October 13, 2014: MCM Weekly Newsletter

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Oct 14     Share The Road Billings 
                 West High School 
                 4:00pm - 5:00pm 
Oct 21     Missoula Chapter Safety Meeting 
                 12:00pm - 1:00pm, Jokers Wild 
                 Topic: Diesel Mechanic Experience at National SuperTech Event 
                 Speaker:  Tyrel Munday, Diesel Mechanic, MT Peterbilt

Oct 22     Transportation After Hours
                Northern Hotel, Billings
                5:30pm - 7:00pm   

Nov 12     Billings Chapter Safety Meeting
                 Location & Topic TBA
                 Speaker:  Bruce Holmes, FMCSA District Administrator           
MCM Reminds Its Members to Get Out to Vote
Every election is important and an opportunity to help keep America on the right track. The power of one vote is enormous, and you can make the difference.


Register to Vote

Deadlines to register to vote are quickly approaching in many states. Are you and your family members registered? Registering is easy and takes only a few minutes. For information on voter registration, including deadlines, instructions and forms, visit Montana Secretary of State voter page for more information sos.mt.gov/Elections/index.asp


Early and Absentee Voting

Think November 4 is the only Election Day? Not if you vote early or by absentee ballot! If you won't be able to go to the polls on Election Day, you may be eligible to vote early in person, depending on the state you live in. Early voting is already underway in many states. Absentee voting by mail is also an easy and flexible way to vote, but you must request an absentee ballot before the deadline in your state.


Don't be silent this election year, be a part of our democracy and make your voice heard - VOTE! 

Safety Corner
It's surprising to think just how much we rely on our phones to conduct business these days. Think about where we would be without them. However, the availability of technology at our fingertips is not worth the hazards created when using them while driving. It takes an estimated five seconds for one to read a text message. That is five seconds that one's eyes are not dedicated to the task of driving. While traveling at 55 mph, that is enough time to travel the length of a football field. Take the pledge to drive phone-free today!




Wanted Carrier to Move Historic Firetruck from Libby to Border Town, New Jersey

My name is Tom Wood, I am chief of Libby Volunteer Fire Department in Libby, MT.  We have a 1917 American LaFrance fire truck that made its way to Montana back in the 50's.  We have done some research and found that the original home of this truck was Border Town, New Jersey.  We have been in contact with the fire department there and they would love to have this unit for their museum.  The original fire department had three units.  They have found two of them and have them restored and in the museum.  Now that they have found the third unit they would love to make the three of them a display for all to see.  We are willing to give the truck to them but it needs to get hauled there.  We are both very small town volunteer fire departments and don't have any funds to make this happen.  I am writing to ask you if you have any ideas that might help us get the truck back to its home.  Someone mentioned that sometimes truckers have deadhead backhauls or something like that and they may be able to work out a way to haul this back for little or no money.  If that is true, how would we find out anything about this?  If we can make this happen, I am sure we can get some very good news stories out on this and get some good PR for the trucking company and or your association.  Please let me know if you have any ideas or contacts that you can give me.  I am attaching a photo of the old gal for you to look at.  It is my understanding that there was only ten of these units built and they had found nine of them and now this makes the full ten with whereabouts known.  Thanks for any help you may be able to provide.  Tom Wood, Chief   LVFD


Contact Tom Wood at :



P.O. Box 1546
Libby, MT  59923. 





IRS Per Diem Allowance Stays at $59
The federal Internal Revenue Service has announced that the per diem allowance for meals and incidental for truck drivers and other transportation workers away from home on travel for work will remain at $59 for next year, the same level it has been for some time now.  IRS Notice 2014-57, issued September 2014  (IRS has not yet released the mileage reimbursement rates for 2015.  When it does, we'll let you know).


Also remember to check with your own accounting professional as Montana rate is different than the Federal rate and may become taxable to you or the driver.

New ATA Chairman from N.C. Trucking Company

The American Trucking Associations board of directors elected Duane Long as the federation's 70th chairman. Long is the chairman of Longistics, a full-service provider of global logistics solutions based in Raleigh, N.C.

"I am honored that my fellow ATA members have shown tremendous faith in me to trust me with such a remarkable opportunity," said Long. "Our industry and our association are both poised for great things in the coming years and I'm humbled to have been chosen to lead ATA through this time."

Long replaces
Phil Byrd, the president of Bulldog Highway Express in Charleston, S.C.

Long started his trucking company in 1984 with his wife Pat and has served on multiple committees during the past 15 years. He co-founded the North Carolina Trucking Association in 1994 and was a chairman of the board of directors.

"I have great faith in Duane and tremendous confidence that he will be an outstanding chairman," said Bill Graves, president and CEO of the ATA. "His energy and enthusiasm will serve the ATA and our industry very well this year."


CMCA Action Alert - Need Your Help
MCM members who use these routes should contact Colorado Governor.

We discovered last week that CDOT had informed the resort groups and ski areas along I-70 in the Colorado mountains that they would be implementing a strategy to "Halt commercial vehicles from using the I-70 corridor during adverse weather events."  "Adverse weather" is the norm for I-70 for much of the time in the winter. 
In effect CDOT could arbitrarily block commercial vehicles from using I-70 almost at any time in the winter.While our industry, its drivers, and our customers would be the most-affected by this action, there was no discussion, no prior information provided, no input sought nor even notification.  We only became aware of this strategy by obtaining an email that was sent to the resort areas and ski industry by CDOT.  

