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Trucking industry associations file lawsuit over vaccine mandate

A press release from the American Trucking Association.

Suit Filed in Fifth Circuit, Which Has Preliminarily Stayed Mandate

Arlington, Virginia – Today, the American Trucking Associations, along with the Louisiana Motor Truck Association, the Mississippi Trucking Association and the Texas Trucking Association led a number of groups representing various facets of the supply chain in suing the Biden Administration over its employer-based COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

“To be very clear, ATA and its member companies support efforts to encourage all Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 – our trucks and drivers have been on the front line in fighting this pandemic since the beginning, moving personal protective equipment, test kits, the vaccine itself and much more as the country locked down, but we believe that the Biden Administration has overstepped its statutory authority in issuing this Emergency Temporary Standard,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “This standard arbitrarily picks winners and losers, and puts employers in an untenable position of forcing workers to choose between working and their private medical decisions, which is something that cannot be allowed.

“We told the administration that this mandate, given the nature of our industry and makeup of our workforce, could have devastating impacts on the supply chain and the economy and they have, unfortunately, chosen to move forward despite those warnings,” he said. “So we are now, regrettably, forced to seek to have this mandate overturned in court.”

ATA and its state partners filed their challenge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and they were joined in the suit by the Food Marketing Institute, the International Warehouse Logistics Association, the National Association of Convenience Stores, the National Retail Federation, the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors and the National Federation of Independent Business.

“We are asking the court to stay implementation of the mandate because we believe the Occupational Safety and Health Administration did not satisfy the statutory requirements for issuing this Emergency Temporary Standard instead of going through the proper rulemaking process,” said Nicholas Geale, ATA vice president of workforce policy. “A stay pending full review is essential to ensure our members can continue to keep the supply chain moving without the enormous disruptions this unlawful ETS will cause the trucking industry and our nation’s consumers – including the 80% percent of American communities that depend exclusively on trucks for their needs.”

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Update now to the new FMCSA ELD public certificate

Note: This message applies only to ELD providers with devices that support telematics (web services and email) transfer. It does not affect ELDs that support only the local transfer option (Bluetooth and USB).

For those who have not completed the update to FMCSA’s new ELD public certificate, this is your final reminder before the November 12, 2021 deadline. On November 12, 2021, FMCSA’s old ELD public certificate will no longer be accepted. This means that, beginning November 13, 2021, ELDs that have not had the necessary software updates will not be able to transfer files via email.

To keep your telematics devices in full compliance with the ELD regulations, you must take the steps below by November 12, 2021.

Download the new FMCSA ELD public certificate

  • Visit the Develop and Test Your Device page in the ELD Provider Portal (login required).
  • Look in the Data Transfer section and click on FMCSA ELD public certificate (exp. 07/19/2024) to start the download.
  • Download the ELD Interface Control Document (ICD) for additional instructions.

Update your customers

Once ELD providers update their device software to use the new FMCSA ELD public certificate, they must inform their customers of the software update and advise them to accept the software update on their devices to avoid any interruption in service.

Deadline: November 12, 2021

The deadline for providers to update to the new FMCSA ELD public certificate is November 12, 2021, which is the date when the current public certificate will no longer be accepted. If providers have not completed the certificate update on their telematics devices by this date, their ELDs will not be able to transfer files to FMCSA via the email transfer method and the device will not be in compliance with the ELD regulations.

Can ELD providers use the new certificate before November 12, 2021?

Yes. While FMCSA’s system will continue to accept the current FMCSA ELD public certificate until November 12, 2021, as of September 9, 2021, the system also accepts the new certificate so that providers can begin the certificate update as soon as possible. ELD providers are strongly encouraged to complete this certificate update well in advance of the November 12, 2021 deadline to avoid any interruption in service to customers.

What if the device does not support email transfer?

If a device supports the local transfer option (both Bluetooth and USB), it is not required to support email transfer. If a device supports the telematics option, even though web services is FMCSA’s preferred transfer method, the device must support both web services and email to be considered compliant.

