Tips For New Drivers Rushing To Become Owner-Operators

Start a Trucking Company in XX Steps

Truckload rates for flatbeds, refrigerated and dry vans are at record highs right now and are expected to remain historically high next year as we ease out of pandemic and online shopping stays at record levels and businesses are stocking back up.

This demand, as well as drivers getting out of the independent contractor mess, has led to a record 59,000 authorities being applied for by new motor carriers in 2020 and this year looks no different as around 51,000 motor carriers have already received carrier authorities.

Tips For New Drivers Rushing To Become Owner-Operators

Avery Vise, FTR’s vice president-trucking, who presented findings during a company webinar last week, said “the applicants were not driver newbies, but company drivers who have gone out on their own or owner-operators that had been working under a lease arrangement with larger carriers but became fully independent either voluntarily or after being cut loose during 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of the nation’s economy.”

While many of these new carriers have driving history, going on your own brings a new set of complications to become successful.

How To Start Off On The Right Foot

To receive your authority, you must have insurance on file. To avoid paying for insurance coverage you do not yet need, talk to your insurer to have it become effective approximately two weeks into the start-up process.

Getting your own operating authority is usually a straightforward process but there are many steps needed before and after you get your authority, which will take 21 days or more to get approved. We can assist you with each step individually or as part of a full compliance program which we will discuss more in a moment.

The following are some if the items you will need to complete:

When you are ready to start moving freight, cash flow is often a problem because it may take 45 to 60 days before getting paid for your first load. It is best practice for new carriers to have operating capital to sustain your business for up to two months.

As a new entrant, it is required to follow Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations and they will want to see some established records and processes during your New Entrant Safety Audit that will happen within the first 12 months of operation to complete the New Entrant Program.

Motor carriers should not delay responding to the DOT auditor because ignoring their requests—especially the “no contact letter” or “demand letter” for scheduling an audit—could lead to fines of up to $10,000 and/or suspension of their operating authority.

Compliance Navigation Specialists is an industry leading compliance company that will help you stay in compliance and help provide records you will need to keep your commercial insurance rates as low as possible.

Our safety management programs are perfect for combining multiple services and focuses on Proactive Safety Management (PSM), a mindset that will ensure your fleet’s safety and compliance is always in order and ahead of the FMCSA.

Our PSM Motor Carrier Program includes:

  • ELD management
  • Driver Qualification File Management
  • New driver on-boarding
  • Driver safety meetings
  • CSA score management
  • Policies and handbooks
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • and more

Do you still need commercial trucking insurance?

It never hurts to get a quote and try saving money on your insurance premiums. Give our sister company Norther Insurance Specialists a call anytime to discuss getting a quote.

Before we can get you an estimate, we are going to need some information.

Fill out a complete quote or quick quote to get started.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 800.724.5523 or email info@northernprotects.com.

PennDOT Extends Expiration Dates for Apportioned Vehicle Registrations to June 16, 2021

PennDOT Approves Tolls for Bridges in Funding Model

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced that the expiration date for apportioned vehicle registrations for Pennsylvania registrants that were set to expire between May 31, 2021 and June 16, 2021 are now extended through June 16, 2021.

Customers in need of apportioned registration renewals now have until on June 16, 2021 to complete the renewal process.

Apportioned registrants should mail their apportioned renewal applications or invoice payment to the Department for processing, or it may be dropped off at the Riverfront Office Center in Harrisburg, 1101 S. Front Street, Harrisburg.

Apportioned invoices may be paid in person by cash, certified check, cashier’s check or money order made payable to Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Invoices can also be paid via wire transfer, please visit our website at www.dmv.pa.gov for more information.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.

FMCSA Medical Review Board Advances Plan for Drivers with Monocular Vision

FMCSA vision exemption program and Drivers with Monocular Vision

Last week, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Medical Review Board approved a proposal to eliminate the exemption process for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers with monocular vision.

When finalized, the amendment would permit an individual who cannot meet either the current distant visual acuity or field of vision standard or both, in one eye to be physically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce under specified conditions.

Currently, a driver who does not have a correctable 20/40 vision in both their left and right eyes, by wearing prescription glasses or contact lenses, would be disqualified from operating a CMV in interstate commerce unless they received a vision exemption.

