Free Training: Certified Logistics Technician Credential

goodwin-college-logGreat news! We have an opportunity to support another group of job seekers and current workers, seeking to upgrade their skills, in the Certified Logistics Technician (CLT) program at Goodwin College this fall.

We are reaching out to determine employer and potential participants’ interest in this program and credential. The CBIA Education Foundation, anticipates being able to offer this at no cost for eligible job seekers and at a subsidized cost of only $275 for employers who wish to refer entry-level incumbent workers.

cbia-education-foundation-logoImmediate Action Required: Contact Program Manager Debra Presbie at (860) 244-1932 and let her know if you have job-seekers or incumbent workers to refer to this training initiative. A decision to offer this program will be made by Aug. 7 in order to allow sufficient time for program recruitment.

The course would begin on Sept. 14 and will be offered in a hybrid format (combining classroom and online instruction) on alternate Monday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8:50 pm. After completion, students will earn two nationally recognized credentials from the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC.) Earning the CLT credential allows the award of three college credits to be applied toward an associate degree in Supply Chain and Logistics. Additional information specific to the program is listed below.

Download a PDF with the course information.

Certified Logistics Technician (CLT) Credential

workforce-solutions-logoThe CBIA Education Foundation received a grant from the Workforce Solutions Collaborative of Metro Hartford to support entry-level education/training and career development in the growing Transportation, Distribution and Logistics industry. Fifteen unemployed or underemployed residents of the greater Hartford area will be selected for the summer 2015 course at Goodwin College. Come learn about the CLT credential, program eligibility requirements, and application process.

BMM125-—The Certified Logistics Technician (CLT) Credential

3 CREDITS | Starts Monday, Sept. 14

Goodwin College’s three-credit Certified Logistics Technician (CLT) program covers nationally validated skills required for supply chain and logistics. The program is focused on training front line employees who work in factories, warehouses, transporters, and distribution centers. Students will be credentialed by the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) as a Certified Logistics Associate (CLA) and as a Certified Logistics Technician.

Certified Logistics Associate (CLA)

  • Global supply chain logistics life cycle
  • Logistics environment
  • Materials handling equipment
  • Safety principles
  • Safe material handling and equipment operation
  • Quality control principles
  • Workplace communications
  • Teamwork and workplace behavior to solve problems
  • Using computers

Certified Logistics Technician (CLT)

  • Product receiving
  • Product storage
  • Order processing
  • Packaging and shipment
  • Inventory control
  • Safe handling of hazmat materials
  • Evaluation of transportation modes
  • Dispatch and tracking
  • Measurements and metric conversions

Students who successfully complete the modules will earn their CLT credentials from MSSC. Earning the CLT credential allows the award of three college credits to be applied to an associate degree in Supply Chain and Logistics.

Hartford rest stop planned for truckers & motorists

Connecticut has a well-documented shortage of safe areas where truck drivers can get the mandated rest they require. Pride Convenience Inc. from Massachusetts is responding with a proposal to build a retail rest stop in Hartford’s North Meadows area, adjacent to I-91. The facility will include ample parking for trucks and cars, as well as fuel, a convenience store, fast food options and a 1,000-square-foot outdoor pet park.

The Hartford Business Journal provides some details on the facility and notes ground-breaking may happen as soon as September.

State transportation and private-trucking officials say the facility would be a much-needed, welcome solution to a statewide shortage of trucker rest areas.

Pride founder Robert “Bob” Bolduc said his company has purchased several land parcels from the city and private landowners, totaling about 6 ½ acres at the northeast corner of Jennings Road, at the I-91 interchange in the city’s North Meadows.

With the pulling of city building permits and state and federal environmental clearances to install underground fuel storage tanks underway, construction of the 16-pump travel center could begin sometime in September, Bolduc said. Opening is set for Independence Day 2016, staffed with 45 full- and part-time workers, mostly from Hartford, he said.

MTAC has regularly pointed out the paucity of areas where commercial motor vehicles are allowed to park and rest in Connecticut. Building a Hartford rest stop is a welcome development and we look forward to meeting the folks who are investing in this important and needed facility.

Don’t Overlook Job Descriptions for your Organization

Job descriptions are an essential component of any organization. Not only is it important that they are thorough and accurate when first crafted, it is also vital that they are kept up-to-date, as employee job functions may evolve.

