VTBA Regional Emergency Declaration

Dear Member,

The US Department of Transportation has issued a Regional Declaration of Emergency under 49 CFR 390.23. The Declaration is for 38 states and grants emergency relief from Parts 390 through 399 of Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations with some restrictions, and includes the transportation of fuel products into and from the Affected States and jurisdictions.

Please keep a copy of this Declaration in the cab of your truck.

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Should we call it Trucksgiving?

More than 70 percent of all freight tonnage moved in the U.S. goes on trucks, according to the American Trucking Associations.

Moving 10.5 billion tons of freight each year requires more than 3.4 million trucks and about 3.5 million truck drivers. But if you plan to celebrate in the traditional style tomorrow, you have to give a nod to the real heroes of Thanksgiving: turkeys and truckers.

When Americans sit down to enjoy their Thanksgiving feast we will consume a whopping 44 million turkeys. Personally, I will account for one 15-pounder.

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Important Notice Regarding Madawaska-Edmundston Bridge Weight Limit Reduction

Madawaska, ME – The Madawaska-Edmundston International Bridge linking Madawaska, Maine and Edmundston, New Brunswick will have an immediate down-posting (weight limit) to five tons beginning on Friday, October 27th.

During a recent inspection of the bridge, inspectors found significantly more steel deterioration on the floor beams and stringers than expected. As a result, engineers have determined the need for the five ton posting.

The new weight limit ensures that the bridge remains safe for passenger vehicles but restricts all commercial vehicles over five tons, including tractor trailers, box trucks, buses and fire trucks.

The bridge will require temporary strengthening to address critical repairs. Maine DOT and NB DTI (New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure) are currently working on a plan to complete these temporary repairs as soon as possible.

Once the temporary strengthening is complete, the bridge will be evaluated to determine if the structure can provide better functionality. However, weight restrictions of some magnitude will remain in effect until a replacement bridge is complete.

Beginning in January of this year, Maine DOT and NB DTI have been working collaboratively with United States and Canadian Border Agencies on developing a long-term solution to replace or rehabilitate this 96-year-old bridge.

CSA, IRT and trucking

Item response theory is viewed as a better way to identify “cultural weaknesses” that create higher crash risk among trucking companies.

Back in June, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) issued a long-awaited report that analyzed the Compliance, Safety, Accountability or CSA program introduced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration seven years ago. The program is supposed to be a more effective way to measure motor carriers safety.

That 130-page contained what Steven Bryan, president of software developer Vigillo, called a “laundry list” of issues concerning the statistical models within the CSA program’s safety measurement system (SMS) which are then used to craft motor carrier safety scores.

During a presentation at the 2017 American Trucking Associations (ATA) annual conference in Orlando, FL, this week, Bryan and Joe DeLorenzo, FMCSA’s director of the office of compliance and enforcement, explained that the agency is going to use a new analytical “tool” to help improve the CSA safety scoring system over the next two years – a tool called “item response theory” or IRT.

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DOT allows another major fleet to let pre-CDL operators drive team

C.R. England drivers who have passed the CDL skills test but not yet returned to their home state to obtain their CDL can continue to operate as team drivers rather than having a CDL holder in the front seat at all times following the extension of a regulations exemption.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced the extension of the exemption in a Federal Register notice set to be published Friday, Oct. 20. The exemption is now effective through June 12, 2022.

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