampered it.

The U.S. economy has seen two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth in 2020, which Costello said is the unofficial definition of a recession. The official declaration of recession is made by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a group of economists who decide when economic expansions or contractions officially began and end. A recession is based on four main indicators: industrial production, business sales, personal income, and nonfarm payrolls.

Employer's CPAP requirement doesn't create unsafe working condition 

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which oversees Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan, recently addressed a company's requirement that an employee with sleep apnea wear a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine at night. Recently, the Sixth Circuit determined that the employer’s requirement is a valid accommodation and did not create an unsafe working condition. Read key takeaways in this edition of Legal Comment.

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.