As we celebrate the upcoming Memorial Day holiday, let us not lose site of the freedom that we all enjoy. On May 3, 2000, President William J. Clinton, designated that 3:00 pm on Memorial Day as a time for US citizens to observe one minute of silence in respect and reverence to those individuals who have given the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedom of the United States of America. Also keep in your thoughts and prayers for the wellbeing of the lives of the men and women who currently serve in our armed forces. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday!
Prepare Your Terminal Facility for the Long Memorial Day Holiday
This is the first three-day holiday weekend of the year, and it is not uncommon for thieves to target truck terminals and truck dealerships over the holidays. During the COVID-19 pandemic there has been an escalation in vehicles being broke into. Another theft item that has escalated is the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). The DPF is constructed with precious metals. Thieves use a battery powered saws all to cut off the DPF. Thieves recently stole a complete after treatment system from one of our customers units. The theft not only resulted in the cost of replacing the parts but also resulted in the unit being down for six weeks, due to parts on backorder. Thieves know this holiday is a good opportunity for successful theft, as the possibility for no one to be at the facility exists.
Here are some security tips:
- Make sure that you take extra precaution to secure the trucks and items of value at your facility.
- If your units do not have anti-siphon fuel devices or locking fuel caps, instruct the drivers not to fill the units at the end of the day.
- Make sure that all security alarms and cameras are in working order.
- Walk the perimeter of the yard to make sure that security fencing is in good condition.
- Move units and all other material such as pallets, tires, etc far enough away from the fence so they cannot be used to climb on to get over the fence.
- Review your security lighting to make sure it is operational and adequate. Lighting can be obstructed by vehicles or trees allowing a thief a place to be unseen.
- Make sure the security alarm system is operational and cameras are adjusted.
- Consider blocking the entrance and exits to the lot so units cannot be stolen. Throughout the three-day weekend assign management personnel to check the terminal randomly.
- Notify local law enforcement officials of your hours of operation over the holidays so they know when to expect activity at your location.
Using a little prevention and common sense can deter a thief from striking your facility and disrupting your business!
FMCSA Extends COVID-19 Waivers for Another Three Months
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provided a three-month extension to several emergency waivers enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Emergency Declaration and license and medical-card waivers were due to expire on May 31, 2021, after several extensions throughout 2020. The continuing impact of COVID-19 on supply chains and state licensing agencies led the agency to extend the waivers yet again.
Qualifying truck and bus drivers now have through August 31, 2021, to operating under the terms of the new waivers. However, the FMCSA could terminate or modify the waivers before then.
The Emergency Declaration applies to those motor carriers and their drivers providing direct assistance to the pandemic emergency.
The exemption is limited to transportation of:
- Livestock and livestock feed;
- Pandemic-related medical supplies and equipment, vaccines, and products related to vaccine administration and distribution;
- Masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap, disinfectants, and similar supplies and equipment; and
- Food, paper products, and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores.
Direct assistance does not include nonemergency transportation of qualifying commodities or routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration.
Qualifying motor carriers and drivers are exempt from 49 CFR Parts 390-399, except as noted in the emergency declaration that will be made available at fmcsa.dot.gov/COVID-19.
Drivers having trouble updating their licenses or medical certificates due to the pandemic now have more time to renew those credentials.
The most recent waiver for commercial driver's licenses (CDLs), commercial learner's permits (CLPs), and medical certificates is effective June 1, 2021, and will remain in place until August 31, 2021. The FMCSA says it will review these waivers on July 1 to verify they are still needed.
Under the licensing waiver, states have the option to extend the validity of CDLs and CLPs that expired on or after March 1, 2020, until August 31, 2021.
For CLP holders, the FMCSA has also waived:
- The requirement to retake the knowledge test if more than a year has passed since the permit was issued,
- The 14-day waiting period for taking the CDL skills test,
- The requirement that a CLP holder be accompanied by a CDL holder physically present in the front seat (he or she may be elsewhere in the cab), and
- Restrictions on states performing skills tests on out-of-state applicants and using certain third-party skills-test examiners who are not fully trained.
The licensing waiver is not binding on the states, so drivers should verify that their state is honoring it.
Under the revised medical-card waiver, a driver can qualify for an extension on an expiring medical card if:
- His or her existing medical card expired on or after March 1, 2021;
- The existing medical card was issued for at least 90 days;
- The driver has not been diagnosed with a disqualifying medical condition since the previous medical exam; and
- The driver carries a copy of his or her expired medical certificate and any required variance.
If any of your drivers are taking advantage of the licensing or medical-card waivers, you must notify the FMCSA of any DOT-recordable crashes involving those drivers.