October 20, 2014: MCM Weekly Newsletter

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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           
Safety Corner

Safety isn't just our responsibility while at work. It is also important that we take it home with us. A critical piece of equipment that just may save your life is a working smoke alarm. Sure they can produce an annoying wake-up call in the middle of the night when their batteries run low, but they may also be your only warning during a house fire. Here are a few facts about smoke alarms.

    • When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because the batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead.
    • Almost 60% of reported house fire deaths between 2007 and 2011 resulted from fires in homes with no working smoke alarms.
    • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a house fire in half.

Remember, working smoke alarms save lives! Test yours every month!


Contact Jake Sandau at jake@mttrucking.org for more information. Source: http://www.nfpa.org.


Wanted Carrier to Move Historic Firetruck from Libby

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



Missoula County Members

MCM members in Missoula this would be an excellent chance for Missoula area trucking company to be involved in transportation planning and air quality issues in Missoula. See application attached at bottom if interested. We are especially interested in topics such as idling that may go outside of what is normal around the country.


Do inversions, forest fire smoke, or road dust concern you? Volunteers are needed! Missoula County residents interested in improving air quality are invited to apply for membership on the Missoula City-County Air Quality Advisory Council.  The Council currently has openings for alternates.  Alternates vote during meetings when there are not enough members present to form a quorum.  Alternates also provide their voice and extra insight during Council discussions. The application deadline is 5 p.m. on Friday October 31, 2014.  Applications and more information are available at www.co.missoula.mt.us/EnvHealth or by contacting Sarah Coefield at 258-3642 or scoefield@co.missoula.mt.us.


Small time commitment, big impact. The all-volunteer Council meets the first Tuesday evening of each month and advises the Missoula City-County Air Pollution Control Board on a broad range of air quality topics including transportation, industrial sources, outdoor burning, road dust, wildfire smoke, and wood stoves. 


Anyone who is a Missoula County resident with a strong interest in air quality and who is willing to attend meetings regularly is encouraged to apply. 



Please share this information with anyone you know who may be interested. 


Sarah Coefield, M.S., M.A.

Air Quality Specialist

Missoula City-County Health Department

301 W. Alder

Missoula, MT 59802

Phone (406) 258-3642


Congressmen Air Concerns About Sleep Apnea Training
Two congressmen have told the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that some of the  organizations providing sleep apnea training to medical examiners are teaching the wrong material.

President Obama last year signed a law requiring the agency to write a rule covering sleep disorders, rather than handling them through guidance to medical examiners.

But Reps. Larry Bucshon, R-Ind., and Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., who wrote the law, now, say some trainers are giving medical examiners incorrect information.

In an October 2 letter to acting FMCSA chief Scott Darling, Bucshon and Lipinski said the agency should tell it's approved training organizations that they should not follow any specific steps with respect to sleep apnea testing and treatment.

"Specific steps means that they are not to follow the specific steps in the training materials or provide guidance in the absence of a rulemaking," said Lipinski spokesman Isaac Sancken in response to an email query.

The congressmen said the agency may not be involved with the curriculum, but they are troubled that the training organizations are listed on the FMCSA web site.

They want the agency to tell the trainers to remove from their materials any references to recommendations by the Medical Review Board, the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee and the agency itself.

That information is available online but it is not supposed to be on the formal medical guidance for examiners
Bucshon and Lipinski also want the agency to tell examiners who have already been trained to correct their practices.

"It is imperative that FMCSA address these issues as soon as possible," they said. "These faulty training courses are keeping qualified drivers off the road."

The congressmen also want the agency to say when it will start the sleep apnea rulemaking.

This situation arises from concern in the industry about the agency's former plan to address sleep apnea by beefing up its long-standing guidance to medical examiners.

The agency traditionally relied on guidance to make sure that examiners can spot drivers who may have a sleep disorder. In recent years, as doctors and medical researchers learned more about sleep disorders, the agency's initial reaction was to pass that information on to examiners by strengthening its guidance.

But trucking interests were concerned about that approach because it would not give employers a clear enough statement of their legal responsibilities.

The solution was to write a rule that will cover not just the newest understanding of sleep disorders but also the full impact of such a rule, including costs and benefits. American Trucking Associations has estimated that the rule will cost $1 billion a year.The agency has said it intends to write the rule but has not yet posted a schedule. 

Regulatory Update

Between now and the end of next summer, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration projects it will publish at least five proposed or final rules to either change existing or add new regulations to the industry, according to a monthly Department of Transportation report.


The agency's Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to increase the amount of liability insurance carriers must have is still projected to be published this month. The rule made its way to the White House's Office of Management and Budget Sept. 29, and it is expected to clear the OMB any day. The DOT report projects its clearance for Oct. 12, but the rule still hasn't cleared. The DOT lists a projected publication date of Oct. 22.


Proposed rules to implement the agency's Safety Fitness Determination carrier scoring plan is also expected to be published in the first quarter of 2015, along with a rule to mandate the use of speed limiters on Class 8 trucks.