Specific automatic medically disqualified conditions can be found under 49 CFR Part 391.41.

The current standard requires drivers to have:

  • A distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 (Snellen) in each eye without corrective lenses or visual acuity separately corrected to 20/40 (Snellen) or better with corrective lenses.
  • A distant binocular acuity of at least 20/40 (Snellen) in both eyes with or without
    corrective lenses.
  • A field of vision of at least 70 degrees in the horizontal Meridian in each eye.
  • The ability to recognize the colors of traffic signals and devices showing standard red,
    green, and amber.

FMCSA vision exemption program

The current FMCSA vision exemptionprogram is for monocular vision.

The waiver currently in place has been granting drivers with vision in only one eye since 1998 and is estimated that over 2,500 interstate drivers hold an FMCSA vision exemption.

The vision exemption is issued for a maximum of 2 years and is renewable. Provisions of the vision exemption include an annual medical exam and an eye exam by an ophthalmologist or an optometrist.

At the annual recertification exam, the driver should present the current vision exemption and a copy of the specialist’s eye exam report. The medical examiner will certify the qualified driver, usually for one year, and issue a medical exam certificate with the vision exemption marked on the form.

The driver is responsible to carry both the vision exemption and the medical exam certificate while driving and keeping both current and up to date.

What is changing with the FMCSA vision exemption program?

An alternative vision standard would involve a two-step process for physical qualification.

  1. A prospective driver seeking physical qualification would obtain a vision evaluation from an ophthalmologist or optometrist. The findings would provide specific medical information and opinions on a proposed Vision Evaluation Report.
  2. A medical examiner would perform an examination and determine whether the individual meets the proposed vision standard along with FMCSA’s physical qualification standards. If the medical examiner determines that the individual meets the physical qualification standards, the medical examiner could issue a Medical Examiner’s Certificate for a maximum of 12 months.

With some limited exceptions, individuals initially physically qualified under the alternative standard would be required to complete a road test by a prospective employer motor carrier before operating a CMV in interstate commerce.

The approved proposal would grandfather provision for drivers currently operating under the vision waiver study program.


Why choose CNS for my DOT physical?

CNS offers DOT physical exams on-site at our Lititz, PA location with our Certified Medical Examiner (CME). For more flexibility, we offer mobile DOT physicals to companies that qualify. Find out if your company qualifies now.

We are efficient in scheduling appointments and respect your time, preventing you from having long wait times in crowded waiting rooms. We also have competitive rates, and we understand your budget and operating costs as a driver and/or company.

The CNS Occupational Medicine staff is experienced and friendly, and our CMEs are professionals that will effectively evaluate your status.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.

FMCSA Proposes To Delay Four Medical Examiner Final Rule Provisions To 2025

DOT Physical Exams | DOT Compliance | CNS

In what looks to be a ten-year delay, part of which first took effect in January 2015, the rule will require FMCSA to electronically transmit exam results of drivers’ medical certifications to state licensing agencies.

The FMCSA’s latest supplemental notice proposes to extend the compliance date again for several provisions of its 2015 medical examiner’s certification integration final rule by another four years, until June 23, 2025, extending from the previous date of June 22, 2021.

In December 2017, the registry experienced an outage that lasted seven months. During that time, FMCSA suspended medical examiners’ uploading of driver examinations until that functionality was restored.

According to the new notice, “this action is being taken to provide FMCSA time to complete certain information technology system development tasks for its National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners and to provide the state driver’s licensing agencies sufficient time to make the necessary IT programming changes after the new national registry system is available.”

Since the hacking outage, the FMCSA says it has experienced additional setbacks in its efforts to launch the national registry replacement system that require an additional delay.

What Is Being Delayed

FMCSA looks to postpone four provisions having to do with the electronic transmission of certain records from the agency’s national registry website to state licensing agencies, and from state licensing agencies to the Commercial Driver’s License Information System.

