March 30, 2015:  MCM Weekly Newsletter

Our Sponsors

MCM Member providing Tractor -
Trailer Leasing & Repairs       




In business for 29 years, and a member of MCM, we are proud to load MCM Carriers.  





March 31 Share The Road Billings
                  West High, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

April 1  Safety Supervisor of the Year applications due

April 8  Billings Safety Meeting
             5:00 pm - 6:00 pm, Motor Power Equipment
             Speaker:  Bendix Brakes
             Topic:  All aspects of disk brakes

April 10  TDC Driver Registration form due

April 17 SuperTech Registration form & Sponsorship form due

April 23 Missoula Safety Meeting 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
               Perkins Restaurant
               Speaker: Brian Smith, Garlington Lohn & Robinson
               Topic:  Transportation Law - Brian will be discussing the legal
                            requirements and aspects of our industry.  Bring your questions.

May 1   Fleet Safety, Leonard Eckel Scholarship,  TDC Entry & Release forms, TDC Sponsorship, TDC  
              Volunteer forms due

May 2    2nd Annual SuperTech Competition
               Helena College, Helena, MT

May 13  Billings Safety Meeting, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
              Location:  TBA
              Speaker:  Bruce Holmes, FMCSA
              Topic:  Latest regulation news

May 21 Missoula Safety Meeting, 12:00 pm -1:00 pm
             Perkins Restaurant, Speaker, Topic TBA

June 20  Truck Driving Championships
               Lewis & Clark Fairgrounds
               Helena, MT

June 22-24 Summer Share The Road, Billings
July 15-17 RMRSR
                  Mountain View Ranch, ID
                  Refer to flyer below 
MSF Board Dividend Check Should Be Arriving to MCM Members By April 1

The Motor Carriers of Montana (MCM) Workers' Compensation Group Program offered through Montana State Fund (MSF) has earned nearly $164,000 in group retention returns for qualifying policyholders.  The returns are based on the groups' overall premium & loss experience for the period of July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2014 and will be distributed to qualifying MCM policyholders by the end of March 2015. 


The MCM/MSF Group program is focused on working with participating policyholders to improve their safety programs and provide a safe working environment for their employees.  A safe workplace reduces injuries and costs.  And, if the overall experience of the group Program is favorable, the participating policyholders with low injury costs can realize a return premium. 


There is no extra cost to MCM members to participate in the Workers' Compensation Group Program.For more information about the Program, contact Jake Sandau at (406) 442-6600 or 

IRS Says No 1099s Needed for Owner-Operators
In a memorandum issued by its Office of Chief Counsel, the federal Internal Revenue Service confirms that a motor carrier need not issue Forms 1099 to report payments to owner-operators under lease to the carrier, if the payments represent amounts earned for hauling freight. This ruling is nothing new; the memo mentions in passing that federal law has had such an exemption since 1918 for payments made for hauling freight, and that "freight" is to be interpreted broadly. The exemption is currently in IRS regulation section 1.6041-3(c). IRS adds that whether a specific charge is actually for the hauling of freight may depend on the particular facts of a given transaction. We would caution carriers using owner-operators that although the law appears clear that no 1099s need to be issued to them, it may still be advisable to do so, in order to protect the operators' status as independent contractors. The memo is IRS CCM no. 20151002F, dated June 6, 2014, and released March 6, 2015. It can be found on-line here:


From State Laws Newsletter

FMCSA Under Pressure to Change CSA Scoring

The American Trucking Associations urged the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to make "common sense changes" to its Compliance, Safety, Accountability scoring system by removing crashes not caused by trucking companies or their drivers.

The FMCSA currently includes all crashes in its CSA scoring, factoring in accidents not caused by a commercial vehicle. The ATA sited several examples in a release including a March 20th crash where a car carrying three people was driving the wrong way on a highway and hit a truck.

The ATA believes that the goal of the CSA should be to identify whether an accident is an indicator of future of other likely crashes. "Being struck by another motorist does not make one more likely to strike others," the ATA stated.

The FMCSA currently removes such crashes from consideration when assigning a company's official safety rating after an audit, but does not make the change to the publicly available CSA data. The ATA wants the FMCSA to use its limited auditing resources to identify and select the accidents only where a company or driver was at fault to use in the CSA score.

Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) introduced legislation in opposition of the FMCSA's publishing of flawed CSA data until the scoring system is fixed. Barletta unsuccessfully pushed the same bill forward last year, called the Safer Truck and Buses Act.

Barletta re-filed the legislation this year because he felt the Department of Transportation had not been addressing the complaints about CSA.

"FMCSA's failure to address this real flaw is especially egregious in light of its push to make CSA scores easier for the public to access," said Bill Graves, ATA president and CEO. "We have raised this issue and Congress has raised this issue. It is time for FMCSA to do what it knows is right make this common sense change."