The DOT projects the speed limiter rule to be published in January and the Safety Fitness rule to be published in March. The speed limiter rule should be sent to the OMB this month, the report says. The projected date was Oct. 9. The Safety Fitness Determination rule is projected to hit the OMB in December and to be cleared there in early March, two weeks prior to the March 11 projected publication date. FMCSA's Chief Safety Officer Jack Van Steenburg says the agency is shooting for a publication date of sometime within the 2015 fiscal year (by Oct. 1, 2015).


The agency also has on the docket for upcoming months publication of a Final Rule to implement a CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which would be a database of drivers who have failed or refused to take a drug or alcohol test. Carriers would be required to both query the database when making hires and upload drug testing information. The Final Rule is expected to be sent to the OMB in June and cleared and published in September, according to the report.


Also, Final Rules to mandate electronic logging devices and prohibit coercion of drivers are also expected within the next year, though no projected dates for those are listed in the department's report.


The proposed ELD mandate rule was published in late March, and the anti-coercion rule was published in May.


Other rulemakings in the report include FMCSA's work on a new entrant training and testing process , which does not have any projected action dates listed; a rule to make it easier for military members to obtain a CDL, projected for publication next May; and a rule to require Transportation Security Administration background checks on hazmat haulers, which has no projected action dates.



ATA Calls Results Misleading

A new poll commissioned by a coalition of highway safety groups found that 80% of Americans believe Congress should not raise the number of hours a truck driver can be on the road to 82 hours from 70.


American Trucking Associations called the results "misleading," while Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called them a "game changer" that shows the public understands "too many hours on the road" leads to crashes.


Blumenthal and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) have introduced a bill to strip a rider from a spending bill that would suspend for one year the 34-hour restart provision in the hours-of-service rule pending a study on the restart's effect.


Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced the restart rider, which is backed by the trucking industry but opposed by the Teamsters union, the Truck Safety Coalition and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, who commissioned the poll.


Under the 2013 HOS rule, drivers are effectively limited to a five-day, 70-hour workweek because they're required to rest on two consecutive days between midnight and 5 a.m.


Blumenthal said the poll shows that Americans understand the safety and work issues involved in the restart debate and "will hold accountable elected officials who dilute or dissolve this measure now on the books and, let's be very clear, the threat here is to roll back and reverse progress already made."


Joan Claybrook, chairwoman of the Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, and a former administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, echoed Blumenthal's comments.


"These are startling survey results and with elections around the corner, I hope that the politicians will pay attention to these numbers," she said.


Claybrook and Blumenthal said, however, they agree with a recent poll commissioned by American Trucking Associations that found most Americans believe truck drivers are safer than passenger car drivers.


"The results of a misleading push poll should not be taken into consideration when crafting public policy - good data and research should be," ATA President Bill Graves said in a statement.


"Unfortunately, FMCSA did not have such information - such as the impact the rules would have on increased daytime truck traffic and the corresponding elevated crash risk - when they drafted them."


Joshua Ulibarri of Lake Research Partners, which conducted the safety advocates' poll, said it was incorrect to characterize the survey as a "push poll," a technique that gives potential respondents sometimes damaging information that can skew results in favor of those paying for a poll.


ATA pointed out that the poll question on the restart debate mentioned the name of Tracy Morgan, the comedian badly injured in a crash this summer on the New Jersey Turnpike.


The truck driver has been charged for not having slept for 24 hours preceding the crash, although when he was behind the wheel of the truck, he was within his legal driving hours.


Pollster Ulibarri said Morgan's name was in the question asked of half the 1,000 respondents but that the other half was asked the same question without Morgan's name mentioned.


In both cases, 80% of the respondents said they didn't want Congress to suspend the restart rule, Ulibarri said.


In his statement about the poll, ATA's Graves also said that Collins' proposal would "simply suspend" the 2013 restart rule. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration could then "evaluate the true risks and the net impact on highway safety" of having what the trucking industry has said is more trucks on the road during peak traffic hours.


"We doubt any poll respondent would support these new restrictions that discourage drivers from taking lengthy rest periods, and that increase daytime truck traffic and raise crash risk," Graves said.


"Furthermore, FMCSA has previously said that the alleged working hours envisioned by these industry critics are only possible in an 'imaginary world,' " he added.


Graves cited the recent Public Opinion Strategies poll commissioned by ATA that asked 800 registered voters: "Would you prefer that trucks generally operate at night between midnight and 5 a.m., or during late morning and midday hours?


"This legitimate poll, in addition to finding that most Americans rightly believe that professional truck drivers are the safest drivers on the road - a point even conceded by our critics - found that Americans would prefer trucks operate at the time of day now restricted by FMCSA's recent rule changes by a 67-24 margin," Graves said.


"The Collins proposal would seek to suspend this time-of-day restriction in order to better understand the impact on daytime truck traffic and the net safety impact."

Reprinted with permission of Transport Topics


MCM Members Full IRP Reciprocity Plan Begins in January, Are You Ready?

The fundamental principle of the International Registration Plan is to promote and encourage the fullest possible use of the highway system by authorizing apportioned registration of Fleets of Apportionable Vehicles and the recognition by each Member Jurisdiction of the registration of Vehicles apportioned by other Member Jurisdictions, thus contributing to the economic and social development and growth of the Member Jurisdictions.