Questions?

For further instructions, consult the ELD Interface Control Document (login required).

ATA pushes back on vaccine mandates

American Trucking Association President and CEO Chris Spear noted any vaccine mandates placed on the trucking industry – including drivers –  will result in additional disruptions to an already strained supply chain.

The Biden administration’s plan requires companies with more than 100 employees to mandate vaccines or weekly COVID testing.

“The first rule of any public health policy should be ‘do no harm,'” said Spear. “Unfortunately, these latest mandates and the unintended consequences they’ll create fall short of that standard.”

For additional information, read the article by Jason Cannon on the Commercial Carrier Journal website.

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Boyle Transportation earns “Best Fleets to Drive For” award

Boyle Transportation logoBoyle Transportation has again received top honors in the Best Fleets to Drive For program at the 2021 Truckload Carriers Association Annual Convention in Las Vegas. Boyle has won the award for two consecutive years.

In a year with record participation and more than 150 fleet nominations, Nussbaum [Transportation Services] and Boyle stood out from the competition by leading in innovation, driver development and workplace culture efforts. Nussbaum was named best-in-class in the large carrier category, while Boyle won the small carrier category division.

Congratulations to Marc and Andrew Boyle and the entire Boyle Transportation team!

 

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Truck Driver Appreciation Week

During the week of September 12 – 18, the trucking industry and its customers will come together to honor professional drivers nationwide.  SmartWay carrier partners that demonstrate economic and environmental leadership by moving goods in the cleanest and most efficient way possible could not do it without the commitment of their drivers. Let’s all thank a truck driver for their hard work.

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TAM members help those in need

Hope & Comfort LogoTAM members are providing an amazing assist to Hope & Comfort by transporting one million bars of soap to various charity distribution centers around the Commonwealth. TAM member Hope & Comfort is the only organization in Boston solely dedicated to addressing youth hygiene insecurity, and has benefited greatly from the time and transport donated by our membership.

We are so proud of our members for working tirelessly to help those in need!

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Drivers weigh in on truck parking availability systems

An American Transportation Research Institutes (ATRI) white paper reviews how professional truck drivers use parking availability systems. It also goes into perspectives on how truck parking information is distributed. From ATRI

The research is based on a survey of more than 1,100 truck drivers, and cross-tabulates findings from all sectors, age groups, experience levels and gender. The research was conceptualized by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee (RAC), through their recognition that the numerous truck parking information systems being developed by public sector agencies are often based on disparate technologies and information distribution channels. The RAC believed that the lack of national standardization may be creating confusion and distrust of these potentially invaluable systems.

“This new research on driver issues and preferences toward truck parking information systems is hopefully a first step in developing a national driver-centric system, built on clear standards and approaches,” said Bill Hambrick, a professional driver for Werner Enterprises and an America’s Road Team Captain.

The research recognizes that the truck parking information systems are managed at a facility level, but corroborates that long-haul interstate drivers are the preferred users of the system, and that the system designs and approaches should not differ considerably across state lines.

The full report is available online through the ATRI website, but you will need to provide your name and email address to for the report to download.

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Playbacks from 2021 Spring Annual Conference

Our spring conference was a great success! Appreciation shout-outs to all of our terrific speakers, and as always – to our event and speaker sponsors, without whom we could not bring you such informative sessions.

To our attendees – thank you for sharing your comments and questions, and for your attendance. If you missed any speaker, the recordings of the event can be found below.

Day 1

Day 2

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Member Spotlight – ConvenientMD

ConvenientMD LogoHeadquartered in Portsmouth, NH, ConvenientMD is a walk-in and virtual healthcare provider dedicated to delivering the best medical care and experience for patients throughout New England. By offering fast, quality care at an affordable rate, ConvenientMD is raising the bar for urgent care and reshaping the delivery of modern healthcare. The recent grand openings in Dedham and Burlington mark the addition of ConvenientMD’s tenth location in Massachusetts and twenty-eighth across Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.

