December 8, 2015:  MCM Weekly Newsletter

Our Sponsors





*No December Safety Meeting for Billings or Missoula Chapter*

Dec 25            MCM Office Closed for Christmas Holiday
What Does MCM Do For You?
Most often you hear from me the words "The world is run by those who show up. Get involved today"

This week I would like to take the opportunity to talk about how MCM show's up for you and "WHAT" we do at Motor Carriers of Montana to serve the trucking community.

"What" we do at MCM can be broken down into three basic components: Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, Safety and Training and Industry Promotion.

MCM represents the trucking community before the Montana State Legislature, State Regulatory Agencies, MDOT and the Department of Justice. We are the voice of trucking in Montana.

MCM's team is busy throughout the year meeting with state lawmakers in Helena and around the state to make sure your voice is heard. Recently you may have heard that Montana State Fund declared a $35 million dollar dividend, the largest in MSF history. While you the employers have done a great job reducing injuries and frequency in Montana, it was groups like the Montana Chamber, Motor Carriers of Montana and others that made sure your voice was heard.  In 2011 these groups backed legislation that enacted cost saving reforms that helped lower premiums. At one time Montana had the highest premiums in the nation and we now rank number 11.

Recently it took 15 minutes for MCM to work with MDT to release a carriers trucks at a Montana weigh station over some confusion regarding registration of those vehicles, perhaps saving that company thousands of dollars and the possibility of numerous trucks being tied up at Montana's borders.

We also represent the industry in Washington DC both through our direct communication with the Montana Congressional delegation and their staff as well as through our national partners the American Trucking Associations. In addition the ATA Federation includes our 49 other state trucking associations (find at government affairs) which represent the industry from Hawaii to Maine and Alaska to Florida. When you are a member of MCM, you are a part of a Federation that includes over 37,000 trucking companies across North America. Your Association director was recently honored by ATA with and Advocacy Award for his work with the Montana delegation in our fight for Hours of Service and size and weight reform.

MCM also serves the industry by actively promoting safety in the industry. MCM has a Safety Management Council with chapters in Missoula, Great Falls and Billings that plan our safety programs throughout the year, including the Truck Driving championships, Share the Road and Super Tech competition just to name a few.  MCM also has a safety professional on call as well as our own Safety coordinator on staff to answer your questions quickly and accurately. 

Last but not least the Motor Carriers of Montana promotes the image of the trucking industry. If you read the weekly On The Horizon you already know about some of the great people in this industry. You probably know that trucking is responsible for moving almost 70% of the nation's freight. One of my favorite sayings at legislative educational meetings is 'When was the last time you saw a train backed up to Walmart or your local grocery store." MCM takes every opportunity to let those who don't get it, know the importance of trucks to their lives. The MCM Board has sent financial support to the Trucks Move America Forward program as well as give their full support to our Share the Road program which educates the public not only about driving around large trucks, but also presents a lot of facts and figures about the industry's importance to Montana's and the US economy.

What can you do to help MCM with this message? Educate your neighbors on what you do, get involved in the political process locally, at the state level and even nationally so that we find the right candidates to represent us in elected positions.

As I said at the outset, "the world is run by those who show up, get involved today"
Your MCM staff is looking forward to working with you to get the industry's message to our friends and neighbors.
FMCSA Issues Driver Coercion Final Rule
Federal regulators have issued a final rule that prohibits carriers, shippers and brokers from coercing truck drivers to violate hours-of-service and other safety regulations.

The rule, published in the Federal Register on Nov. 30, is effective Jan. 29, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Violators of the requirement, mandated by the MAP-21 transportation law, can be fined up to $16,000 per violation.

"Economic pressure in the motor carrier industry affects commercial drivers in ways that can adversely affect safety," FMCSA said. "For years, drivers have voiced concerns that other parties in the logistics chain are frequently indifferent to the operational limits imposed on them by federal regulations."

The rule said that drivers and others who testified at FMCSA listening sessions and before Congress said that some motor carriers, shippers, receivers, tour guides and brokers insist that a driver deliver a load or passengers on a schedule that would be impossible to meet without violating HOS or other regulations.

"This rule enables us to take enforcement action against anyone in the transportation chain who knowingly and recklessly jeopardizes the safety of the driver and of the motoring public," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.

Common threats against drivers have included loss of a job, denial of subsequent loads, reduced payment and denied access to the best trips, FMCSA said.

From 2009 through 2012, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined that 253 whistle-blower complaints from commercial vehicle drivers had merit. In the same period, FMCSA validated 20 allegations of motor carrier coercion of drivers that were filed with the Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General - an average of more than 68 acts of coercion per year during the four-year period.

"Drivers may also be pressured to operate vehicles with mechanical deficiencies, despite the restrictions imposed by the safety regulations," FMCSA said. "Drivers who object that they must comply with the federal regulations are sometimes told to get the job done despite the restrictions imposed by the safety regulations."

The rule does not require carriers, shippers and brokers to monitor drivers HOS compliance. It requires drivers to report allegations of coercion within 90 days.

The rule includes procedures for drivers to report incidents of coercion to FMCSA and establishes rules of practice that the agency must follow.

Commenters on the January 2014 proposed rule were divided, according to FMCSA.

Many supporters said the rule would finally make shippers, receivers and transportation intermediaries accountable for their actions.

However, some who supported the rule said it could lead to unintended consequences and noted that existing regulations already prohibit coercion.

"By forcing drivers to operate mechanically unsafe CMVs or drive beyond their allowed hours, coercion increases the risk of crashes," FMCSA said. "...A reduction of this practice would create an improvement in driver health."

Reprinted with Permission of Transport Topics
Free Safety Workshops
Montana's workers are exposed to a range of workplace hazards on a daily basis. But how do we keep these exposures to a minimum? Join us this December as we help you and your co-workers stay injury free as we present Working Together for a Safer Montana.

We All Share the Responsibility -   Let's face it; no matter what you do for work, on the job safety is always a concern. But the question remains, who is responsible for the safety of an employee? We contend everyone in your workplace must play a part. In this session we'll help you break down the roles and responsibilities of each of your employees so you get everyone in your organization working together for safety.

Not Only for Office Workers - Ergonomics are one of the most overlooked issues in workplace safety, yet they affect everyone from the receptionist to the traveling salesman to a line worker at a manufacturing facility. Simply put, ergonomics has to do with proper posture, managing forces and an excessive repetitive motion. In this section of the workshop we'll give you the tips you need to tackle everyday ergonomic issues, as well as open the floor for discussion to for participants to share their ergonomic challenges and solutions.

Dates and Locations
December 10 - Miles City - Sleep Inn & Suites
December 11 - Billings - Big Horn Resort
December 15 - Bozeman - Holiday Inn

Register Now. The free trainings take place from 8:30 am - Noon. If you have questions, call 800-332-6102 extension 5361 (Kirk Smith).