November 10, 2014: MCM Weekly Newsletter

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Nov 12    Billings Chapter Safety Meeting
                 Location:  Billings Hotel
                 Speaker:  Bruce Holmes, FMCSA District Administrator         
                 Lunch provided
                 Hosted & Sponsored by Stieg & Associates Insurance, Inc.

November 18  Missoula Chapter Safety Meeting 
                        Joker's Wild 
                        Topic & Speaker:  TBA

Nov 27 & 28 MCM Office Closed Thanksgiving Holiday 
November Driver of the Month Nominations

We are now accepting driver of the month applications for November 2014.

Click here
for an application.  You may also download an application from our webpage at, click on Driver of the Month tab, on the Home Page.

Applications must be in by Friday, November 21 at 12:00pm.

Free Safety Workshops 

The Gift of Safety: Safety Workshops  

Now that the holiday season is quickly approaching, why not give yourself a free gift, the gift of safety, by attending one of our December safety workshops.


Topics include:
First Report of Injury
(FROI): When an employee gets hurt, the first thing to do is seek medical attention. The second thing to do is file a first report of injury (FROI) with the employer's workers' compensation carrier.   A FROI is a document all employers are legally obligated to file if an employee gets hurt on the job.  In this session participants will learn why it's so important to file a FROI as quickly as possible and how to correctly fill it out.


As OSHA Turns:  In January 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will change the current reporting requirements for accidents. This includes changes to OSHA's partially exempt list for recordkeeping.  In this section we'll discuss the reporting changes, as well as the criteria OSHA uses to decide which business is inspected and how to prepare for the inspection.  


Watch, Share and Be Safe: The web and social media have transformed the way we find and view information and entertainment. In the world of safety resources it's no different.  In this part of the workshop we'll introduce you to a number of safety websites and social media outlets that will prove to be valuable tools for workplace safety.   


Dates and Locations of Workshops

December 9 -   Butte -  La Quinta Inn and Suites
December 10 -  Bozeman  - Holiday Inn
December 11 -  Miles City  - Sleep Inn and Suites
December 12 -  Billings -  Big Horn Resort (New Location)
December 16 - Kalispell  - Hampton Inn
December 17 - Missoula -  Best Western Grant Creek Inn
December 18 -  Helena -  Holiday Inn Express
December 19 -  Great Falls -  Holiday Inn

Workshops take place from 8:30-Noon. To register go to For more information call Kirk Smith at 800-332-6102.

2014 State Chain & Snow Removal Laws

We have gathered information from each state and alphabetically listed each state's chaining requirements.  

Click here for State Chain Laws

Click here for Snow Removal Laws 

MDT Ready to Put New Fleet of Towplows to Work this Winter

With winter road conditions imminent, the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) is ready. Plows are on the trucks, drivers are trained, materials are stockpiled, and the MDT's newest snow removal equipment, TowPlows, are set to make their debut clearing roads across the state this winter.


"The TowPlow is a steerable, trailer-mounted plow that is pulled behind a snowplow truck" said Jon Swartz, MDT Maintenance Division Administrator.  "The TowPlow can be rotated to one side of the truck, which doubles the plow width of a tandem-axle snowplow truck," he added.


The 26-foot-wide plow gives the operator the ability to move snow efficiently and safely from two lanes of roadway in one pass.  The efficiency of clearing double the lanes with half the resources is increasingly important as Montana's highway system expands.  Eight TowPlows are now in the fleet and will be used in the following areas: Lookout Pass, Kalispell, Helena, Townsend, Bozeman, Great Falls, Billings, and Glendive.


TowPlows have been used successfully in other states for several years, but many Montana drivers have never seen one in action.  The TowPlows are equipped with a granular spreader and a tank for dispensing liquids for snow and ice control.


"When the TowPlow is activated and it is rotated to the side, it may appear that a truck has a jackknifed trailer," Swartz continued.  "Don't be alarmed, MDT's experienced drivers have the situation under control, and the TowPlow is where it's supposed to be."  To see TowPlows in action, go to 


In addition to the new TowPlows, standard plows will continue to be used throughout the state.  Motorists are urged to use the following safety tips when encountering any snow removal equipment:

  • Slow down and stay behind the snowplow.  Don't crowd the plow - stay at least five car lengths from the snowplow. 
  • Be patient.  Periodically, the plow operator will pull off the road or rotate the TowPlow out of the way to allow vehicles to pass. 
  • Be particularly aware of icy conditions on surfaces such as bridge decks and entrance and exit ramps.
  • Turn on headlights and turn off cruise control settings.


To receive updated information on road conditions call 511, download MDT's mobile application, or visit before you drive.



Editor's note:  To arrange a plow ride-a-long or TowPlow demonstration, contact your local MDT Maintenance Site. Locations and contact information can be found here:


Click on to see the plows in action. Remember to tell your drivers to drive accordingly when approaching the plows

MDT Has New Road Condition Weather App Available
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



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