The International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) has released the 1st quarter 2019 fuel taxes. Please click below to see the rates in an excel format.
Download here: 1Q 2019
What is the Spotted Lanternfly?
The Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive planthopper native to China, India, Vietnam. It was first discovered in Pennsylvania in Berks County and has spread to other counties in the southeast portion of the Commonwealth. The insect has the potential to greatly impact agricultural crops such as grapes, hops and hardwoods. It is also reducing the quality of life for people living in heavily infested areas.
Who needs a permit?
For businesses, agencies, and organizations, a Spotted Lanternfly permit is required for those located or working within the quarantine, who move vehicles, products or other conveyances within or out of the quarantine zone.
- No cost to business to obtain a permit
- The permit process requires managers and/or supervisors to complete the online permit course to demonstrate a working knowledge and understanding of the pest and quarantine requirements.
- The online course and exam are located on the Penn State Extension website: https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly-permit-training
Enforcement Start Date May 1, 2019
How Can CNS help?
As required, all employees that drive company vehicles will need to be trained on identifying and stopping the spread of the Spotted Lanternfly. CNS is trained on the trainer requirements from the PA Department of Ag. CNS can train your drivers. This is a 35- 45 min course. Please note that a supervisor from your company will still be required to take the course from the Penn State Extension.
Elaine L. Chao, US Transportation Secretary, said “Today’s action demonstrates the Department’s commitment to reducing regulatory burdens and addressing our nation’s shortage of commercial drivers” in reference to the FMCSA announcing today a final rule reducing costs and simplifying the process to upgrade a Class B Commercial Drivers License to a Class A CDL. By adopting a new Class A CDL theory instruction upgrade curriculum, the rule will save eligible driver trainees and motor carriers across the United States over $18 million annually.
FMCSA Administrator, Raymond P. Martinez, called the final rule “common-sense” and committed the FMCSA to “strategically reform burdensome regulations to improve the lives of ordinary Americans by saving them valuable time and money – while simultaneously maintaining the highest level of safety.”
FMCSA is amending the Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulations published on December 8, 2016 detailing the ELDT rule requires the same level of theory training for individuals obtaining a CDL for the first time as for those who already hold a Class B DEL and are upgrading to a Class A CDL. FMCSA recognizes that because Class B CDL holders have prior training or experience, they should not be required to complete the same level of theory training as individuals who have never earned a CDL.
A copy of the final rule announced today is available here.
To make it easy we like to break down the steps into 3 stages.
The first stage is setting up your Business Entities and DOT authority. Choose your business name. You need to verify that the name you have chosen is available through your home-based state. After confirming your business name is available, you need to choose how you will want to set up business structure – whether an LLC or Sole Proprietorship, S Corp, Partnership, etc. is best for your new company. Once you have your company name and business structure finalized, you need to obtain your Employer Identification Number (EIN). You need this to set up your business entity, to pay employees, file your 2290, etc. Next, you need to apply for the type of business structure through your business state. This can take a couple of days or weeks depending upon your base states process.
The second stage is obtaining your DOT number and Motor Carrier number. If you are planning to be “For Hire” (meaning hauling someone else’s property) interstate, you need to set up a Motor Carrier Number which can take up to 21 days to become active. If you will be “For Hire” intrastate you need a Public Utility Commission (PUC) number, depending upon your state.
During your wait for the “For Hire” authority to complete its process, you need to start shopping for commercial auto insurance. The filings from the insurance MCS-90 needs to be filed prior to becoming “Authorized for Hire.” Choosing the right agent is very important when it comes to trucking insurance. Just because you have worked with an agent on your homeowner or car policy doesn’t mean they would be the right agent for you. Work with an agent the specializes in trucking insurance and who knows what coverages you need. It never hurts to get multiple quotes and compare. During the quoting process you need to have your truck and trailer VIN, as well as a qualified driver and driver’s information for processing your quotes (may vary from insurance carrier to carrier).
The next item you need to ensure that your Motor Carrier number will become active is a BOC3 filing. A BOC3 filing is process agent that can receive legal paperwork on your behalf in every state. Along with “Interstate” classification is a filing called a UCR, which is Unified Carrier Registration. This is a mandatory annual fee for interstate carriers to help pay for law enforcement to receive training on new laws and regulations.
When your DOT and MC is active it is time to get your vehicle titled and registered. By waiting until your MC number becomes active to title your vehicle you will save on unnecessary sales tax. If going out of state, you need to register your vehicle through the International Registration Plan (IRP) through your base state. You will then apply for an IFTA sticker. If traveling in NY, KY, OR, and/or NM you need to apply for individual HUT Permits before traveling in those states. Lastly for licensing, you need to file your Heavy Highway Use Tax (2290) within 30 days of registering your truck.