Inaccurate or outdated job descriptions can also negatively affect recruiting and productivity, are a detriment to the employer-employee relationship and pose serious legal risks for the company.

Impact on Recruiting

When a recruiter is told to hire a new employee, he or she should have a clear idea of the type of person to hire—specifically which qualities, skills and experience to look for to yield a solid group of candidates. This can be gleaned from a detailed job description. Without one, the recruiter cannot hope to find a candidate that will match the manager’s expectations for the position.

On the applicant side, prospective employees need specific job descriptions to decide if the position is a good fit for their qualifications and their desired career. Well-written, accurate job descriptions will ensure that the most relevant, qualified candidates apply for the job.

Employer Expectations

Having a comprehensive job description creates a concrete set of expectations for the employer to communicate to the employee. The employee is aware of his or her responsibilities as outlined in the job description, so there is less confusion about job expectations. It can also serve as an evaluation tool for employers to measure job performance based on pre-defined job duties.

Legal Implications – the fine print

Perhaps most importantly, accurate and up-to-date job descriptions will limit company liability. Employees have successfully used job descriptions against former employers in recent litigation.

Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA): The FLSA defines exempt and non-exempt status—exempt employees are not subject to minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. This can be a serious liability if an employee began work under exempt status, but is now performing non-exempt work as well without an updated job description. The job description must make clear whether the employee is exempt or not and must be in line with the duties the employee is actually performing—failing to do so can leave companies vulnerable to lawsuits.

  • Exempt: The employee must be paid a salary (not an hourly fee) and perform duties defined as relatively high-level work in which the employee uses judgment and discretion on a regular basis. To be considered exempt, the employee’s primary duties must fit this classification.
  • Non-exempt: Any employee who is paid by the hour is non-exempt, and thus subject to minimum wage and overtime requirements.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The ADA stipulates that employers define the “essential functions” of a job, which are the basic duties that an employee must perform. An individual is only protected under the ADA if he or she is capable of performing the essential functions of a job, so it is vital that these functions are specified.

marty-sheaConcerned that your company may have a gap and be at risk? Members of the MTAC Insurance Program with Sinclair Risk & Financial Management have access to human resources management and other tools to help improve their business’s bottom line.

This article was written by Marty Shea, MTAC’s insurance program manager and vice president of Sales at Sinclair Risk & Financial Management. If your organization needs assistance with job descriptions, HR compliance documents or want to review your risk management program, you can contact Marty at (203) 284-3208.

Hartford I-84 Viaduct Replacement Project

The consultants working on the design of the I-84 viaduct replacement project are seeking input from the trucking industry. They are looking for volunteers from our industry to to provide input as they consider options.

There are three purposes for the roundtable:

  1. To begin the process of connecting with freight interests on the Hartford I-84 viaduct project.
  2. To brief attendees on the status of the project.
  3. To hear concerns and preferences with regard to both long-term solutions and construction process issues.

i-84-hartford-viaduct-projectThey propose to invite representatives from trucking, rail and airport freight interests. The program will begin with an orientation about the project and its status, followed by discussion and Q&A. It will be a “roundtable” format.

They would like to hold the roundtable at the Connecticut DOT headquarters in early fall (September or October) and would like 15-25 representatives, but a larger attendance can be accommodated. It is important our message and concerns be conveyed at this point in the process. When this project begins, we must be prepared for major dislocation and other problems for the next several years. The planners need to understand the real-world consequences of a project of this size and scope.

They have asked MTAC to assist by identifying and encouraging a wide spectrum of the industry to participate. Please contact MTAC via email or call (860) 520-4455 if you are interested in participating.

Understanding Overweight Violations

From time to time, the question comes up regarding how the State of Connecticut considers fines for overweight vehicles. The information provided below is an overview on how the monetary value of the fine is determined.

When a vehicle in Connecticut exceeds its Gross Vehicle Weight Rating or its weight exceeds the registered weight, the overweight (in pounds) is calculated as a percentage value over the allowable weight. Once the percentage is determined, enforcement officials compute a fine based on a sliding scale of $3 to $15 per each 100 pounds overweight. The fine is based on how great the percentage overweight is determines what dollar value per each 100 pounds will be used.