In 2013 there was a ballot presented to all jurisdictions, Full Reciprocity Plan (FRP). The FRP will change the Plan to make the Plan more efficient, more equitable and more flexible for its member jurisdictions and registrants by granting full reciprocity for all apportioned vehicles in all member IRP jurisdictions and removing from the Plan any provisions related to estimated distance.


The benefits of FRP will also be enjoyed by the motor carrier industry. The FRP will also promote increased operational flexibility and reduced costs for motor carriers. Given that the motor carrier industry is critical to the health of the U.S. and Canadian economies, the adoption of the FRP is an important step for the International Registration Plan.


Questions and Answers


Q: What brought about the change to FRP?

A: The idea of Full Reciprocity has been studied and evaluated for over thirty years. The process supports the fundamental principle of the Plan by promoting and encouraging interstate travel and more efficient and effective administration. The distance reporting practice and calculation of apportionable fees under FRP is deemed to be a fair and just approach based on the factual operation of apportionable vehicles.


Q: What does FRP do?

A: Beginning in 2015, cab-cards will show all jurisdictions.  You will not need to add state or provinces, there will be no more over 100 percent fees for added jurisdictions when you have estimated distances multiple years. If you have IRP, no more trip permits because the jurisdiction will already be on your cab-card.


Q: What is the effective date of the FRP?

A: January 1, 2015


Q: How will be fees to travel in jurisdictions be charged?

A: Fees will be charged for the actual distance travelled in each jurisdiction from the previous year.


Q: What if you are a carrier that is new to IRP, how will be fees be charged for each jurisdiction.
A: Carriers will be required to pay for all jurisdictions based on the Average Vehicle Distance chart.


Q: What is the Average Vehicle Distance Chart?

A: By March 31 each year every jurisdiction is required to calculate an Average Vehicle Distance Chart. Under Section 320 of the plan the base jurisdiction shall use its own data and determining the total actual distances reported to the Base Jurisdiction as having been operated in each Member Jurisdiction by Fleets for which the Base Jurisdiction served as the Base Jurisdiction during the Registration Year; determining the number of Apportioned Vehicles for which the Base Jurisdiction served as Base Jurisdiction during the Registration Year that accrued distance in each respective Member Jurisdiction; and for each Member Jurisdiction, dividing the distance determined under by the number of Apportioned Vehicles.


Q: If a registrant's renewal date is April 1, 2015, at what point will they come under full reciprocity?

A: Any registrant whose registration year begins on or after January 1, 2015, would be subject to FRP provisions. For the example of an April 1, 2015 renewal, they would be registered under full reciprocity.


Q: How are early renewals to be handled? Example for a January 1, 2015 renewal that is processed prior to January 1, do they come under full reciprocity?

A: Yes. Any registrant whose registration begins on or after January 1, 2015, would be subject to FRP provisions, regardless of when the renewal application was processed.


Q: How is a transaction such as an add vehicle or add jurisdiction transaction to be handled for a fleet that the renewal date is June 1, 2015 to be handled between January 1, 2015 and their renewal date?

A: Any registrant whose registration year begins on or after January 1, 2015, would be subject to FRP provisions, including any supplemental transactions. Registrants whose registration year begins prior to January 1, 2015 would be subject to provisions of the current Plan until they renew.


Q: If registrants start a new fleet in a jurisdiction that does not have staggered registration after January 1, 2015, does the new fleet come under full reciprocity?

A: Yes. Any registrant whose registration year begins on or after January 1, 2015, would be registered under full reciprocity.


Q: Under full reciprocity what weight should be displayed on the IRP cab card?
A: Under FRP, the gross vehicle weight should be displayed on the cab card for every IRP jurisdiction. The base declared gross weight plus the comparable weight for each member jurisdiction should be reflected.


Q: How are weights over 80,000 pounds to be handled?

A: The FRP doesn't affect how weights over 80,000 pounds are handled. The registrant should continue to declare the gross vehicle weight.


Q: How are midyear weight increases to be handled? Specifically for jurisdictions where there was no actual distance and no fee paid.

A: The FRP doesn't affect how weight increases are handled. If no actual distance is reported, then no fees are due until the fleet accumulates distance in the jurisdiction. NOTE: This does not affect and administrative fees charged by the base jurisdiction for issuance of credentials, etc.


Q: Can new fleet registrants indicate less weight in some jurisdictions?

A: There is a 10% variance of registered weights rule in the Plan. If an Applicant requests registration weights for a Vehicle in Member Jurisdictions that register according to gross Vehicle weight that differ by more than 10 percent between such Member Jurisdictions, the Base Jurisdiction may require the Applicant to provide documentation concerning the actual operations of the Vehicle. The Base Jurisdiction may deny registration for such a Vehicle if the Base Jurisdiction determines that the requested variance does not reflect actual operations.


Additional information can be found on IRP Inc's website at



Transportation After Hours Billings
Governor's Safety Achievement Award Nominations Needed    

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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.    


Our mailing address is:


Montana Department of Labor and Industry Employment Relations Division

1625 11th Avenue

Helena, Mt 59601