October 12, 2015:  MCM Weekly Newsletter

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Oct 13          Share The Road, Billings
                     Skyview High, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Oct 14           Billings Chapter Safety Meeting
                      Location:  H.O.T. Express, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
                      Speaker:  Jeff Steeger, MCSAP
                      Topic:  Load Securement

Oct 15           Missoula Chapter Safety Meeting
                      12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
                      Location:  Perkins Restaurant               
                      Speaker:  Bruce Holmes, FMCSA
Oct 19            Share The Road, Billings
                       West High, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Oct 24             Party in Pink Fundraiser
                        Raymond Corcoran Trucking, Inc.
                        11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Nov 11            Billings Chapter Safety Meeting
                        11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
                        Location, Speaker & Topic TBA

Nov 19            Missoula Chapter Safety Meeting
                        12:00 p.m. -1:00 pm.
                        Location, Speaker & Topic TBA

Nov 16-20       SafetyFestMT:  Billings
                        Billings Hotel & Convention Center
                        1223 Mullowney Lane, Billings, MT
September Driver of the Month
 Ken is a native of Montana and has been driving truck for most of his adult life. Decker Truck Line is proud to have had Ken join our team a little over 2 years ago bringing with him several million miles of safe driving. At Decker we honor all verifiable miles driving and award drivers with those miles and awards. Just recently we were proud to have honored Ken with a 1,2 and 3 million mile safe driving award as we were able to verify 3 million miles of safe driving and are working to try and verify more for him. Ken has a long record of safe and courteous driving and is always willing and able to get his job done in a safe and timely manner. He exemplifies the type of driver whose standards are high and is a credit to our company and the trucking industry. It is a honor to have a driver of this tenure driving for our company and representing the Motor Carriers of Montana.
FMCSA Proposes Changes to Truck Inspection Rules
On October 7, FMCSA issued a proposed rule covering five issues, one of which is based on a petition from ATA to revise the rear license plate lamp requirement and allow an exception for truck tractors registered in states that do not require tractors to have a rear license plate. FMCSA agrees with the ATA petition and is proposing a change that would eliminate the need for the rear license plate lamp on tractors registered in those states. The other issues included in FMCSA's proposed rule are: adding a definition of "major tread groove"; adding specific requirements when violation or defects noted on a roadside inspection report need to be corrected; amending Appendix G of the FMCSRs to include provisions for the inspection of antilock braking systems, automatic brake adjusters, brake adjustment indicators, and speed-restricted tires; and amending the periodic inspection rules (Part 396) to eliminate the option for motor carriers to use a violation-free roadside inspection report in lieu of a periodic or annual safety inspection. To read a short ATA summary of the proposed rule, click here. Comments are due December 7, 2015. For more information please contact Ted Scott at tscott@trucking.org. 
IRS Issues Guidance on 2014 Bonus Depreciation
For some years now, the federal tax law has included a provision allowing business taxpayers to take an additional 50 percent of depreciation on nearly all business property placed into service in the tax year.  Many motor carriers have taken advantage of this bonus depreciation when they buy rolling stock or other equipment.  The catch has always been that bonus depreciation is one of those several dozen tax provisions that Congress has chosen to renew every year or two instead of making it a permanent part of the the Tax Code.  Bonus depreciation was not in effect for 2014, until, very late in the year, Congress reenacted it, retroactively, for calendar 2014.  (Then the provision went out of existence again, and is not currently in effect.)  By the time Congress acted last December, however, many taxpayers had already filed their fiscal-year or short-year tax returns for periods covering the time during which they had put into service property that qualified for the restored bonus depreciation.  Most of these taxpayers presumably did not claim bonus depreciation for that property.  The Internal Revenue Service has now issued guidance on how such taxpayers may claim the depreciation.  The most straightforward way is for the taxpayer to file an amended return for the period in which the property was put into service, and to have that amended return in before the taxpayer's return is due for the succeeding tax year.  If the amendment is filed timely, IRS will allow the additional depreciation for the 2014 property.  The guidance, published in Revenue Procedure 2015-48, also includes advice on how to claim the depreciation another way, how to elect not to claim the depreciation, but to apply it against alternative minimum tax, and so forth.  The Rev.Proc. is available on-line here:  http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-15-48.pdf.
Tennessee and Kentucky No Longer Need State Specific Numbers
Printed with permission State laws News Letter
You Can Take That Number Off!