These are:

  • FMCSA to electronically transmit, from the national registry to the state licensing agencies driver identification information, examination results and restriction information from examinations performed for holders of commercial learner’s permits or commercial driver’s licenses (interstate and intrastate).
  • FMCSA to electronically transmit to the state licensing agency medical variance information for all commercial motor vehicle drivers.
  • State licensing agencies to post on the Commercial Driver’s License Information System driver record the driver identification, examination results, and restriction information received electronically from FMCSA.
  • Motor carriers to no longer be required to verify that commercial learner’s permit/CDL drivers were certified by a certified medical examiner listed on the national registry.

Ultimately, once the rule is fully implemented, motor carriers will no longer be required to verify that CDL/CLP drivers were certified by a certified medical examiner listed on the National Registry.

A 30-day comment period is expected to follow.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.

8 Counties Added To PA Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine for Spring 2021

Spotted Lanternfly Permits | DOT Compliance Services | CNS

Warm spring weather is just around the corner, and that means Spotted Lanternfly nymphs will begin hatching. This typically happens around mid-May, so there’s still time for two important projects – scraping egg masses and getting your circle traps ready.

Egg masses can literally be anywhere, as the adult lanternfly are pretty sneaky! Good places to look are on trees along the edges of forested land, on wooden or metal posts, the underside of patio furniture and in the wheel wells of vehicles that might not have moved over winter.

In March, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced that eight counties have been added to Pennsylvania’s Spotted Lanternfly quarantine zone, which now includes 34 counties, ahead of the 2021 spring hatch.

Spotted Lanternflies can potentially hitch a ride on products and vehicles, thus moving into a new area and spreading the infestation. So, businesses who ship products inside and out of quarantined zones are required to have a Spotted Lanternfly Permit.

These permits demonstrate the businesses have working knowledge of this pest and the best practices to prohibit its spread.

Every Pennsylvanian needs to keep their eyes peeled for signs of this bug, scrape every egg mass, squash every bug, and report every sighting.

The new eight counties include:

  • Cambria
  • Cameron
  • Franklin
  • Lackawanna
  • Montour
  • Pike
  • Wayne
  • Westmoreland

Last spring Pennsylvania quarantined 12 counties with isolated infestations, and those counties have not been overrun because of the heightened awareness a quarantine brings. With continued aggressive treatment and monitoring, and an actively engaged community, we can help ensure families and businesses in these new counties are not inconvenienced by widespread infestation.

Currently the following counties are under quarantine in Pennsylvania:

  • Allegheny
  • Beaver
  • Berks
  • Blair
  • Bucks
  • Cambria
  • Cameron
  • Carbon
  • Chester
  • Columbia
  • Cumberland
  • Dauphin
  • Delaware
  • Franklin
  • Huntingdon
  • Juniata
  • Lackawanna
  • Lancaster
  • Lebanon
  • Lehigh
  • Luzerne
  • Mifflin
  • Monroe
  • Montgomery
  • Montour
  • Northampton
  • Northumberland
  • Perry
  • Philadelphia
  • Pike
  • Schuylkill
  • Wayne
  • Westmoreland
  • York

There are also quarantine counties or zones in the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia.

 

It is time to begin spring inspections

If you suspended inspections during the winter months, April 1st marks the day to begin inspections for the year.

  • Inspections should be completed before:
  • Documentation is required and must:
    • Identify the person conducting the inspection
    • Demonstrate an inspection was performed to prevent spread of the pest
    • Show the control measures taken if live SLF were found (e.g. destruction of SLF)
  • There is no required template for vehicle inspections.
    • If possible, incorporate SLF inspections into existing activities, such as daily inspections or safety checks, rather than keeping additional logs.
    • Examples of inspection logs can be found on the PDA SLF Business web page.
    • Electronic records are acceptable if you can make them available during a verification checkpoint or audit.

Check out the program FAQs for more details.

 

Permit Renewal Information

All Pennsylvania SLF permit holders should have a permit with an 11-digit permit number preceded by PA, e.g. PA-20190400045.

Permits are free, but online training is required to obtain them. Managers and/or supervisors who demonstrate working knowledge and understanding of this insect and the quarantine requirements may obtain a permit.

A renewal notice and a replacement paper permit were sent to all permit holders who were originally issued hangtags and/or decals. If you have not received your paper permit, please email slfpermit@pa.gov.

  • The new paper permit is valid until the permit holder receives a renewal notification. This timeframe may exceed one year. Renewal notifications will be sent via email or letter.
  • No additional training is required at this time.
  • Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) no longer issues hangtags or decals.

