Innovation key to Paine’s trash-hauling evolution

Excerpt from Hartford Business Journal article:

Mike Paine’s family trash business has always been ahead of its time. Looking for ways to be frugal at the start of the Great Depression, Paine’s grandfather Albert, a farmer, came up with an idea to collect garbage from two private schools.

In those days — before processed and pre-packaged groceries — food scraps made up most of the trash, so he brought the waste back to the family farm in Simsbury and fed it to the pigs.

Call it the ancestor of curbside recycling.

“The business has almost come full circle,” said Mike Paine, president of Paine’s Recycling and Rubbish Removal in East Granby. “Now we’re starting to talk about organics recycling, which is really what we were doing back then.”

Decades later, Paine’s, founded in 1929, would become the first trash company in New England to do automated collection and curbside recycling — practices that are now staples of the business.

Read the full article online.

Note from MTAC – Mike Paine serves on the MTAC Board of Directors and is a strong supporter of the association. Congratulations to Paine’s, Inc. for winning 1st Place in the 25-75 full-time employee category of the 2016 Connecticut Family Business Awards.

FMCSA to simplify process for veterans to get CDL

Excerpt from Transport Topics article:

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration last week announced its final rule intended to assist the transition of military personnel to civilian careers as truck drivers by simplifying the learner permit and driver license process.

The final rule extends the period of time for applying for a skills test waiver to one year from 90 days after leaving a military position that requires operating a commercial vehicle.

The rule also allows active-duty military personnel to apply for a commercial learner permit and commercial driver license from the state in which they are stationed, rather than just in their home state, the agency said.

The proposed regulatory changes were first recommended in a November 2013 report to Congress mandated by the 2012 MAP-21 law.

“Simplifying the process for military CMV drivers to obtain a civilian CDL is important because significant numbers of these drivers have the training and experience to transfer directly to civilian CDL jobs,” the report concluded. “Military CMV drivers can help to meet the driver shortages experienced by civilian employers.”

The rule was published in the Federal Register on Oct. 13.

States that choose to accept such applications must use forms and procedures acceptable to the state of domicile of the military personnel (their state of permanent residence or “home” state) and must transmit the test results electronically to the state of domicile, the agency said.

Read the full article from Transport Topics.

Route 11 project given a death notice

Excerpt from New London Day article:

After millions of dollars and decades of studies, design work, lobbying by local officials, debate over whether it’s needed and the impacts it would have, the proposal to extend Route 11 beyond its abrupt end in Salem is dead.

The official death notice came earlier this month in the Federal Register, where the Federal Highway Administration published an announcement that it was canceling plans to undertake an environmental impact study on the project.

The study would be required before federal funds could be spent to build the approximately eight miles of new highway connecting the existing Route 11 to the Interstate 95-395 intersection near the East Lyme-Waterford town line.

The project, estimated to cost $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion, would have been paid for with a combination of state and federal funds. About $12.7 million has been spent by the state Department of Transportation over the last two decades on studies, plans and preliminary design work on the Route 11 extension, DOT spokesman Judd Everhart said.

Construction on the existing 8.5-mile highway from Colchester to Salem stopped in 1979.

Doug Hecox, spokesman for the FHA, said Monday that the agency decided to publish the notice, effectively signaling the project is no longer under consideration, after months of inaction by the Connecticut Department of Transportation.

Read the full article online.

Service fee changes on Indiana UCR website

From Bob Pitcher, State Laws Newsletter.

Registration opened for the 2017 Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Agreement fee year on Oct. 1, 2016. Most carriers and other entities subject to UCR fees register and pay those fees through the national UCR website operated by the Indiana Department of Revenue.

Indiana has always charged a $3 fee per registration, which the state has used to fund its operation of the site, but this has now been eliminated since the UCR Board now reimburses Indiana its costs. On the other hand, the registration system will charge a new fee of 2.63 percent on registrations paid by business (as opposed to personal) credit cards.

The existing system fees for the use of debit cards (generally a flat $3.75), for personal credit cards (1.99 percent), and for e-checks ($1) all remain the same. (Indiana does not retain any of these fees; they go to the users’ service providers.)

Ss we noted before, the 2017 UCR fees themselves are unchanged from prior years.

Attend, exhibit & sponsor at MTAC Annual Meeting

BestPassThere is still time to participate in the 2016 MTAC Annual Meeting as an attendee, exhibitor, sponsor, or all of the above. Visit the MTAC website for more info. MTAC appreciates the newest Gold Sponsor, our vendor partner BestPass.

Additionally, MTAC member Cummins MetroPower will be a Silver Sponsor of the event.

Several other MTAC members and vendor partners have also generously agreed to sponsor the 2016 Annual Meeting. Sponsorship commitments to date are recognized on the MTAC website. Members should review the list of sponsors and be sure to thank them at the Annual Meeting.

Several members and vendor partners are exhibiting at the Annual Meeting, including Acadia Insurance, Gabrielli Trucks of Conn., Hine Brothers Inc., Gregory & Howe, New England Tractor Trailer Training School, New England Truck Sales and Service, Inc., TrucBrush Corporation, and W.B. Hill. Meeting attendees who visit every exhibit booth will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win a gift card to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.