Tax Court Denies Driver

The U.S. Tax Court has ruled that a truck driver could not deduct his expenses for business travel away from home because he did not maintain a home from which he could be away. The driver here was the employee of a truckload carrier who did not work out of a terminal. Instead, when he finished one trip he was dispatched on a new trip from wherever he happened to be. Although his commercial driver's license had a Missouri address, he had spent only seven nights in that state during the year in question, and had negligible contacts with Missouri. In fact, he lived in his truck. He sought to deduct expenses for meals and incidentals for the 358 days of the year on which he was on the road. The carrier did not reimburse him for such costs, which the court determined were indeed business-related. However, the court continued, such expenses were only deductible when incurred on travel "away from home." And this driver, living in his truck as he did, never traveled "away from home." The denial was justifiable, the court pointed out, since the deduction is designed for those who would otherwise have to bear the costs of both travel and of maintaining a home. On another item, however, the court found that the driver's un-reimbursed expenses for truck stop electrification were in the nature of a substitute for additional fuel consumption, and those costs were properly deductible. Howard v. Comm'r, docket no. 12282-12, decided March 9, 2015. 


From State Laws Newsletter

Final HELP Approved ATA Endorsement Release

American Trucking Associations announced it has named HELP Inc.'s PrePass services an Endorsed ATA Featured Product, expanding the existing relationship between the two groups.


"Saving time and increasing safety are critical for the trucking industry," ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. "For more than two decades, HELP's PrePass services have been helping the trucking industry streamline and automate many important safety and regulatory processes and we're pleased to continue growing our relationship with them."


To date, PrePass has provided 631,347,616 safe bypasses, saving truckers more than 52 million hours of time and more than 252 million gallons of fuel, for a total operational cost savings of more than $4.4 billion to the carriers qualified for the program.


"HELP Inc. has been an ATA member for 22 years, and a large majority of PrePass users are ATA members. That's a long history of working together to promote safety and efficiency for the trucking industry and we are pleased to have ATA's endorsement," said HELP President and CEO Karen Rasmussen. "With our primary mission of safety, we are particularly honored to be the newest supporter of ATA's Share the Road program. Both our public and private sector board members strongly support ATA's role in educating the motoring public on how to drive more safely around large trucks."


HELP's PrePass electronic pre-screening and bypass system has 310 equipped sites in 31 states, with additional sites in the planning stages or under construction in California, Delaware, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Wyoming. PrePass electronically screens carriers' trucks before they go out on the road, utilizing only the most current, accurate data available. Information used to screen and determine whether carriers qualify for bypass is subject to stringent security and privacy requirements adopted by HELP's public/private Board of Directors.


In addition, HELP offers PrePass Plus interoperable electronic toll payment and toll management services for commercial vehicles, available on more than 80 toll roads, turnpikes and other tolled facilities across the U.S. For more information visit


For more about HELP's PrePass services or other ATA Featured Products, visit www.atabusinesssolutions.comor call 1-866-821-3468.   


Station e-screening and pre-clearance, has the largest number of e-screened and qualified trucks of any truck safety bypass system in North America. More than a half million trucks from more than 43,000 fleets are enrolled in and qualified for PrePass.   


American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation's freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on Facebook.Trucking Moves America Forward.
Great Falls Chapter Meeting
Motor Carriers of Montana's new SMMTC Chairman, Dustin Klostermeier of HUB International Mountain States in Great Falls, will be hosting a Great Falls Chapter safety meeting either
May 7th or May 14th from 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm. 

Topics of discussion will be:



*Battling the driver shortage & new hires - Speaker:  TBA
*Breaking down Workers' Compensation costs, what you can and cannot control
- Speaker:  Dustin Klostermeier

Appetizers and beverages will be provided. 

Please respond to Katie at the MCM office by April 17 with which date you would prefer.

2015 Event Applications
Any questions you may have regarding these events, please contact Katie at the MCM office, 406-442-6600 or
Click here  Safety Supervisor of the Year application DUE April 1

Click here  TDC Driver Registration DUE April 10 

Click here
  SuperTech Registration DUE April 17 
 Click here  SuperTech Sponsorship DUE April 17

Click here    TDC Eligibility Info


DUE MAY 1   


Click here  Fleet Safety application  


Click here  Leonard Eckel Scholarship Application    

Click here
   TDC Sponsorship 

Click here    TDC Program Advertising  

Click here  
  TDC Volunteer Request form 
Mark Your Calendar


Montana ESGR & Montana Department of Labor Workforce Services Offices Job Fairs 2015

Early Entry Military, Military Spouses and Vets

Employers will be hiring


Bozeman Community Job Fair

April 8, 2015

Gallatin County Fairgrounds Bozeman, MT

Bozeman Job Service Contact Debbie Berg (406) 582-9200 


Miles City Job Fair

April 8, 2015

A small job fair but closer to energy jobs in North Dakota

Miles Community College Miles City, MT

Miles City Job Service contact Cindy Erickson (406) 232-8349 


Helena Community Job Fair

April 9 2015

Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds Helena MT

Helena Job Service Contact Carol Rule (406) 447-3215 


Flathead Valley Job Fair

April 16, 2015

Flathead Valley Community College Kalispell, MT

Flathead Job Service Contact Bill Gilbert (406) 758-6240 

or Roberta Diegel Business Resource Consultant Flathead Job Service (406) 758-6273 


North Western Montana's Largest Career Fair

April 21, 2015

Missoula, MT

Hilton Garden Inn

Missoula Job Service Contact Wolf Ametsbichler (406) 728-7060