Special Edition V55
Get Ready for the MMTA Virtual Annual Banquet and Safety Awards

Members have submitted their information. Professional drivers have been selected. Judges have met. Awards have been ordered. Now, the only thing left to do is to announce the winners.

Back in late July, we announced adjustments to the MMTA’s calendar of events due to the pandemic, including the cancellation of our January 7, 2021 Annual Banquet. Instead, we are putting together a “virtual” version of the event, complete with guest appearances and messages about our industry, our Association and our impressive professionals. That video will be posted on the MMTA’s YouTube channel sometime prior to January 7th and will serve as both the mechanism to announce the safety award winners as well as a celebration of the Maine trucking industry in 2020.

Once completed, we will send a link to view the video through this e-newsletter. If you are not already registered to receive it, or you know someone in your organization who would like to sign up, please go to https://www.mmta.com/mmta-e-mail-newsletter-registration/.
ATA Reports FMCSA Emergency Declaration Expansion and Extension

FMCSA has announced that they have expanded and extended the Emergency Declaration that was set to expire on December 31st. 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 September 11th modified and extended declaration. The primary change with this current declaration is the inclusion of vaccine transportation.

The expanded declaration published today 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 became effective at 12:00 A.M. December 1st, and expires on February 28th, 2021.

As with previous declarations, 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.
FMCSA Clarifies Ag Products That Qualify for Hours-of-Service Exemptions
Heavy Duty Trucking

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has published an interim final rule clarifying agricultural commodity and livestock definitions in hours-of-service regulations.

During harvesting and planting seasons as determined by each state, drivers transporting agricultural commodities, including livestock, are exempt from the HOS requirements from the source of the commodities to a location within a 150-air-mile radius from the source. In addition, the requirement for a 30-minute rest break does not apply to drivers transporting livestock in interstate commerce.

However, the agency found that the definition of those terms was not well-understood and enforced consistently when determining whether the HOS exemption applies.

The clarifications will primarily affect transporters of perishable horticultural commodities, non-processed food, and aquatic animals.

OSHA Offers Interim COVID Guidance For Specific Worker Groups and Their Employers

Members of the MMTA offer a variety of services to their customers, so we wanted to share a resource that has been published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Specifically, they provide information for specific worker groups and their employers who may have potential exposures to SARS-CoV-2. Guidance for each worker group generally follows the hierarchy of controls, including engineering controls, administrative controls, safe work practices, and PPE.

Here is a partial list of worker groups covered: construction, emergency response and public safety, in-home repair services, manufacturing and general retail operations.

For a full list of worker groups and to access the exposure guidelines, visit https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/controlprevention.html
Trucking Offered Measure of Stability in Diesel Revenue as Pandemic Caused Gas Tax Revenue to Tank
Transport Topics

As the coronavirus pandemic hit the nation with full force this spring, many people, some for the first time, appreciated truck drivers.

They paused to consider who was hauling the paper towels, hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray they had come to prize.

But in addition to essential supplies, truck drivers provided a service that is less tangible but no less important: boosting revenue for state transportation departments.

Good thing they did.

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.