As a reminder, MTAC is working with the Ferris Group to prepare for the Annual Meeting, so please return their outreach regarding sponsorships, exhibits, and program book ads.

Connecticut rest area buildings closing earlier

Excerpt from the Record Journal.

While rest areas in Southington and Wallingford will remain open for parking, the buildings are now closing earlier, to the dismay of some truck drivers.

In July, the state Department of Transportation announced six highway rest area buildings, including those in Southington and Wallingford, would be open on shortened schedules from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day beginning on Sept. 30. The shortened hours are expected to save the state about $2 million a year.

While building hours are shorter, motorists are still permitted to park at the rest areas at any time. In February, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposed closing the Southington and Willington rest areas on Interstate 84. The proposal did not pass.

The Southington rest area building has bathrooms and vending machines. Portable toilets were outside the building Tuesday.

Joe Sculley, president of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut, said the decision is “not ideal, but it’s better than other alternatives.”

“It was definitely better than what was initially proposed,” Sculley said. “The fact that they will all still be accessible for drivers to pull in, park, and sleep, that is definitely good that the DOT was able to work that out.”

Read the full article.

IRP issues audit guide

by Bob Pitcher, State Laws Newsletter

IRP, Inc., the repository for the International Registration Plan, has published the IRP Audit Reference and Best Practices Guide. The Guide is written primarily for state and provincial auditors who deal with IRP, but motor carriers, leasing companies, and service bureaus should also find it of interest, since it includes recommendations for auditors on how to go about their jobs.

It always helps to know what to expect, especially since IRP has recently updated and clarified its record-keeping and auditing rules. We had a chance to review the guide before it came out, and it’s clearly and fairly written and should be a help to government and industry alike.

You can find the guide online at the IRP website (Membership required.)

State economies ranked

From Bob Pitcher, State Law Newsletter

Governing magazine has come out with a ranking of the economies of the 50 states as they are today, on such factors as a state’s unemployment rate, the change in that rate over the last year, the state’s gross domestic product and the changes in that figure, and so forth.

The results are interesting, and seem – to us, at least – to indicate how strongly cycles in regional economies, especially how a region is recovering from the Great Recession, affect states within those regions. The top five state economies currently were found to be Massachusetts, Oregon, Delaware, Colorado, and California, and the bottom five West Virginia, Alaska, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Louisiana.

The troubles of energy-related industries seem to account for the bottom five here. Governing did a similar study three years ago, but finds that only a few states have remained in either the top or the bottom quintile. Oregon and Utah were in the top ten in both 2013 and 2016 and New Mexico, Louisiana, and Connecticut in the bottom ten.

The study can be found online at Governing.com.

New federal identification requirements for CDL

Effective Dec. 6, 2016, Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles will require proof of United States Citizenship, lawful permanent residence or temporary legal presence, along with proof of Connecticut residency for holders of commercial driver licenses and permits. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is mandating this requirement.

This does not apply to current U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents who already satisfied this paperwork requirement when obtaining a verified driver’s license that shows both a gold star and their CDL designation on it.

This does apply to:

  • New applicants for a commercial driver’s learner permit (CLP).
  • Existing commercial driver license (CDL) holders when renewing licenses beginning Dec. 6, 2016
  • All out-of-state CDL holders transferring to Connecticut.

Wait. There’s no need to rush to DMV. Wait for your renewal notice.

Read. When you get your CDL renewal notice, read it carefully and follow instructions.

Prepare. If necessary, gather your identity documents early to avoid delays.

This new requirement is in addition to all other CDL requirements (medical, knowledge and skills testing, etc.).

Paperwork Required:

Download the official document checklist here.

In general, this additional paperwork requirement includes:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of Social Security number
  • Proof of legal presence in the United States. Undocumented individuals will not be issued a CDL or CLP
  • Proof of Connecticut residence. Proof must be from two sources
  • Name change documents (if applicable)

Non-US Citizens

Non-US citizens must show proof of legal presence in the United States to be eligible for a CDL or CLP. If you are not a US citizen or lawful permanent resident (i.e. temporary visitor), your CLP or CDL document will have the words “Non-Domicile” on it and you will not be eligible for a hazmat endorsement.

View the original message on the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles website.

I-95 Waterford construction notification

The Connecticut Department of Transportation will be implementing extended lane closures for a bridge rehabilitation project on I-95 Southbound next week and the following week. Significant delays are expected. The details of the lane closures are as follows:

  • Location: Interstate 95 southbound over Oil Mill Road in the town of Waterford. Just south of Exit 80.
  • First Closure: I-95 SB high-speed lane closure will occur Monday, Oct. 10, at 8 p.m.through Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 6 a.m.
  • Second Closure: I-95 SB low-speed lane closure will occur Monday, Oct. 17 at 8 p.m. through Wednesday, Oct. 19, at 6 a.m.

Additional Info: No Columbus Day Closures

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) is announcing that in observance of the Columbus Day holiday weekend no closures on I-95, I-91, or Route 34 will occur for the I-95 New Haven Harbor Crossing Corridor Improvement Program.

From 6 a.m. Friday, Oct. 7 to Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 8 p.m., all travel lanes on I-95, I-91 and Route 34 will remain open to facilitate traffic flow during the holiday weekend.

Only work of an emergency nature will be considered.