If you have not received your permit or gone through the required training, CNS is trained on the Spotted Lanternfly Permit requirements.

 

“Look Before You Leave” – Best Practices for Containing Spotted Lanternflies

When driving in and out of quarantined areas, drivers should inspect vehicles before moving. Other tips for avoiding unintentional spread of this insect include these strategies:

  • don’t park in or under tree lines
  • keep windows rolled up
  • know the life stages of the spotted lanternfly
  • know the spotted lanternfly season and when to look for these insects
  • report sightings of the spotted lanternfly
  • Destroy any you find. Watch: How To Remove Spotted Lanternfly Eggs. Remember that every egg mass you scrape removes 30-50 lanternfly from the population!

How Can CNS help?

CNS is trained on the Spotted Lanternfly Permit requirements from the PA Department of Agriculture. We offer training for your drivers to identify and help contain and eventually stop the spread of this insect.

The CNS course is a 35-45 min training. Please note a supervisor from your company will still be required to take the permitting course from the Penn State Extension Website.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.


CDL Driver Preparation for a DOT Physical Exam and Possible Disqualifications

What to bring for a DOT Physical Exam?

The entire process for getting a DOT physical goes much smoother for both the examiner and the driver when drivers are prepared for the physical exam. 

Department of Transportation (DOT) physical exams ensure that drivers are in good health to do their job safely. The federal regulations require all drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) to pass a physical to obtain a DOT medical card.

A DOT physical, also called a CDL physical, is a test of your general health, mental and emotional well-being and are required for drivers at trucking, construction, local delivery, waste and recycling, moving, passenger transportation, distribution, and other companies.

If you are scheduled for a DOT Physical Exam you will need to bring your current driver’s license, updated address card (if applicable), and your current medical card.

In addition, if you are being treated by a medical provider for any of the below conditions, additional information may be needed for qualification and we recommend that it be brought along with you.

 

What can you expect during the DOT physical exam?

Once you arrive to the exam location, paperwork will need to be completed for the exam.

A urine sample will be collected that will check for blood, protein, and sugar in your urine. This sample is not for a drug screen.

A nurse will see you and the following will be performed: 

  • height and weight
  • eye exam
  • hearing exam
  • blood pressure and pulse
  • oxygen saturation
  • temperature
  • body mass index, and
  • neck circumference

Next you will see the medical examiner for your physical and determination. If any additional information is needed, you will be given instructions and will have 45 days to have the documentation faxed or brought in for review.

 

Are there automatic health disqualifications for a CDL driver?

Yes, there are five main automatic disqualifications for specific medical conditions. According to federal regulations under 49 CFR 391.4, the five conditions are:

  1. hearing loss,
  2. vision loss,
  3. epilepsy,
  4. insulin use to treat diabetes, and
  5. use of any habit-forming drugs, including narcotics and amphetamines.

Regarding vision loss, if you do not have a correctable 20/40 vision in both your eyes, then you will be disqualified medically. Correctable vision are glasses or contacts and will be noted during the exam.

Drivers can receive diabetes and vision exemptions to drive a CMV safely.

The vision exemption is issued for a maximum of two years and is renewable but requires an annual medical and eye exam by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. The motor carrier is responsible for ensuring that the driver has the required documents before driving a CMV and the driver is responsible for carrying both the current vision exemption and current medical certificate while driving.

Some other temporary disqualifications include cardiovascular issues and psychological disorders.

Cardiovascular disqualification requires the CMV driver “to exhibit higher than acceptable likelihood of acute incapacitation from a cardia event, resulting in increased risk to the safety and health of the driver and the public.” Examiners will explain why you might be temporarily or permanently disqualified from getting a medical certificate.

Some psychological or personality disorders can directly affect memory, reasoning, attention, and judgement. “Disorders of a periodically incapacitating nature, even in the early stages of development, may warrant disqualification.”

When disqualification is made, the driver may be given steps to help fix the condition and possibly be restored to medical fitness of duty.

The examiner may also include a recommended waiting period before the examiner can authorize qualification. The driver will be disqualified from driving a CMV until the required steps and additional exam authorizes qualification.

