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News

  • 06 Mar 2018 2:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Beginning at midnight on Tuesday, PennDOT will impose a ban on empty straight trucks, large combination vehicles (tandem trailers and double trailers), tractors hauling empty trailers, trailers pulled by passenger vehicles, motorcycles and recreational vehicles, or RVs, on:

    • Interstate 78 from the junction with Interstate 81 in Lebanon County to the New Jersey line.
    • I-80 from the junction with Interstate 81 to the New Jersey line.
    • I-81 from the Maryland line to the New York State line.
    • I-84 from the junction with Interstate 81 to the New York State line.
    • I-380 from the junction with Interstate 80 to the junction with Interstate 81.

    Additionally, at 8:00 AM on Wednesday, all commercial vehicles will be banned on I-380 and I-84 within Pennsylvania.

    Restrictions will remain in place as long as warranted through the storm. As conditions develop, speed restrictions and wider truck and vehicle bans will be considered on these routes.

    PA Turnpike is anticipating enacting the ban on empty straight trucks, large combination vehicles (tandem trailers and double trailers), tractors hauling empty trailers, trailers pulled by passenger vehicles, motorcycles and recreational vehicles, or RVs, on portions of the N.E. Extension from Allentown to the end of the N.E. Extension at midnight.  This may expand based on weather conditions.

  • 01 Mar 2018 10:41 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao swears in Raymond P. Martinez as Administrator of the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration. From left: Raymond Martinez, his wife Marin Gibson and Secretary Elaine L. Chao. Photo credit: USDOT

    U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao swore in Raymond P. Martinez as the sixth Administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

    “Ray’s years of experience promoting traffic safety at the state level, as well as his knowledge of the commercial motor vehicle industry, will help FMCSA fulfill its critical mission of improving truck and bus safety,” said Secretary Chao.

    Martinez most recently served eight years as the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission’s Chairman and Chief Administrator where he oversaw the agency’s 2,500 employees and a $330 million annual operating budget with more than $1 billion in annual revenue. Martinez advised the governor and state legislature on all areas of motor vehicle transportation and traffic safety and was responsible for developing the agency’s regulatory and legislative agenda and all project prioritization.

    “It's an honor and privilege to serve my fellow Americans in this capacity and, under Secretary Chao's leadership, I look forward to working with all commercial vehicle stakeholders to effectively reduce the number of truck and bus crashes on our nation’s roads,” said Martinez.

    Martinez is a former Commissioner of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, and also served at the U.S. Department of State. 


  • 01 Mar 2018 9:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has updated their website to provide clarification on when farm, ranch, and agriculture haulers are subject to FMCSA’s rules and regulations. The update includes information on the following:

    Sign up for updates and alerts regarding agricultural operations information here.

    If you have additional questions, email us at agricultural@dot.gov.


  • 23 Feb 2018 10:25 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Early last year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued federal motor carrier number 999999.  During the remainder of 2017 and for the first months of this year, the agency will be issuing new motor carrier applicants with 6-digit MC numbers that were either never issued or were unused.  

    Later this year, however, new 7-digit MC number will start to issue.  FMCSA cautions that some systems may need to be changed in order to accommodate the new longer MC numbers, and has asked us to spread the word.  

    We add that the change to MC numbers DOES NOT affect either already existing MC numbers or any DOT numbers.  For more information, contact Ken Riddle at FMCSA, kenneth.riddle@dot.gov.

    Source: The State Laws Newsletter

  • 21 Feb 2018 3:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The PA Turnpike Commission (PTC) advises that gas and diesel fuel will not be available at the Sideling Hill Service Plaza in Fulton County, eastbound and westbound, from 8 a.m. Monday, Feb. 26 through 5 p.m. Friday, March 2.

    “We are replacing the underground components of the plaza’s fuel pumps and will need this five-day period for safe installation and proper testing,” said Turnpike Facilities Director Jack Christensen.  “We greatly regret this inconvenience to our customers and are advising motorists to plan accordingly.”

    Motorists should not stop for fuel at Sideling Hill during this period but should travel onto the next service plazas. All other services will be available. The plaza’s fuel pumps will be operational for the weekend of March 3. 

    For more information on Turnpike service plazas click here: https://www.paturnpike.com/travel/service_plazas.aspx


  • 12 Feb 2018 11:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    NOTICE:
    ***Between February 5th and 6th the National Registry system sent email notifications to certain Medical Examiners that they would be removed from the National Registry because system records indicated their credentials are expired or due to expire shortly. The notification was an error. FMCSA is not currently planning to remove any Medical Examiners from its National Registry based on out-of-date information.

    Medical Examiners are required by the State(s) in which they practice to maintain a current license at all times and examiners with valid credentials may continue to conduct the DOT physical exams and issue medical certificates to truck and bus drivers, irrespective of the status of the National Registry website. FMCSA will notify all Medical Examiners when the National Registry website is restored.***

    Although the National Registry is currently under construction, certified medical examiners can continue conducting physical qualification examinations of CMV drivers and issuing paper Medical Examiner's Certificate (MEC), Form MCSA-5876 to qualified drivers. Medical examiners should segregate all examinations completed during the outage and be prepared to upload them to the National Registry system when it is back online, with no penalties.

    https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/medical/national-registry-certified-medical-examiners  

  • 02 Feb 2018 9:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As a part of its 2017 budget package, Pennsylvania enacted a new requirement that those making payments to nonresident independent contractors must withhold a part of the payment to cover potential liability of the contractors for Pennsylvania state income tax.  

    HOWEVER, this requirement does NOT apply to payments by motor carriers to owner-operators.  Federal law, 49 US Code 14503, says a state can’t require a carrier to withhold income tax on an interstate employee - or require such an employee to pay an income tax - except the state of the employee’s residence.  And the statute’s definition of “employee” includes independent contractors.  

    The Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association says the state’s revenue department is aware of the federal restriction and will not be enforcing the requirement on motor carriers with respect to owner-operators that don’t live in Pennsylvania.

    Source: The State Laws Newsletter

  • 02 Feb 2018 9:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The federal tax reform package that passed Congress December 20 changes the rules for some truck drivers on the expenses they incur for meals and incidentals while they’re away from home on travel.  

    Employee truck drivers whose carrier does not pay them a per diem allowance will no longer be able to take the costs of meals and incidentals as an itemized deduction, as they have in the past.  

    Although this will be hard on some drivers, it may not make a difference to many, since the new tax law also doubles the standard deduction for taxpayers, so that fewer drivers will be itemizing at all.  

    This change is effective now, for 2018 taxes.  

    Note that owner-operators will still be able to deduct their costs for meals and incidentals, just as they have in the past, since owner-operators are in business for themselves, and those costs are deductible business expenses.  

    Finally, some carriers pay their employee drivers a separate per diem allowance to cover meals and incidentals.  The rules for carriers and drivers in that situation do not change.  

    We might caution, however, that the rules pertaining to per diem programs are complicated and somewhat tricky to implement.

    Source: The State Laws Newsletter

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