The third stage we classify as Compliance setup. You will be audited by the FMCSA on your compliance practices within your first year of operation. Get prepared and ace it to set the standard of health and compliance within your new company.
- Driver Qualification Files – Anyone driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle will need to complete a driver qualification file. The file will consist of a drivers application, Certification of Violations, Motor Vehicle Record, etc. It is important to complete and maintain a DQF file throughout the year as you can receive fines if not in compliance.
- Drug and Alcohol Consortium – Anyone driving a commercial motor vehicle over 26,001 lbs., otherwise known as a CDL driver, must complete a pre-employment Drug Test as well as be enrolled into a random drug and alcohol consortium. Potential fines for noncompliance can be as high as a $11,000 per violation.
- Vehicle Maintenance – You should keep organized files for each unit that you have under your authority. This would be any work orders, receipts, and annual inspection for your vehicles.
- Accident Register – According to FMCSA regulation, you must keep an accident register for each year and hold the completed accident register for three years.
Now that you are licensed properly, and you have properly set up your compliance you will be ready to hit the road. For a more information, or to outsource all of your compliance, insurance and/or licensing needs, contact CNS and or NIS to get setup for success.
At CNS 2019 Compliance Conference John Irwin CDS, Chief Executive Officer from Compliance Navigation Specialists discussed AOBRD transition to ELD. “The deadline is fast approaching which is December 16, 2019. Don’t wait until the last minute to make the switch. It will take some time to change your units out. Also it will take you time to learn a new system. Understanding the difference between them is key.” said John Irwin. Below is the chart that was shown in Mr. Irwin’s slides.
As a result of the Federal Commercial motor vehicle Safety
Act of 1986, Pennsylvania established a Commercial Driver
Licensing Program. This program has been developed to
improve driver quality, ensure commercial drivers have the
skills needed to operate commercial vehicles and to prevent
drivers from having more than one driver’s license. The
program requires you to have a CDL if you operate or plan
to operate any of the following Commercial motor vehicles
a) A combination of vehicles with a gross combination
weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more,
provided the vehicle being towed is in excess of
b) A single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating
(GVWR) of 26,001 or more pounds.
c) A vehicle designed to transport 16 or more persons,
including the driver.
d) A school bus designed to carry 11 passengers or more,
including the driver.
e) Any size vehicle, which transports hazardous materials
and is required to be placarded in accordance with
f) Any size vehicle used in the transportation of any material
that requires hazardous materials placards or any
quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in
42 CFR 73. Federal regulations through the Department
of Homeland Security require a background check and
fingerprinting for the Hazardous materials endorsement.
To get a CDL, you must pass knowledge and skills tests.
This manual will help you pass the tests. This manual is not a
substitute for a truck driver training class or program. Formal
training is the most reliable way to learn the many special
skills required for safely driving a large commercial vehicle
and becoming a professional driver in the trucking industry.
Figure 1.1 helps you determine if you need a CDL
Exemptions: You do not need a CDL to drive military equipment while in military uniform; certain fire and
emergency equipment owned by a fire company; or recreational vehicles; implements of husbandry; or
certain motorized construction equipment.
This section examines the requirements of the CDL and how you can get your CDL.
As part of the motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act, the Federal motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) amended
the Federal motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to require interstate commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders,
subject to the physical qualification requirements of the FMCSRs, to provide a current copy of their medical Examiner’s
Certificate (also known as the U.S. DOT Physical card) to their State Driver Licensing Agency.
Interstate is defined as trade, traffic or transportation in the united States:
• Between a place in a State and place outside of such State (including a place outside of the united States); or
• Between two places in a State through another State or a place outside of the united States; or
• Between two places in a State as part of trade, traffic, or transportation originating or terminating outside
the State or the united States.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that it is seeking public comment on revising four specific areas of current hours-of-service (HOS) regulations, which limit the operating hours of commercial truck drivers.
The upcoming Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), which will be published in the Federal Register, responds to widespread Congressional, industry, and citizen concerns and seeks feedback from the public to determine if HOS revisions may alleviate unnecessary burdens placed on drivers while maintaining safety on our nation’s highways and roads. The comment period will be open for 30 days.
The four specific areas under consideration for revision are:
- Expanding the current 100 air-mile “short-haul” exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty, in order to be consistent with the rules for long-haul truck drivers;
- Extending the current 14-hour on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions;
- Revising the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after 8-hours of continuous driving; and
- Reinstating the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks that are equipped with a sleeper-berth compartment.
In addition, the ANPRM seeks public comment and relevant data on two recently submitted petitions requesting regulatory relief from HOS rules (1) pertaining to the 14-hour on-duty limitation (filed by the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association) and (2) pertaining to the 10-hour off-duty requirement (filed by TruckerNation).