Drivers who take any prescribed medications:

Drivers need to bring a complete list of prescribed medications, doses, and the providers contact information.

 

Additional information to bring to a DOT physical exam

Drivers who have diabetes:

Drivers need to bring a copy of their last lab work which includes fasting blood sugar and HGA1C. Results should be from within the last 4 months. If they have a journal of your finger sticks, have that available for the exam. Those who are using insulin, please call into the office for further instructions.

Drivers who have high blood pressure:

Drivers who are being treated for high blood pressure should have the last visit note from their provider regarding their high blood pressure and blood pressure readings. Drivers should have blood work not older than 6 months (routine blood work done on High blood pressure patients, creatinine, BUN, fasting glucose, Electrolytes and ECG if 1 year or less old).

A complete list of medications used to control high blood pressure and any at home readings should be available for review during the exam.

Drivers who are required to wear eyeglasses, contact lenses, or hearing devices:

Drivers should be sure to have their glasses with them or contact lenses in place, and hearing devices for the exam.

Drivers who have heart related issues, past or current:

Drivers will need to bring documentation from their cardiologist that reviews medical history, lab work and cardiac testing. In some cases, the driver may need to bring the results of a recent ECHO cardiogram, stress test or any other required testing that has been completed within the past 1-2 years. Please call the office for further instructions and the cardiac clearance form that your provider will need to complete.

Drivers with sleep apnea:

Drivers that are currently using a CPAP machine for sleep apnea will need to bring in a printout of their usage for the last 365 days that shows usage compliance greater than 4 hours; at least 70% of the time, per night. If you have questions regarding this, please call the office for further instructions.

Drivers who are under mental health treatment:

Some mental health treatment requires medications that need to be reviewed by the medical examiner.  A special form may need to be completed by the treating provider before determination can be made on the safety of operating a CMV. Please call the office for further instructions and to obtain the proper forms to have completed.

Drivers who have recently completed a SAP program:

Drivers who have completed a SAP Program need to bring their clearance forms and any documentation that shows verification of completion. For additional questions, please contact the office.

 

Why choose CNS for my DOT physical?

CNS offers DOT physical exams at our location in Lititz, PA with our Certified Medical Examiner (CME), and we also have mobile DOT physicals available. We know your time and money is valuable, which is why we have flexible availability during the week and the weekend.

We are efficient in scheduling appointments and respect your time, preventing you from having long wait times in crowded waiting rooms. We also have competitive rates, and we understand your budget and operating costs as a driver and/or company.

The CNS Occupational Medicine staff is experienced and friendly, and our CMEs are professionals that will effectively evaluate your status.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.

Can Carriers Legally Have 2 DOT Numbers?

Can Carriers Legally Have 2 DOT Numbers? | CNS

Are all carriers with multiple DOT numbers trying to cheat the system? The short answer is no.

Over the years, the Department of Transportation has been cracking down on carriers or drivers from dropping a bad DOT Number for a new clean record. These carriers are called “chameleon carriers” because they try to blend into new surroundings, hiding themselves from their past negative record.

Another frequently used term is “reincarnated carriers.” They are technically different as they are groups of companies that move assets around to prevent fees or compliance issues, whereas chameleon carriers shut down and start new companies to try and prevent fees and compliance issues.

Chameleon carriers are bad for the trucking industry because many are unsafe operators who disregard hours of service compliance, vehicle or truck maintenance, and/or customer service. There are companies who sometimes use cardboard signs to quickly swap their DOT number and company name while on the road to prevent roadside enforcement.

It has been estimated that chameleon carriers are involved in nearly three times the rate of new carrier severe crashes, which has led the DOT and other organizations to the prevention of reincarnated or chameleon carriers.

But are all carriers with multiple DOT numbers trying to cheat the system? The short answer is no.

According to Adam Galante, a DOT compliance expert at Compliance Navigation Specialists, “What drives people to have multiple DOT numbers are the insurance rates, which are determined by  their hauling classification. We see it a lot with farmers who do follow regulations, but haul different items and fall under multiple classifications.”

“A fertilizer hauler contacted us to get another DOT number and instantly we are trained to think they are a chameleon carrier, but that is not the case. He can have different entities, but he has to keep the equipment separate. It’s when you start sharing equipment that things can get ugly, unless there is a proper lease agreement to share it.”