Please note that the ski areas, some lodging groups, and mountain resorts had been pressing for a ban of truck traffic during weekend peak periods in winter and this strategy appears to be one to placate that group. 

CDOT is moving forward with this strategy with little consideration of the impacts on our businesses and customers, and more importantly the safety and welfare of our drivers. 

We have asked the Governor and CDOT to rescind the proposed strategy immediately.  In a letter to the Governor we reminded him of his pledge to Colorado that his administration was committed to openness, transparency, and inclusiveness of businesses and people who may be affected.  In the case of this strategy, it fails on all of those principles.

We believe that the only way this strategy can be reversed, is if key decision makers hear from you.   


We are asking you to go to:

http://capitolcontact.com/layout3.php?url=649-6Ms4ULzm2KRZqoSb and send an email to Colorado legislators and the Governor and ask that they rescind this ill-conceived strategy.  In addition we encourage you to call the Governor's Office at (303) 866-2471 and tell them that you don't support CDOT's Holding of Trucks on I-70 and indicate the impact of it on you.  We also encourage you to share the link, shown above, with others who may be concerned by this action.


Click to send the Governor your opinion


Hours-Of-Service Rules Back As Top Concern in annual Trucking Industry Survey

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the trucking industry's not-for-profit research institute, today unveiled its list of the top ten critical issues facing the North American trucking industry.


Operational impacts being experienced across the supply chain from the changes to the Hours-of-Service (HOS) rules that went into effect in 2013 once again propelled the HOS rules to the top of the list in ATRI's annual survey of more than 4,000 trucking industry stakeholders.  The complete results were released at the 2014 Management Conference and Exhibition of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) meeting in San Diego, CA, the nation's largest gathering of motor carrier executives.  The ATRI Top Industry Issues report also solicited and tabulated specific strategies for addressing each issue.


Coming in a close second to the HOS rules in terms of industry concern is the growing driver shortage, which replaced the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program as the number two issue.  However, a number of challenges still exist with CSA, which ranked third overall on the 2014 list.  


Related to the driver shortage, driver retention moved to fourth place from seventh place in 2013 as trucking fleets work to retain their most experienced and qualified drivers. Finally, industry concern over the timing and specifics of the pending FMCSA Final Rule on electronic logging devices (ELDs) caused this issue to round out the top five industry issues of 2014. 


The state of the nation's economy, which first appeared on the top industry list in 2008 and held the number one spot for three years in a row (2009-2011), dropped to number nine on this year's list.  The 2014 list also has a first-time issue, Driver Distraction, which debuted in 10th place amid industry concern over the safety impacts of car driver use of cell phones while driving.


The ATA-commissioned survey results and proposed strategies will be utilized by the ATA Federation to better focus its advocacy role on behalf of the U.S. trucking industry and ATA Federation stakeholders.


"ATRI's annual survey of top industry issues gives us direct insight in to all of the complex forces affecting motor carriers and drivers so that we can plan accordingly, and focus on running a safe and profitable industry," said ATA chairman Phil Byrd, President/CEO, Bulldog Hiway Express, Charleston, SC.


"As we all know, the trucking industry constantly faces changes and challenges to how we operate safely and efficiently," ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. "However, our industry has always responded to these issues with determination and ATRI's work gives us the information to decide where to focus our energies first and foremost."


ATRI is the trucking industry's 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization.  It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation's essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.  A copy of the survey results is available from ATRI at www.atri-online.org.



Transportation After Hours Billings

Governor's Safety Achievement Award Nominees    

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The WorkSafeMT Governor's Safety Achievement Award recognizes Montana employers that are committed to safety in the workplace.  Through their commitment to safety, these employers are not only creating a safet place to work; they are reducing their workers' comp rate making them leader's in their industry.

Instructions for Nominations:
The WorksafeMT Governor's Safety Achievement Awards recognize and celebrate Montana employers for safety excellence and leadership. These employers model workplace safety practices and procedures that help keep employees safe from workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths. They are role models for other Montana employers.

We encourage you to nominate a Montana employer for this award.

Basic eligibility requirements include:

  • Better than (industry) average e-mod and/or evidence of total recordable incident rate below industry average for the last 3 years if employer does not have an e-mod.
  • Demonstration of excellence in implementing the Montana Safety Culture Act (MSCA). http/erd.dli.mt.gov/safety-health/montana-safety-culture-act/montana-safety-culture-act
  • Electronic submission of a completed WorkSafeMT Governor's Safety Achievement Award Nomination form; and narratives describing implementation of Montana Safety Culture Act and other application documentation/materials in PDF format.

Deadline for submitting nominations for the next round of awards is October 31, 2014.



Download Nomination Instructions

Multiple winners may be selected so nominators are encouraged to submit applications to meet the published deadlines for the SafetyFestMT event closest to the employer's workplace.

submit completed applications to exdir@worksafemt.com 

Download Nomination Form


Email application documents in PDF format to: 


Copyright 2014 Montana Department of Labor and Industry Employment Relations Division, All rights reserved.

You have received this email because you have previously attended SafetyFestMT events or have expressed interest in receiving information concerning WorkSafeMT.    


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Montana Department of Labor and Industry Employment Relations Division

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Helena, Mt 59601









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