From time to time, we notice that some carriers' trucks still have stenciled on the cab doors either a Tennessee motor fuel number or a Kentucky KYU number.  You no longer need either one.  Tennessee used to use the MF number to try to keep track of who was registered for the state's fuel use tax, but that was before Tennessee joined the International Fuel Tax Agreement - and Tennessee joined IFTA 20 years or more ago!  Kentucky used its KYU number to see if a carrier was registered to pay the state's mileage, but some years ago Kentucky ports began to use carriers' federal DOT numbers instead or in addition to the KYU number.  So you don't have to display either the Kentucky or Tennessee number any longer.
Truckers Against Trafficking
As you may know the Motor Carriers of Montana has partnered with Truckers Against Trafficking, an organization dedicated to ending human trafficking and forced prostitution at truck stops, rest areas and other places our drivers frequent. The program enlists truck drivers to recognize and report suspicious activity they may see while working.
We have pledged to encourage and facilitate our members to train and certify their employees through the TAT training program.
Currently, there are only three Montana carriers that have registered and reported the number of drivers they've trained. We really need to get our numbers up. We suspect there are some carriers that have trained drivers, but have simply not officially reported those numbers to TAT. Below is a list of Montana-based companies that have registered:
Ankrum Trucking, Inc. 
23 registered
Diamond B Trucking 
150 registered
Watkins and Shepard Trucking 
700 registered
If your company has had any employees to view the TAT training DVD (either the 13 or 26 minute versions), and have issued a TAT wallet card that lists the 
National Human Trafficking Resource Center
 hotline number 888-373-7888, we ask you to please register as your company as TAT Trained at the link below:  

It takes 2 two minutes to complete. If you're an individual, either an independent driver or a company employee, please click on the Register tab, select Individual and fill out your information (one-time-only).  
If you represent a company (carrier, manufacturer, or truck stop) please click on the Register tab, select Company and report how many employees you've trained with TAT materials.
Meanwhile, if you need TAT training materials or more information about how to become involved email 
tat.truckers@gmail.com, and they will provide what you need free of charge! 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Holds Trucking Company Accountable for Failure to Install Emissions Controls on its California Fleet
First federal enforcement of California's Truck and Bus Regulation
SAN FRANCISCO-Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that Estes Express Lines will pay a $100,000 penalty for violations of the California Truck and Bus Regulation, for failing to install particulate filters on 73 of its heavy-duty diesel trucks (15% of its California fleet).
In California, mobile sources of diesel emissions, such as trucks and construction equipment, are one of the largest sources of fine particulates. About 625,000 trucks operating in California are registered outside of the state, many are older models emitting particulates and nitrogen oxides (NOx). The California truck rules are the first of their kind in the nation and will prevent an estimated 3,500 deaths in California between 2010 - 2025.
The California Truck and Bus Regulation was adopted into federal Clean Air Act plan requirements in 2012 and apply to privately-owned diesel trucks and buses. The rule also requires any trucking company to ensure their subcontractors are only using compliant trucks, and requires companies to upgrade their vehicles to meet specific NOx and PM2.5 performance standards in California. Heavy-duty diesel trucks in California must meet 2010 engine emissions levels or use diesel particulate filters, which can reduce the emissions of diesel particulate into the atmosphere by 85% or more.
"Trucks represent one of the largest sources of air pollution in California, and the state has the worst air quality in the nation," said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "EPA's enforcement efforts are aimed at ensuring all truck fleets operating in California are in compliance with pollution laws."
"ARB's partnership to enforce our clean truck and bus regulation with our partners at EPA is vitally important to us," said ARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. "It helps bring vehicles that are operating illegally into compliance, and levels the playing field for those who have already met the requirements."
In addition to the penalty, Estes will spend $290,400 towards projects to educate the out-of-state trucking industry on the regulation and for replacing old wood burning devices in the San Joaquin Valley. Estes will pay $35,000 to the University of California Davis Extension to implement a state-approved training program for out-of-state trucking firms on compliance with the rule. Estes will also pay $255,400 to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District's Burn Cleaner Incentive Program that will be used to replace 80 or more wood-burning devices with cleaner ones.
Estes is a large, private, for-hire trucking firm based in Virginia that owns and operates diesel-fueled vehicles in all 50 states. In February 2015, EPA issued a Notice of Violation to Estes after EPA's investigation found that the company failed to equip its heavy-duty diesel vehicles with particulate filters and failed to verify compliance with the Truck and Bus Regulation for its hired motor carriers. Estes now operates only new trucks in California.
Fine particle pollution can be emitted directly or formed secondarily in the atmosphere and can penetrate deep into the lungs and worsen conditions such as asthma and heart disease.
For more information on the Truck and Bus Rule, please visit:
For more information on the Clean Air Act, please visit:
Feedback Needed on Minnesota Truck Parking Shortage
Minnesota Trucking Association is conducting a survey and your input would be appreciated. Click the button below to start the survey. Thank you for your participation!

Minnesota Trucking Association Seeks Input on Truck Parking

If you do business in Minnesota please take the time to help with this survey.
Party in Pink Fundraiser