The calculated fine for each 100 pounds overweight is only part of the fine assessment. There are additional costs added to the fine, including a straight fee, a surcharge, and a S.T.F. charge. These add-ons can greatly increase the amount of the fine.

The easiest way to understand overweight fines is to review the worksheet published by the Connecticut Superior Court and distributed to law enforcement officers. Follow the 13 steps listed below, to calculate an overweight violation.

Overweight Violations Penalty Rates and Fine Calculation

This information published on Aug. 1, 2015 and subject to change. Review the Connecticut Mail-in Violations and Infraction Schedule publication [PDF] for current information. The following screen shot was taken from page 52, appendices E, F and G. You can also click here to see the page.



Trucking Moves America Forward

In 2014 alone, more than 80 percent of our nation’s freight was hauled by a truck. Whether the economy is chugging along or has hit a rough patch, trucking remains an integral part of our nation’s economy.

Trucking is a vital transportation link not only for domestic goods but international products as well. With more than 7-million jobs, our country relies on trucking to move the essential goods and products Americans have come to rely on.

Combined Transport – a family-owned and operated business whose roots run through 50 years of trucking in America – put together this video in support of Trucking Moves AmericaTrucks Move America Forward. We have a story. Share it!

Connecticut 2015 Legislative Session Review

The 2015 Connecticut legislative session was a busy year for the General Assembly and consequently at Motor Transport Association of Connecticut.

After being sworn in for his second term, Governor Malloy kicked open the doors of the State Capitol and began a very busy and historic session. After promising no tax increases, his budget eliminated exemptions and shifted money around between accounts and severely cut some agencies allocations. The Democrats “repaired” all the damage that the governor had done by restoring funding and increasing taxes on the same scale as Malloy’s $1.5 billion first budget. The governor signed it into law.

One of Malloy’s signature proposals was a commitment to repair, upgrade and expand Connecticut’s neglected transportation infrastructure. He offered a thirty-year, $100 billion program to make Connecticut a “first in class” transportation showplace. Included in his plan is the replacement of the Aetna Viaduct in Hartford, the Mixmaster in Waterbury, widening I-95 in Fairfield County, expanding all rail lines and services, creating more bus-ways, encouraging “transit oriented development” and putting $100 million into improved bike and pedestrian options.

It’s a bold plan. It’s an expensive plan. And it will take years to implement. However, the one thing missing from his plan is the financing to pay for it. He has appointed a Connecticut Transportation Financing Panel to come back in the Fall, perhaps in a special session, and to submit proposals to raise the money. The panel has met several times. It will consider everything from tolls to public/private partnership and bonding.

The governor did propose a “kick start” by convincing the legislature to take one percent of the 6.35% sales tax. He wants to use half of the money raised (in the hundreds of millions) to start some of his transportation projects and the other half percent to fund property tax relief for motor vehicles.

It was not a good session for businesses. Proposals for a unitary tax, tripling the tax on data processing equipment and delaying repeal of surcharges on corporate taxes brought some companies to the boiling point. Some, including General Electric, threatened to leave the state. Last minute compromises mollified some of the business interests but Connecticut continues to show up as a state in dire financial condition and unfriendly to business.

MTAC’s Top Priority Bill Passed

Our top legislative priority for the past two years, HB 6707 prohibits the “charge back” of increased unemployment compensation assessments against an individual motor carrier, who has to let a CDL driver go, because the driver was convicted of DUI in his car, off duty. It passed both houses overwhelmingly and the governor signed it into law on July 2. It becomes effective Oct. 1.

“Implementers”—Two Christmas Trees

As usual, the legislature did not finish all of its work by the constitutionally mandated adjournment date of June 3. The governor and the Democratic leadership then met and negotiated out a package of proposals that got all wrapped into two packages euphemistically referred to as “Budget Implementers.” These two bills include many proposals that had broad support but could not be acted upon by the end of the session. However, they also have included controversial bills from the previous session as well as new ideas that never showed up anywhere during the regular session. These well-ornamented “Christmas Trees” are passed by a majority vote after all floor amendments are defeated.

These bills are always hundreds of pages long and include many sections. This year, the implementers had some good and some bad news for MTAC members. The first is SB 1502, Public Act 15-5.

