November 2, 2015:  MCM Weekly Newsletter

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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

Nov 27             MCM Office Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday
Agriculture Department Expected to Nearly Triple Truck-Borne Border Inspection Fee
The U.S. Agriculture Department is expected later this week to issue a final rule designed to recoup costs associated with animal and plant inspections by raising fees for all truck-borne imports by 187%. The final rule, effective Dec. 28, sets the fee for using truck transponders at $301.67, up from the current $105. The price of a one-time, border crossing fee into the United States from Canada or Mexico would increase by nearly 44%, to $7.55 from $5.25. The final rule was a followup to a proposal issued by Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in April of last year. APHIS said the most recent fee adjustment was in 2009. 
Truckload Carriers Association Supports Teamsters and Anti-Truck Advocates' Efforts to Oppose Twin-33s
Wednesday, October 21 a press conference was held across the street from the west lawn of the Capitol grounds where Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. (Teamsters), Jackie Gillan (Truck Safety Coalition), David Heller (Truckload Carriers Association) along with Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CA). Also in attendance supporting, but not in speaking role, was longtime anti-truck activist Joan Claybrook (CRASH). These individuals and groups held the sparsely attended presser to voice opposition to inclusion of twin-33s amendment language in the House T&I highway reauthorization bill. No such amendment was offered however given the twin-33s provisions are already included in the House and Senate T-HUD Appropriations bills.
Uniformed Registration System Postponed
On October 21, 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced in the Federal Register the postponement and phasing in of its Uniform Registration System.  The agency had published the final URS rule in 2013, and the rule has been in the works, more or less, for nearly two decades.  When finally in effect, URS will replace several existing FMCSA systems, including those for registering the authority of regulated motor carriers, the issuance of DOT numbers, and the filing of entities' insurance coverage and agents for service of process.  The recent notice says that most of the URS rule won't be effective until September 30 or December 31 next year.  However, new applicants for motor carrier authority or DOT numbers are to begin using the URS's new on-line Form MCSA-1 on December 12, 2015.  
Be aware that despite the similarity in names, the Uniform Registration System is not at all the same thing as the Uniform Carrier Registration Agreement, the UCRA or UCR, under which motor carriers and other entities pay annual fees to states.  URS has nothing to do with UCR, and there is no postponement for the payment of the 2016 UCR fees!  Those are due by December 31, 2015, and are payable now, most easily through the national UCR system maintained by the Indiana Department of Revenue at
CDL/Fed Med Card
The CDL/Fed Med card merger and the process to be medically certified to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is still experiencing some bumpy roads, and not only for motor carriers. Some drivers, medical examiners, and even some states are still having problems with the process. While these problems are getting worked on to make this renewal process smoother, there are some planning steps the motor carrier can take to ensure their operation is not interrupted.

The first step a proactive carrier can take is to send drivers in for their physicals as early as possible. This will be very helpful to all parties concerned if the information the state has on file expires. If a problem with records appears, corrections can be made before the old information expires. Keep in mind, once information expires, the driver is considered medically unqualified.

If need be, instruct your driver to "hand deliver" the new medical card to the licensing agency immediately upon leaving the examining location. Have the driver get a receipt if possible.

Ask the driver to carry the new medical card all the time and not for only the 15 days as stated in the regulations. Reason is, if an officer runs the driver's license, and the medical information is not valid, the officer will accept a new medical card for the first 60 days rather than the just the required 15 days. This is provided the driver's CDL has not been downgraded. If so, the driver will be placed out of service even if he/she has a valid medical card issued in the last 15 or 60 days.

If the process seems to have gone smooth and everything seems to be in place, run an MVR 10 to 12 days after the exam to be safe. The state has 10 days to post the information and the carrier can use the card for 15 days. If the exam information is not on the MVR and the driver's previous physical has expired, the driver is not medically qualified as far as the state is concerned. Contact your MVR vendor, whether it is the state or a third party, and verify that they have sent you the correct type of MVR. Also, contact the driver and verify that the information was submitted immediately after the physical. If so, instruct the driver to contact the state licensing agency immediately and clear up the issue.

The fact is, if the driver waits too long to get his/her physical and was then late in submitting the information, the driver may end up being downgraded and must be immediately removed from operating CDL-required vehicles. Basically, when a driver is downgraded, he/she has no CDL and you are now a driver short in your operation!

Regulatory Alert
Make sure your medical examiners are using the correct medical forms after Dec. 21, 2015! Beginning on Dec. 22, 2015 (but no sooner), examiners must use a new Medical Examination Report Form, known as the MCSA-5875 (the long medical exam form), and a new Medical Examiner's Certificate (medical card), the MCSA-5876. Forms that are currently in use may not be used after Dec. 21, 2015, even though the old and new forms are substantially similar.
Federal State Trucking Associations
When you are a member of the Motor Carriers of Montana, you are part of a federation that includes 50 state trucking associations and industry related conferences and councils.  Altogether, these organizations make up the federation of the American Trucking Associations, which traces its origins to a meeting in Montana in 1933 between the American Highway Freight Association and the Federation Trucking Associations of America.  The Federation is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. For your convenience,
here is a list of association and affiliates. 
November Driver of the Month Nominations
We are now accepting driver of the month applications for November 2015. An application is attached, and you may also download an application from our home page at under the Driver of the Month tab.
All applications must be in by Monday, November 30 at 8:00 a.m.