“For instance, the fertilizer hauler may want two DOT numbers. One for when he picks up fertilizer for his farm operation and another for picking up and delivering fertilizer to other distributors. So, if he is picking it up for his own farm use as well as delivering to other distributors needing fertilizer, he would need to separate the entities because they would own a  private property farm as one entity and a commercial operation as another entity. This is significant because a farm and a commercial operation wouldn’t operate the same and insurance rates would be different as well.”

 

When is it legal to have more two or more DOT numbers?

The FMCSA’s policy is to assign a unique USDOT identification number to each person required to identify themself with FMCSA and remain assigned to that person forever under 49 U.S.C. 13902, 31134 and 49 C.F.R. 390.19T or 390.200T.  

According to the DOT, “a person includes an individual, corporation, partnership, or other business organization as authorized by state law. Each separate and distinct person must have separate registration.”

For corporations, partnerships, and other business organizations, the USDOT number will remain the same when there is a change in company officials, address or other demographic information, and the corporation, partnership, or other business organization will continue operations as the same legal person/entity.

The only time a company will need multiple DOT numbers is if they operate two or more separate commercial driving entities.

Why choose Compliance Navigation Specialists for your licensing and permitting needs?

In other words, the company needs to have separate entities but have familial ownership. This can happen due to a company acquisition or a large company that has multiple divisions.  

“For example, there is a company who has one tractor trailer, bus transportation, and a pickup to haul empty containers from the ports,” said Adam Galante of CNS. “These are considered three completely different operations. You do not want to put these on the same insurance policy, which is why we separate them as separate entities.”

Many others choose the route of having a single DOT number parent company where the parent company has the DOT number, appropriate insurance, and all subsidiaries are listed as per insurance regulations. They have corporate leases between the parent company and subsidiaries that cover the ownership of the equipment, addressing company vehicles only, not owner-operators.

Everything they have runs under the parent company regardless of which entity the equipment is registered to.

Whether you choose to get one or two DOT numbers, you do need to follow proper procedures so that you can operate your vehicle legally.

 

Are USDOT numbers transferable?

According to a recent Transport Topics article, “the rise in acquisitions ultimately is good since it gives small fleet owners a way out besides bankruptcy and puts their business in a position to scale up with another company.” This trend is likely to continue given the rise in insurance costs.

However, understanding what happens to DOT numbers during an acquisition or merger is important.

To answer the question, no, USDOT numbers are not transferable but operating authorities, or MC numbers, are transferable. This is because USDOT numbers are a unique identifier to track the safety history of a specific carrier. Transferring a USDOT number would have the effect of transferring the entire safety history of one entity to another separate entity. 

This means that if a merger or acquisition creates a new legal entity, a new USDOT number will be required as well.

Questions about multiple DOT numbers can come up here because there is safety history and experience associated to the DOT number, which lowers insurance rates. When the companies merge and get a new DOT number, this is going to increase insurance rates because there is naturally higher insurance for a new entrant who has no safety history associated to the DOT number. 

In some cases, you may be able to transfer the drivers’ qualification files (DQ files) from the merged or acquired entity to the gaining or new entity. 

If drivers do not need to apply for a role at the new company, the DQ files from the previous DOT number can be accepted.  However, a note should be put into the DQ file specifying the date of the acquisition or merger to indicate why the DQ files have a different motor carrier identified.

It is also important to note that the transferred DQ files should be audited by a trained DOT compliance expert to make sure the transferred files meet the DOT requirements, as this new entity is also required to have a new entrant audit in the next 6-18 months of operation.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.


Audit Services

We are here to assist with all DOT compliance needs and any type of DOT audit you are going through, including New Entrant Audits, IFTA Audits, IRP Audits, Audit Representation and we will even perform a Mock Audit for your company.

Spotted Lanternfly Permit Renewals and Fall Prevention For Fleets

Spotted Lanternfly Permits | DOT Compliance Services | CNS

Fall brings the insects life stage to adults and egg masses are present. After storing up the summer warmth and energy, they are beginning to swarm.

This invasive plant hopper species, the Spotted Lanternfly, has found its way to the US and rapidly spread throughout southeast Pennsylvania with the potential to infest agricultural crops and create a lot of issues for residents.

