Save the Date: MTAC Annual Meeting Oct. 29

Save the date for the MTAC’s 2020 Annual Meeting, which will be held on Thursday, Oct. 29 at Maneeley’s in South Windsor. The meeting – which will have a different format than in recent years – will take place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Please plan to join us for a great evening of networking with fellow MTAC members. The event will feature a reception (cash bar), appetizers, dinner, and raffle prizes.

Sponsorship opportunities will be available for this event. MTAC’s allied members may be particularly interested in supporting the event with a sponsorship, because it is a great way to get recognized by your fellow MTAC members and expand your network. Contact the MTAC office if you are interested in a sponsorship.

Registration will be announced later this summer. In the meantime, mark your calendars for Oct. 29, and contact MTAC if you have any questions.

FMCSA extends, modifies HOS Emergency Declaration

From Transport Topics.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extended and modified its emergency declaration for motor carriers that are providing direct assistance in support of coronavirus-related relief efforts.

The agency announced June 8 that the modified declaration will take effect June 15 and remain in place through July 14. This modification scales back some of the trucking operations that were covered under the earlier exemption, which previously was extended through June 14. The initial emergency declaration was issued March 13, and then expanded March 18.

Like its previous iterations, the declaration applies to all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It continues the exemption from Parts 390-399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which cover hours of service, parts and accessories needed for safe operation, and longer combination vehicles.

The modified emergency declaration allows regulatory relief for drivers providing direct assistance in support of emergency efforts related to the virus and is limited to transportation of:

  • Livestock and livestock feed.
  • Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.
  • 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.

See the complete article from Transport Topics online.

Message from Fleet Screen to Drug and Alcohol Testing Program participants

Please be advised that members of MTAC’s drug and alcohol testing program, which is administered by Fleet Screen, will be receiving the following message. Contact MTAC or Fleet Screen if you have any questions.

Dear Valued Client,

First and foremost, we want to send our best wishes for the health and well-being of you, your loved ones and your employees.

Over the course of the past year, FleetScreen has experienced a tremendous benefit in becoming part of the DISA family of companies. DISA has made significant investments in our company to enhance your client experience, reduce turnaround times, and expand our service offerings.

We wanted to provide an update regarding our business as we navigate through these unprecedented times as we strive to provide transparency and give insight into our path forward.

Some of these improvements are less visible, while others will be more transparent. This includes an upcoming move to DISA’s AWSI platform this summer. This transition improves our ability to provide superior customer service and adapt to our industry’s changing needs. We know you will find this new platform an asset that exceeds the demands of your day-to-day business.

Please note that during this integration, your participation in MTAC’s drug and alcohol testing consortium will continue as usual. If you have any questions regarding this change, please contact us directly.

Additional information about training and your new system login will be coming soon. We are excited to work with you throughout this transition and are eager for the future of our organization. Online training for our new system will be offered both live via a webinar as well as an on-demand recorded version and one on one assistance will always be available with a Fleet Screen or AWSI team member. Expect to hear more from our client service team soon regarding all of the details.

Please know that our company remains determined to provide the very best services available, for fair and reasonable prices and with the utmost attention to detail for customer service.

Thank you for your loyalty and ongoing support. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact your FleetScreen team member in the Fort Worth office for assistance at (817) 332-0044.

Free lunch for truckers on I-95

From the New London Day.

Whelen Engineering Inc., in partnership with the Connecticut Motor Transport Association and the state Department of Transportation, provided free lunch and masks to truckers at the Interstate 95 south rest stop in North Stonington.

Food was served by the Norwich-based Rustic StrEats food truck.

Precautions to prevent fraud

From MTAC partner Acadia Insurance.

Disruption in the world has created significant opportunity for fraud in many unimaginable ways. We encourage you to take additional steps to make certain that actions you take in connection with sharing information and making payments to third parties do not result in unintended consequences. Spoofing and phishing emails, amongst other strategies by fraudsters, are even more prevalent in an environment where so many of us are working remotely. Please be careful and take the extra time to fully and completely validate any such interactions you may have with third parties, particularly prior to making payments. Please note that this is for general information purposes only, and nothing herein is intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of professional consulting services.

Although there are unfortunately many ways during the COVID-19 pandemic for fraud and criminal activities, there are few common means of being victimized electronically. Common means of cyber fraud committed against individuals and organizations are through phishing, spoofing, and ransomware attacks.

See the complete post from Acadia Insurance online.

Wilson Elser to host Coronavirus webinars

From MTAC partner Wilson Elser.

Wilson Elser is committed to keeping our clients informed of the insurance and broader business implications of the coronavirus outbreak. In addition to the information and insights available to you via the firm’s Coronavirus Resource Center, we are offering a series of webinars on related topics for which we have been receiving an especially large number of inquiries.

Topic – Employers – FAQs

Date: Thursday, April 2 at 1 p.m. ET

Join Lisa Ackerman, Bruno Katz, Celena Mayo and Yoora Pak as they provide answers to questions posed by employers who are navigating the current business environment made uncertain by the constantly changing state and federal regulations and laws.

Register online for the Employers – FAQs webinar.

Topic – Employment Law Update

Date: Monday, April 13 at 1 p.m. ET

Employment & Labor practice co-chairs Steve Joffe and Dean Rocco provide an update in state and federal employment laws.

Register online for the Employment Law Update webinar.

Visit the Wilson Elser coronavirus resource website for access to additional webinars.

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.

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.

Supporters, opponents clash over proposed Connecticut tolls

From the Hartford Courant.

Numerous key questions remain, including which highways will have tolls, the locations, the price at each tolling location, the potential discounts for Connecticut drivers, and how much the fares would be reduced during off-peak hours.

No votes were taken Wednesday, and the committee is facing of deadline of March 23 to act on tolls.

Opponents submitted written testimony that questioned Malloy’s overall plan of installing tolls and increasing the state’s gasoline tax by 7 cents per gallon over four years.

Joseph R. Sculley, president of the state trucking association, said that the two-tier gasoline tax, including a gross receipts tax on petroleum, pushed the overall tax on gasoline in January to 39 cents per gallon. He added that Connecticut is different from other states.

“The fact is there is no comparison between the Mass Pike, for example, and interstate highways in Connecticut,’’ Sculley said. “The Mass. Pike was built with tolls. The tolls were not installed on the highway decades after the fact. All that the Mass. Pike did was simply swap toll booths for electronic tolls.’

See the full story from the Hartford Courant.