Section 165 – Quick Clearance Of Limited Access Highways In The State

MTAC opposed this bill, which was submitted by the Towers Association. It exempts, from liability for property damage, a wrecker operator who, at the direction of police or a traffic authority, removes a vehicle blocking a limited access highway travel lane. We don’t believe that anyone should be held harmless for damages that they cause to vehicles or cargo while providing a professional service.

This bill died in the regular session but it was slid into the back of a gigantic “budget implementer bill” in a one day special session. The Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), insurance interests and trial lawyers opposed the bill.

Sections 203, 204 & 206 – Conforming State CDL Law To Federal Law

Under federal law, state CDL laws must be consistent with federal regulations. The bill conforms state law to federal regulations regarding self-certification of commerce type and medical certification.

The bill requires first-time CDL and commercial instruction permit applicants and CDL applicants and CDL holders applying for renewal to self-certify the type of commerce in which they expect to or currently engage (i.e. non-excepted interstate, excepted interstate, non-excepted intrastate, or excepted intrastate). The DMV commissioner cannot issue or renew a CDL to anyone that does not make the certification and must downgrade a CDL to Class D operator’s license within 60 days of a CDL Holder’s failure to self-certify.

In conformity with federal law, the bill also requires that medical examiner’s certificates be completed by a federally certified medical examiner that is listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

Section 210 – Heavy Duty Trailer Registration Fee

The bill eliminates a separate method for determining the weight for the registration fee of a tractor limiting to pulling a heavy-duty trailer. Under the bill, registration fees for tractors that pull heavy-duty trailers will be determined in the same manner as the fees for all other tractor. This bill eliminated the requirement that heavy-duty plates be displayed along with a regular commercial plate.

Section 218 – Eliminating the Waiting Period for Duplicate Title

This section eliminates the requirement that the DMV commissioner wait 15 days before issuing a duplicate certificate of title.

The second implementer bill was HB 7061, Public Act 15-244.

Section 74 Sales Tax Diversion

The bill requires the Tax Commissioner to direct a portion of the 6.35% sales tax rate to the Special Transportation and the Municipal Revenue Sharing Account (MRSA). The percentage of the tax dedicated to each account increases from 4.7% in 2016 to 7.9% in 2017.

Section 91 & 92 Petroleum Products Gross Earnings Tax Revenue Transferred to Special Transportation Fund (STF)

91 – Current law requires a specified amount of petroleum products gross earnings tax revenue to be deposited in the STF each fiscal year. Beginning July 1, 2015, the bill instead directs all such revenue to the STF.

92 – Beginning in FY16, the bill eliminates statutorily scheduled transfers from the General Fund to the STF. Current law requires $152.8 million be transferred for FY16 and $162.8 million to be transferred in each fiscal year thereafter.

Sections 206 & 208 Motor Vehicle Property Tax Mill Rates

Beginning with the Oct. 1, 2015 grand list, the bill allows municipalities and special taxing districts to tax motor vehicles at a different rate than other taxable property, but caps the motor vehicle rate at 32 mils for the 2015 assessment year and 29.36 mills for the 2016 assessment year and thereafter. The bill applies to any town, city, borough, consolidated town and city, consolidated town and borough, and village, fire, sewer or combination fire and sewer districts, and other municipal organizations authorized to levy and collect taxes and supersedes any special act, municipal charter, or home rule ordinance.

The bill further limits the motor vehicle mill rate special taxing districts and boroughs may impose by barring them from setting a rate that, if combined with the municipality’s motor vehicle mill rate, would exceed the 32 or 29.36 mill rates.

It also makes a conforming change to a provision allowing municipalities with more than one taxing district to set a uniform citywide mill rate for taxing motor vehicles.

Section 207 and 209 Municipal Revenue Sharing Account (MRSA) Distributions

Beginning in FY17, the bill requires OPM to distribute motor vehicle property tax grants to municipalities to mitigate the revenue loss attributed to the motor vehicle mill rate cap described above. Under the bill, the FY17 grant is equal to the difference between the amount of property taxes a municipality levied on motor vehicles for the 2013 assessment year and the amount of the levy for that year at 32 mills. In FY18 and thereafter, the grant is equal to such difference based on 29.6 mills.