The existing urgent care clinics in Massachusetts are located in Bellingham, Dedham, Falmouth, Framingham, Newburyport, Pembroke, Plainville, Quincy, and Weymouth, with Ludlow and Westborough slated for openings this summer.

ConvenientMD recently announce an exciting partnership with Bain Capital Double Impact. This will position ConvenientMD to expand access to its differentiated, affordable, and flexible urgent care facilities through both service line expansions designed to make healthcare more affordable and accessible, and opening new locations in underserved areas.

ConvenientMD offers a wide range of high-quality in-clinic and integrated telehealth episodic care services, including injury and illness care, occupational health services such as DOT physicals, drug testing, and workers compensation as well as moderate and highly complex lab offerings.

Each clinic is staffed by a team of physicians, advanced practice providers, registered nurses, radiologic technologists, and other medical professionals, and features state-of-the-art technologies and capabilities, including digital X-ray, EKG and other tests, medical procedure rooms, electronic consultations with specialist providers, post-visit care navigation, and IV fluid/antibiotic treatments.

ConvenientMD offers affordable, on-demand care seven days a week, resulting in high customer satisfaction and significantly lower total cost to patients, health plans, and employers than a visit to an emergency department or other points of care for medical episodes.

ConvenientMD is excited to partner with TAM to offer discounted rates to all TAM Members. As a proud member of TAM, ConvenientMD is committed to offering affordable, convenient, and timely services to the TAM membership throughout Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire. For more information about ConvenientMD or to set up an account with us, please contact Michael Ceglie, director of business development at (781) 267-5191.

SkillsUSA Mass Diesel Equipment Technology State Championship

Top students from across Massachusetts will compete at Advantage Truck Group in the SkillsUSA Mass Diesel Equipment Technology State Championship. This hands-on event supports student interest in diesel technician-related work while helping to build the employment pipeline for the state’s trucking industry.

As part of its ongoing commitment to support training and workforce development, Advantage Truck Group will host the Diesel Equipment Technology competition for the 2021 SkillsUSA Massachusetts State Championship at its Shrewsbury facility on Friday, April 30, where the state’s top diesel technology students will come together to compete and the winner will represent Massachusetts at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference virtual competition in June.

The annual competition helps to encourage students with an interest in and aptitude for diesel technician-related work and highlights career opportunities in this field.

While the need for technicians extends across Massachusetts, the state has identified Transportation, Warehousing, and Logistics as one of the Central Massachusetts region’s top three priority industries, with diesel technicians facing among the most significant employee shortages.

“The need for qualified diesel technicians in Massachusetts creates strong job prospects for students and skills competitions like this help highlight these opportunities,” said ATG president and CEO, Kevin Holmes. “ATG is proud to be able to provide this support for SkillsUSA Massachusetts, as we see this as a vital part of technical education in the region that will help build the next generation of skilled technicians.”

This year’s state championship includes nine high schools representing six school districts across Massachusetts, with twelve students qualifying for the competition by achieving top scores on three written exams. During the event, the students will complete tasks that challenge their knowledge of tools, precision measurement, specific vehicle components, and job interview skills as they cycle through ten workstations. Stations include tasks related to engine diagnostics, electrical systems, brakes, steering, air systems and air conditioning. Students will be presented with a vehicle challenge during which they diagnose and repair several pre-assigned problems under the hood of a live vehicle, giving them the opportunity to test their skills in a real-world situation they may encounter as a professional technician.

The winner of the state championship will earn four hours of training with a Master Diesel Technician at ATG’s Shrewsbury facility to help prepare for the national competition. In addition to hosting this year’s Diesel Equipment Technology competition, ATG manages the event and is responsible for designing the hands-on tasks at each testing station.

The live competition will be held on April 30 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and will be closed to the public.