PLC Member Weekly Update Jan. 7, 2022
In this Issue:
Forestry for Loggers – Register Now!
Logger’s Voice Winter Edition – Now Available!
PATHH Tax Implications – FSA guidance
Entry Level Driver Requirement – Act quickly!
New Canadian Vaccination Requirement for truck drivers – Deadline Jan. 15
Maine Forestry Recovery Initiative – Applications open
Health Premium Support Program – Subsidy Available For Employees
PLC Store – Many items for sale
Safety Resources – Humpday Videos are back!
Trucking – Updates weekly
Classified listings – Check them out!
Member Discounts – Many to choose from
Logging News – Latest headlines
Forestry for Loggers: Jan. 19, 25, or 27 depending on your region. Register Now!
The logging industry in Maine is comprised of many loggers who have become managers because of mechanization and the complexity of their business. The Professional Logging Contractors of Maine (PLC) and the Maine Forest Service (MFS), Forest Ranger division, are partnering in January 2022 to offer three online (via Zoom) trainings focused on what the MFS looks for during Timber Harvesting Inspections to help you better manage your business.
Each session will be geared toward a different region of the state and members should try to attend the session for their region if possible. Dates and locations are below. Click the location below to quickly register online!
Jan. 19 – Northern Maine (Aroostook, Penobscot, Piscataquis and Washington Counties)
Jan. 25 – Central Maine (Franklin, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, Waldo and Somerset Counties)
Jan. 27 – Southern Maine (Androscoggin, Cumberland, Sagadahoc and York Counties)
The sessions are designed for owners, foremen, and managers of logging companies. Regional MFS Rangers will be on hand for the sessions and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and offer suggestions. Topics will focus on what Rangers look for during an inspection, including, Ranger activities, Forest Health & Monitoring, Forest Policy & Management, Forest Protection Division, Data collection, Forest Operations Notifications, Spark Arrestors, Forest Practices Act, Property Lines, Trip Tickets, Mill Scale Slips, Water Quality, and Timber Asset Security Checks.
This is the first in a series of PLC Logger Leadership trainings planned for 2022. Watch your email for updates on additional trainings and topics.
Logger’s Voice Winter 2022!
The Winter 2022 edition of The Logger’s Voice is now available! Copies have been mailed out!
PATHH Tax Implications
The American Logger’s Council (ALC) has relayed answers from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to questions regarding Pandemic Assistance for Timber Harvesters and Haulers (PATHH) payments and how they are handled in terms of taxable income. The responses are below. The ALC has emphasized it does NOT provide this information as tax advice and encourages PATHH recipients to consult professional tax advisor’s for their opinions.
- Are PATHH payments going to be counted as taxable income? The Farm Service Agency reports PATHH program payments to the Internal Revenue Service and program participants on a CCC-1099-G. This report is a service to help program participants report taxable income. PATHH applicants should consult with the IRS or a tax preparer for any additional questions on how this income impacts the PATHH applicant’s business.
- Will the Farm Service Agency issue a 1099 Form to PATHH applicants? The Farm Service Agency will issue a 1099 Form to a PATHH applicant if the dollar amount received by the PATHH applicant for the year is $600 or more according to IRS regulations. Farm Service Agency will send out 1099 Forms in mid to late January 2022.
Maine BMV — Entry Level Driver Training Requirement
*quick survey question at bottom
The Federal requirement for CDL applicants to complete Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) before taking a road or skills exam takes effect on February 7, 2022.
Drivers who have successfully completed a written exam and hold a CDL permit before Feb. 7, 2022 are exempted from having to complete ELDT prior to a skills or road test.
The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) schedules written exams 2 weeks in advance, to ensure enough time to provide applicants written scheduling notification via the mail.
To increase the likelihood of scheduling a CDL or endorsement written exam before Feb. 7, any of your employees intending to take the exam should submit their completed application with payment to BMV no later than 10 Jan 2022. The application is available HERE.
For more information on this requirement, CLICK HERE.
*The PLC is also working with the BMV to determine how many of your employees may wish to take the test before Feb. 7. Please CLICK HERE to enter a number. Thank you.
New Canadian Vaccination Requirement for Truck Drivers Deadline Jan. 15
The Canadian government will begin requiring all truck drivers entering Canada to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 15 2022. To be considered fully vaccinated, a traveller must have received the full series of a vaccine – or combination of vaccines – accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. To enter on Jan. 15 this effectively means a driver’s full series of shots must be completed no later than Jan. 1.
This is a Canadian government requirement and the PLC has no control over what the Canadian government does.