Spotted Lanternflies can potentially hitch a ride on products and vehicles, thus moving into a new area and spreading the infestation.

8 Counties Added To PA Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine As Spring 2021 Hatching Approaches

Businesses who ship products in and out of quarantined zones in Pennsylvania are required to have a Spotted Lanternfly Permit.

These permits demonstrate that the business know of this invasive pest and best practices to prohibit its spread.

Spotted Lanternfly Permitting renewals and requirements

Since April 2019, the Spotted Lanternfly Permit style has changed. Currently, only one paper permit is issued to each company. Each company can now make as many copies as needed to issue to their drivers.

Permits are free, but online training is required to obtain them. Managers and/or supervisors who demonstrate working knowledge and understanding of this insect and the quarantine requirements may obtain a permit.

Check out our industry library resources of 15 videos, 2 ebooks, industry links, and CNS In The News content.

In July, a renewal notice and replacement paper permit (blue and white trifold) were sent to all permit holders as a replacement for the old orange tags.

  1. How do I renew?
    • If you have a blue and white paper permit, no further action is needed. If you have not received a paper permit, email slfpermit@pa.gov.
  2. When does my permit expire?
    • Permits do not have an expiration date.
  3. Do I have to retake the permit course and exam?
    • No additional training is required at this time.

If you have not received your permit or gone through the required training, CNS is trained on the Spotted Lanternfly Permit requirements from the PA Department of Agriculture.

We offer training for your drivers to identify and help contain and eventually stop the spread of this insect.

The CNS course is a 35-45 min training. Please note a supervisor from your company will still be required to take the permitting course from the Penn State Extension Website.


Spotted Lanternfly Permitting Course

If you have not received your permit or gone through the required training, CNS is trained on the Spotted Lanternfly Permit requirements.

Fall Prevention Steps to Prevent Spotted Lanternfly Spread

With Spring comes the return of the Spotted Lanternfly season. Fall brings the insects life stage to adults and egg masses are present. After storing up the summer warmth and energy, they are beginning to swarm. In areas of heavy populations, thousands of the invasive insect will gather in mass on trees, houses and other tall structures, to launch themselves into the wind and glide, looking for food and a safe place to lay their eggs.

If you observe SLF in Pennsylvania, report these swarms via the Public Reporting Tool.

Fleets should inspect vehicles, trailers and items stored outdoor before movement within or from the quarantine, as well as inspect goods prior to transport or sale.

Most importantly, make any efforts to destroy the Spotted Lanternflies to help reduce populations. Spotted Lanternflies can be controlled with a combination of physical removal of life stages and host trees, and pesticide applications. Use Penn State Extension’s management resources to safely manage the insects on your property or at your business.

More efforts to reduce the spread of the Spotted Lanternfly

This year, the PDA Compliance and Enforcement Team is offering compliance assistance to help companies become spotted lanternfly compliant and get permitted.

The PDA has partnered with the PA State Police as part of “Operation Spotted Lanternfly” to do roadside inspections. After the State Police do their DOT inspections, the PDA team will interview the driver, inspect their permits and related logs, and do a vehicle inspection.

Roadside inspections have proven to be effective, and the PDA Compliance and Enforcement Team expects to increase the number of inspections this coming Spotted Lanternfly season.

Know the quarantine zones

To stop the movement and spread of spotted lanternflies, quarantines are in effect. A quarantine means certain articles cannot be moved out of the area. Industries located or operating inside the quarantine zone will need a Spotted Lanternfly Permit.

Currently the following counties are under quarantine in Pennsylvania:

  • Allegheny
  • Beaver
  • Berks
  • Blair
  • Bucks
  • Carbon
  • Chester
  • Columbia
  • Cumberland
  • Dauphin
  • Delaware
  • Huntingdon
  • Juniata
  • Lancaster
  • Lebanon
  • Lehigh
  • Luzerne
  • Mifflin
  • Monroe
  • Montgomery
  • Northampton
  • Northumberland
  • Perry
  • Philadelphia
  • Schuylkill
  • York

There are also quarantine counties or zones in the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia.

