Update: Overweight divisible load permits for transportation of emergency relief supplies

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) has clarified with MTAC the cost and duration of permits for overweight divisible load permits for the transportation of emergency relief supplies.

A monthly permit may be granted by ConnDOT for $100 per month. It is on a per-truck basis, as fleet permits are not available. This permit is based on a calendar month, i.e. the 1st through the 31st of the month. For applicants who are granted a monthly permit between now and the end of the month, ConnDOT will exclude the rest of this month in the fee calculation.

A single trip (including one-way or round trip) permit may also be granted for $35.

View MTAC’s original post about the new permit, including how to apply for it.

FMCSA logo

FMCSA grants limited exemptions for expired CDLs, medical cards

From Transport Topics.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on March 24 issued a formal notice that it will not take enforcement action for certain expired commercial driver licenses, learner permits and medical certifications through June 30.

“Many States are experiencing greater than normal employee absences or have closed offices of their state driver licensing agencies in response to the guidance from the U.S. Center for Disease Control to use social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” the policy statement said. “Because of these actions, many commercial motor vehicle drivers are unable to renew their driver’s license and are unable to provide medical certificates to their state driver licensing agencies.”

In addition, many medical providers nationwide have canceled regularly scheduled appointments to dedicate resources to the COVID-19 response or for related reasons, and drivers are unable to obtain appointments for physical examinations with medical examiners to comply with FMCSA regulations, the agency said.

See the complete article from Transport Topics online.

Note: The Connecticut DMV has issued a 90-day extension for credentials (including CDLs, registrations, IRP registrations) expiring between March 10 and June 8, 2020. DMV has also indicated to MTAC that they will seek to adopt the guidance from FMCSA regarding medical certifications, meaning that a driver will not face enforcement action for an expired medical card as long as it expired on or after March 1, 2020.

See this DMV website for more information.

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FMCSA COVID-19 drug and alcohol testing guidance

From FMCSA.

To help ensure the safety and well-being of everyone, while also ensuring that we continue to meet our mission, we are providing the following guidance in effect until May 30, 2020 (90 days from the date proclaimed as the beginning of the national emergency in the President’s Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak), unless the national emergency is extended beyond that date.

Please click on this link to access information, provided by DOT’s Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy Compliance (ODAPC), about the impact of the COVID-19 national emergency on DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements for employers, employees, and service agents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations provide reasonable flexibility to motor carrier employers and their drivers subject to testing under 49 CFR part 382 to address the COVID-19 national emergency. FMCSA is aware that, as described in ODAPC’s guidance, disruptions caused by the COVID-19 national emergency are interfering with, and in some cases, may be preventing, employer and driver compliance with current drug and alcohol testing requirements. In addition to the guidance provided by ODAPC, see below for further information specifically related to FMCSA’s testing requirements.

The complete post from FMCSA, including their recommended actions for FMCSA-regulated employers unable to conduct tests, is available online.

Note to MTAC’s Fleet Screen participants

If you are a participant of MTAC’s drug and alcohol testing program which is administered by Fleet Screen, and are having problems completing tests, you need to contact Fleet Screen immediately. Fleet Screen will work with participants to ensure full compliance for members who are in the MTAC program.

FMCSA logo

FAQs related to FMCSA Emergency Declaration Part 2: March 25

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has released a second set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding their emergency declaration, which primarily dealt with an Hours of Service (HOS) waiver for the transportation of supplies in response to the public health emergency.

Members may also be interested in a higher-level page from FMCSA regarding response to the public health emergency.

State launches no-interest small business recovery loans

From CBIA.

The state is offering short-term, no-interest bridge loans up to $75,000 to small businesses with less than 100 employees impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program funding is available immediately through the Department of Economic and Community Development and underwritten by Connecticut Innovations.

Funds from the $25 million short-term emergency loan program will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Eligibility Requirements

  • To be considered for this program, a business or nonprofit must:
  • Have no more than 100 employees
  • Be in good standing with the Department of Revenue Services and DECD
  • Profitable prior to March 10, 2020—with no adverse personal credit reports 60 days past due the past six months
  • Not involved in real estate, multi-level marketing, adult entertainment, cannabis, or firearms
  • Not a state elected public official or state employee

Terms and Conditions

  • Loan maximum of (a) $75,000 or (b) three months operating expenses, whichever is less
  • 0% interest rate
  • 12-month term, with six-month extension available per request
  • Freely pre-payable
  • Working capital loan
  • Personal guarantee and credit score required

The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) is accepting loan applications online.

Truckers continue to deliver critical supplies during pandemic

From NBC Connecticut.

MTAC President Joe Sculley is featured in this report from NBC Connecticut. Click here to view an archived version of the video which aired on March 25, 2020.

How truckers are keeping shelves stocked and packages delivered amid outbreak

From NBC’s Today Show.

The nation’s 3 million truck drivers are unsung heroes of the coronavirus, working overtime to keep the critical supply chain moving. NBC’s Sam Brock reports for TODAY from Houston.

Click here to see the archived video report.

Tips for the trucking industry to stay healthy and safe

During this public health emergency, the trucking industry is considered “essential” and may continue to operate during Governor Lamont’s “stay at home” Executive Order. While the industry is working, we must do everything possible to protect the health and safety of member employees. Accordingly, MTAC is sharing some practices being used by members to maximize the health and safety of not only drivers, but all employees.

Members may consider the following:

  • Implore employees to stay home if sick
  • If employees have symptoms such as fever or respiratory issues, require them to seek medical evaluation immediately
  • If any drivers develop symptoms, deep clean their truck extensively with a cleaner utilizing personal protective equipment
  • Ensure drivers are getting the rest they need to maintain their own health
  • Distribute anti-bacterial wipes to each driver to carry with them to wipe their cabs, equipment, door handles, and trailer handles regularly
  • Ask drivers to stay in their truck as much as possible while on the job
  • Suggest drivers bring their own lunch, coffee, etc. to refrain from stopping at stores in order to minimize exposure
  • Encourage drivers to stay six feet away from others when they make store deliveries, if possible
  • Ask customers to eliminate the need for physical signatures whenever possible
  • If a signature is required, drivers should use their own pens for signing, not share a pen
  • Drivers should wear gloves as much as possible, i.e. at fuel pumps, while making deliveries, etc.
  • Clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces
  • Have dispatchers wear gloves when receiving and processing paperwork
  • Sanitize e-jacks and trailer doors on a continual basis
  • Clean interior bay doors and related equipment/buttons on a continual basis

Best wishes to all MTAC members during these difficult times.