Earlier this year, the congressionally mandated electronic logging device (ELD) rule, which required most FMCSA-regulated motor carriers to convert their records from paper to an electronic format, became effective. While compliance with the ELD rule has reached nearly 99 percent across the trucking industry, it has also brought focus to HOS regulations, especially with regard to certain regulations having a significant impact on agriculture and other sectors of trucking.
Additional information on the ANPRM, including how to submit comments to the Federal Register docket, is available here.
The first in a series of public listening sessions on the ANPRM will take place Friday, August 24, 2018, in Dallas, Texas, at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time. Further information is available here
Information on current HOS regulations is available here.
Information on electronic logging devices (ELDs) carried on-board long-haul trucks and used by commercial vehicle enforcement officers to check compliance with HOS regulations is available here.
Arlington, Virginia – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today published its latest update of state and local idling regulations on its website at TruckingResearch.org. The listing is provided in two forms. An online compendium provides detailed information and hyperlinks to each of the 65 state and local regulations that have been identified. A cab card is also available that provides a consolidated listing which can be downloaded and carried in the glove box of a truck.
Among the newly enacted regulations now included in the compendium are:
- Madison, Wisconsin has a 5-minute idling limit with limited exemptions, one of which is if the temperature is less than 20ºF or more than 90ºF. Fines can range from $25 to $200.
- Sandy City, Utah has a 1-minute idling limit with limited exemptions. Violators will be given up to three warnings before a citation not exceeding $750 can be issued.
Other regulations now listed in the compendium include Newark, Delaware; Ithaca, New York; Logan, Utah; and Summit County, Utah.
ATRI continues to monitor the development of idling regulations across the country and provides the compendium and cab card as a free service to help trucking companies and truck drivers comply with the myriad of state and local idling regulations.
“Even though enforcement tends to vary among jurisdictions, with areas such as California and New York City being more active, the regulations highlight communities that are concerned about emissions from idling vehicles,” explained Mike Tunnell, ATRI’s Director of Environmental Research. “We urge trucking companies to be aware of these regulations not only to comply and avoid fines but to be good neighbors in the communities in which they operate.”
ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.
Click here for a PDF copy of idling regulations 2019.ATRI-CabCard-Jan-Updated
Harrisburg, PA – With an intense winter storm expected to bring heavy snow, high winds, sleet and freezing rain across the state through this weekend, Governor Tom Wolf today signed a state of emergency declaration to allow for increased assistance with storm-related needs. The commonwealth also will impose speed restrictions and a ban on all commercial traffic, including buses on most interstates and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. State officials urge motorists to use caution during the storm, postpone travel if possible, reduce speeds and be aware of the potential for rapidly changing weather and roadway conditions.
The commercial vehicle ban will be in place between noon Saturday and noon Sunday on all interstates and the Turnpike, except for Interstate 95 in southeastern Pennsylvania. The ban will also be imposed on the U.S. 22 expressway in the Lehigh Valley and the Pennsylvania Route 33 expressway in Northampton and Monroe counties. See a map of restricted roadways.
“We want to be aggressive in managing this storm, during which snowfall rates could exceed one to two inches per hour,” Governor Wolf said. “Our top concern is the safety of residents. If you do not have to travel during the storm, please avoid it. Please heed warnings from emergency responders and personnel, and remember to check on your neighbors, especially the elderly.”
The declaration of an emergency allows for additional help from neighboring states and standing up the Pennsylvania National Guard to ensure a swift response to possible changing priorities, and the vehicle bans will allow our snow plow crews to have a clearer route to keeping these interstates open despite the expected severe weather.
The governor’s emergency declaration authorizes state agencies to use all available resources and personnel, as necessary, to cope with the magnitude and severity of the storm’s impacts. The time-consuming bid and contract procedures, as well as other formalities normally prescribed by law, are waived for the duration of the proclamation.
It is important to note that the declaration does not restrict citizens from travel on commonwealth roadways, but motorists should be aware of any restrictions that are in place and heed the guidance of local authorities.
Speed limits will be restricted to 45 mph on the interstates and expressways as the storm progresses. The Pennsylvania Department Transportation (PennDOT), the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and the Pennsylvania State Police have been coordinating their planning in advance of the storm and will be staffing the Commonwealth Response Coordination Center (CRCC) throughout the duration of the storm. “Travel will be very challenging this weekend with the combination of heavy snow, high winds, sleet, freezing and plain rain and then a rapid drop in temperatures on Sunday,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “If you must travel, please check 511PA for the latest conditions and be prepared in case extreme conditions trigger long delays on your route.”