This effectively eliminates the property tax for all vehicles above the mill rates established in this law. Trucks registered in Hartford will have their mill rate decrease from 74 mills to 32 mills and then to 29.6 mills. The mill rate for trucks registered in any larger community in the state is likely to decrease. Connecticut mill rates are available on the state’s Office & Policy Management website.

Other Bills of Interest

MTAC supported several resolutions to establish Constitutional protection for the Special Transportation Fund to prohibit future raids. The bill passed three committees, but was not taken up in either house. It is anticipated that some sort of “Lock-Box” proposal will be advanced in the special session this fall.

Perhaps this session will be remembered more for what did not happen than that which did.

  • No Tolls
  • No Red Light Cameras
  • No Speed Cameras
  • No expansion on – No Thru-Truck Prohibitions.
  • No further toying with House Hold Goods Laws

Some of the things that did not happen would have been welcome.

  • Sales Tax Exemption on Truck Parts and Service
  • Action on corrosive road chemicals
  • Diversion of STF Funds to State Park Support
  • Capping of the Diesel Fuel Tax Rate

Stay tuned for much more legislative action as the General Assembly and the governor work on Malloy’s 30-year, $100 billion dollar transportation plan in September.

Riley Honored by State Trucking Association Managers

mike-riley-awardsMTAC President Mike Riley – who will retire in January after 29 years of service to the association – received special recognition from his colleagues at their annual meeting in Florida, in early July.

The American Trucking Associations’ Trucking Associations Executive Council (TAEC) presented him with the first annual TAEC Chairman’s Award of Excellence. In remarks introducing Riley, Ed Crowell, president and CEO of the Georgia Motor Trucking Association, and Chairman of TAEC, praised Riley for his long years of service to the industry and his leadership.

TAEC Region 1 executives also recognized Riley upon his retirement. Bob Sculley, president of the New Hampshire Trucking Association presented Riley with a crystal decanter etched with the TAEC logo and the names of all the 10 states in Region 1.

Riley thanked his colleagues for the friendship and all that he had learned from them and told them that he would sorely miss the annual opportunity to interact with his peers from around the country.

FMCSA exemption from HOS 30-minute rest requirement

The recently released Federal Register announcement from FMCSA grants specialized carriers an exemption from the hours of service 30-minute rest requirement. Review the notice dated June 18, 2015 – [PDF] (Dock No. FMCSA-2014-0420 starts in the middle column.)

Carriers transporting over-dimension, permitted loads, will not be required to take the 30-minute rest break required of other CDL drivers. The two year exemption goes into effect today. Additionally, the “buzz” in Washington is FMCSA is expected to issue a similar announcement tomorrow for bee keepers. No, that is not a joke.

The summary in the Federal Register reads as follows:

FMCSA announces its decision to grant the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) an exemption from the minimum 30- minute rest break provision of the Agency’s hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The exemption enables all specialized carriers and drivers responsible for the transportation of loads that exceed normal weight and dimensional limits— oversize/overweight (OS/OW) loads— and require a permit issued by a government authority, to be exempt from the 30-minute rest break provision in 49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii).

FMCSA has analyzed the exemption application and the public comments and has determined that the exemption, subject to the terms and conditions imposed, will achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption.

DATES: The exemption is effective June 18, 2015 and expires on June 18, 2017.

General Assembly passes MTAC’s highest legislative priority

Connecticut House Bill No 6707 (Partial Version) [PDF] – An act concerning the loss of an operator license due to a drug or alcohol testing program and unemployment benefits. To prevent an employer’s base period account from being charged for unemployment benefits if the claimant has been discharged or suspended because the claimant lost his or her operator license as a result of failing a drug or alcohol testing program while off duty.

Now awaiting the governor’s signature, this bill will address an inequity in state law that kicks in when a truck driver looses his commercial drivers license as a result of a conviction of a DUI in an automobile. Under current law, even though the separation was not voluntary, disciplinary or for lack of work, the Department of Labor treats this circumstance as a layoff. This results in employers’ unemployment compensation assessments being increased, even though the separation was required by law.

HB 6707 prohibits the employers’ unemployment compensation rate from increasing as a result of this situation occurring. After being signed by Gov. Malloy, it will become effective on Oct. 1, 2015. You can read the entire bill at the State of Connecticut’s website.