Learn what counties are quarantined in New Jersey and Virginia

Quarantine counties have restricted movement of certain articles. The PA Department of Agriculture lists these prohibited items:

  • any living stage of the Spotted Lanternfly—Lycorma delicatula—including egg masses, nymphs, and adults
  • brush, debris, bark, or yard waste
  • landscaping, remodeling or construction waste
  • logs, stumps, or any tree parts
  • firewood of any species
  • grapevines for decorative purposes or as nursery stock
  • nursery stock
  • crated materials
  • outdoor household articles such as: recreational vehicles, lawn tractors and mowers, mower decks, grills, grill and furniture covers, tarps, mobile homes, tile, stone, deck boards, mobile fire pits, any associated equipment and trucks or vehicles not stored indoors

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.

IFTA Fuel Tax Rate Changes Q3 2020

IFTA Fuel Tax Rates | IFTA | CNS

With 11 states showing a tax rate change, the Q3 IFTA return due date is October 31st.


What are the 2020 IFTA tax rates for the 3rd quarter?

The International Fuel Tax Association (IFTA) has released the 3rd quarter 2020 fuel taxes. You can download the full list of 2020 Q3 tax rates below and can also find more information on the International Fuel Tax Association at their website.

Which states had IFTA tax rate changes?

There were eleven states that showed a tax rate change, which include California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, South Carolina, and Virginia. IFTA lists the 3rd Quarter 2020 Tax Rate Changes, which will go into effect on July 1, 2020.

Managing IFTA requirements can be challenging. Between tracking receipts, managing mileage logs, matching fuel to taxes, chasing drivers and filing with the jurisdictions, it is easy to see why many companies search out solutions for the complicated process.


Fuel Taxes: Free Estimate

Our Fuel Tax Specialists will give you a free estimate. They can also answer any questions you have on fuel taxes or reporting.

When are your IFTA taxes due?

The IFTA return due date for the 3rd quarter is October 31st. Take a look below for a list of IFTA fuel tax reporting for the each quarter.

  • 1st quarter (January to March) — April 30
  • 2nd quarter (April to June) — July 31
  • 3rd quarter (July to September) — October 31
  • 4th quarter (October to December) — January 31

Check out our industry library resources of 15 videos, 2 ebooks, industry links, and CNS In The News content.

CNS takes your fuel tax reporting worries away! 

CNS is a full-service tax provider that can manage the entire process for you from start to finish and offers custom simple solutions for companies of all sizes. 

Our fuel tax specialists will work with you to collect your data, ensure your fuel and mileage match, prepare your filings, and even file the paperwork for you directly. 

What CNS fuel tax team will do and what is needed from you.

PennDOT Extends CDL, Commercial Learner’s Permits and HME Expiration Dates

PennDOT Extends CDL expiration

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced Tuesday that, in response to statewide COVID-19 mitigation efforts, expiration dates for commercial driver licenses and commercial learner’s permits will be extended for Pennsylvania residents through September 30, 2020.

This PennDOT extension now lines up with the Federal extension announced in June.

Expiration extensions will apply to the following credentials:

  1. Commercial learner’s permits: if scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020  – September 30, 2020
  2. Commercial driver licenses: if scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020 – September 30, 2020
  3. Hazardous Materials Endorsements (HME): for individuals who are a Pennsylvania-licensed commercial driver’s license holder and held a valid, unexpired HME with a determination of no security threat on or after March 6, 2020

The extension for deadlines related to expiring non-commercial driver license, photo identification cards, learner’s permits and camera cards is on August 31, 2020. 

For a list of open driver license and photo license centers and the services provided, as well as their hours of operation, please visit www.dmv.pa.gov.  

The CNS network of collection sites are open for DOT physicals and required drug and alcohol testing.

Schedule a DOT physical or drug test by calling CNS today at 888.260.9448.


DOT Compliance Services

Simplify the entire physical, drug consortium and DQF process

Our complete Proactive Safety Management (PSM) program has been organized to get you through an FMCSA audit by managing your driver qualification files, drug consortium, Electronic Logging Devices (ELD), vehicle maintenance and more.

Whether you are a large trucking company that is onboarding drivers quickly or a construction outfit with multiple trucks in your fleet, you need to stay aware of FMCSA regulations.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.