Anticipating the storm’s severity, Amtrak has already cancelled the cross-state Pennsylvanian passenger train for Sunday and has cancelled six trains Sunday on the Keystone Line between Philadelphia and Harrisburg.
To help make decisions regarding winter travel, motorists are encouraged to “Know Before You Go” by checking conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 860 traffic cameras. Users can also see plow truck statuses and travel alerts along a specific route using the “Check My Route” tool. 511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
A vehicle emergency kit should be prepared or restocked with items such as non-perishable food, water, first-aid supplies, warm clothes, a blanket, cell phone charger and a small snow shovel. Motorists should tailor their kits to any specific needs that they or their families have such as baby supplies, extra medication and pet supplies.
The CRCC at PEMA headquarters outside Harrisburg will be activated at 8 a.m. on Saturday and staffed with personnel from multiple state agencies, including the departments of Transportation, Conservation and Natural Resources, Environmental Protection, Fish and Boat Commission, Game Commission, General Services, Health, Public Utility Commission, Military and Veterans Affairs, Health, PA State Police, Human Services, Revenue, and PA Turnpike, as well as the American Red Cross and Civil Air Patrol. Other state agencies are on notice to report if needed.
PEMA works with county emergency management personnel to monitor unmet local needs during inclement weather affecting travel, utilities, and shelter. You are encouraged to monitor state agency social media accounts for the most up-to-date information on any emergency or weather-related situation affecting the state, in addition to any social media accounts for your local emergency management offices.
Motorists should be aware that all vehicles should be fully clear of ice and snow before winter travel. If snow or ice is dislodged or falls from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or serious bodily injury, the operator of that vehicle could receive a $200 to $1,000 fine.
When winter weather occurs, PennDOT urges drivers to be extra cautious around operating snow-removal equipment. When encountering a plow truck, drivers should:
- Stay at least six car lengths behind an operating plow truck and remember that the main plow is wider than the truck.
- Be alert since plow trucks generally travel much more slowly than other traffic.
- When a plow truck is traveling toward you, move as far away from the center of the road as is safely possible, and remember that snow can obscure the actual snow plow width.
- Never try to pass or get between several trucks plowing side by side in a “plow train.” The weight of the snow thrown from the plow can quickly cause smaller vehicles to lose control, creating a hazard for nearby vehicles.
- Never travel next to a plow truck since there are blind spots where the operator can’t see, and they can occasionally be moved sideways when hitting drifts or heavy snowpack.
- Keep your lights on to help the operator better see your vehicle. Also remember that under Pennsylvania state law, vehicle lights must be on every time a vehicle’s wipers are on due to inclement weather.
In addition to driving safely around plows, motorists are urged to drive according to conditions. If motorists encounter snow or ice-covered roads, they should slow down, increase their following distance and avoid distractions. Last winter in Pennsylvania, preliminary data shows that there were 440 crashes resulting in 221 injuries on snowy, slushy or ice-covered roadways where aggressive-driving behaviors such as speeding or making careless lane changes were factors.
To report an accident or other emergencies on the PA Turnpike, dial *11 on your mobile phone. If there is an accident, move the car out of travel lane and onto shoulder, if possible, and stay in the vehicle. For more information about PA Turnpike conditions, follow the conversation by using www.paturnpike.com/travel/twitter. You may also see advisories by clicking on the travel ticker on www.PATurnpike.com.
PennDOT has created a Winter Safety media center, including social-media-sized graphics highlighting winter driving preparations and operations at www.penndot.gov in the “Media Center” under the “About Us” footer.
For more information on safe winter travel, an emergency kit checklist and information on PennDOT’s winter operations including a video, visit PennDOT.gov/winter. Additional winter driving and other highway safety information is available at PennDOT.gov/safety Follow the conversation by using #PAWinter on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PennDOTNews and visit the department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaDepartmentofTransportation to view a winter emergency kit video.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has released the following reminder about ABORD requirements.
If you are permitted to use an AOBRD, it must follow all Federal AOBRD regulations.
All AOBRDs must meet the standards outlined in 49 CFR 395.15 and must be operated with the following features at all times:
- Integrally synchronized with the operations of the commercial motor vehicle in which it is installed
- Record engine use
- Record road speed
- Record miles driven
- Record date and time of day
If your AOBRD does not meet the standards outlined in 49 CFR 395.15, you are in violation of 49 CFR Part 395 and may be cited for 395.8(a)(1), failing to use the appropriate method to record hours of service data, and your driver placed out-of-service.
To assist companies in transitioning to the ELD rule, FMCSA permits motor carriers that had automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs) installed and in-use prior to the December 18, 2017, ELD Compliance Date to continue using these devices through December 16, 2019. If you are looking to be compliant with the ELD mandate and want a reliable ELD solution check out Pedigree’s Cabmate One.