As many of you are aware, all exempt essential service providers including truck drivers are already required to identify their vaccination status in ArriveCAN, regardless of whether or not they are allowed to enter as unvaccinated.
Until January 15, 2022, if an exempt essential traveller is not vaccinated, they will still be able to get an ArriveCAN receipt. After January 15, 2022, they must be fully vaccinated to get an ArriveCAN receipt. As of this date, most travellers who are currently exempt from quarantine will need to be fully vaccinated to enter Canada. They will also be required to upload their proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN.
The full announcement on this change is available HERE. If you have questions you may contact the PLC at 207-688-8195.
Forestry Recovery Initiative Phase 1 Grant Applications Now Being Accepted!
The Maine Technology Institute (MTI) is now accepting applications for Phase 1 of the Forestry Recovery Initiative, a multi-phase grant program to support Maine’s forest products industry and the people it employs, create and sustain jobs in rural Maine, and strengthen the state’s economy.
Maine Governor Janet Mills announced the creation of the $20 million grant program through her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan earlier this month. MTI is putting forward $10 million in Phase 1 and Phase 2 grants to provide immediate financial relief to forest products industry businesses that have experienced negative impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eligible uses of Phase 1 grant funds may include but are not limited to:
- payroll costs and expenses;
- rent or mortgage payments for business facilities (unless otherwise waived by the lessor or lender);
- utility payments;
- purchase of personal protective equipment required by the business;
- business-related equipment;
- investments that strengthen the business’s ability to mitigate pandemic-related market disruptions;
- expenses incurred to replenish inventory or other necessary reopening expenses;
- necessary operating expenses.
The deadline to apply is January 31, 2022.
For more information, including how to apply, click HERE.
PLC Online Store
Looking for great PLC items and apparel? Gifts? First Aid packs, safety items and more? You will find them at the new PLC Online Store on our web site. Ordering is easy.
Save the date and please RSVP!
PLC Safety Committee Meeting – Tuesday, Jan. 25
Members, you are invited to join us ONLINE on Tuesday, January 25 at 9 a.m. for our next PLC Safety Committee
*A LINK FOR THE MEETING AND THE AGENDA WILL BE SENT TO ALL WHO RSVP.
Thanks again for your support of the PLC and we look forward to seeing you online for this important meeting.
The purpose of the PLC safety committee is to assist PLC companies create and maintain a safe work environment. A safe work environment will not only increase productivity, but also reduce cost and ensure long term sustainability. The safety committee assists with planning for our annual safety training events.
Hump Day Safety Videos are back! Latest featured video – Seat Belt Safety
*new video next week!
The Safety Resources Page is located in the Members Only section of the PLC webite and contains many additional safety videos, resources, and materials for contractors. To check them out, click the link below and log in to the web site. If you do not have a login yet follow the instructions to create one. If you need help accessing the section contact the PLC office!
Members, the PLC received the following update in late December from Brian Parke, President and CEO of Maine Motor Transport Association (MMTA) in regards to PLC’s participation in a coalition effort to oppose the California Advanced Clean Trucks Program. You may view the coalition letter here: ME Business Coalition Comments – Rule 128 Advanced Clean Trucks Program – FINAL. PLC Comments submitted as part of the effort may be viewed here: PLC Comments Chapter 128 Advance Clean Trucks Program
You are receiving this email because your organization joined the coalition letter sent to Maine DEP opposing adoption of the California Advanced Clean Trucks Program. The BEP held a hearing this morning and, instead of voting on adoption, had a “deliberative session” where DEP staff provided more information and an informal summary of some of the issues collected during the public comment period. To make a very long story short, the result is that the issue is being postponed until next year where DEP (at their discretion) will start the public comment process all over again – the only substantive change will be the initial model year impacted by the mandate will be 2026 instead of 2025.
The DEP has indicated they intend to involve stakeholders between now and when they post it next year, to include having the PUC and the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future make presentations to the BEP Board. They envision PUC would talk about the grid and investments needed to meet current and future demand and GOPIF to talk about the Clean Transportation Roadmap, which also includes a proposal to adopt the CA ACT.
Thank you all for agreeing to sign the coalition letter. We have no doubt it had a major impact on the postponement of the adoption of this rule because we showed them that there are still more questions than answers. As the future of this rule develops, we may come back to you all for additional coalition support, depending upon how things unfold.
Hope you all have a great holiday,
To accelerate Maine’s progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, Governor Janet Mills has signed an executive order (PDF) calling for a “clean transportation roadmap” to achieve the state’s climate plan goal of increasing the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the road in Maine by 2030.
Excerpt below from Dec. 1 2021 article, Preparing your fleet for 2022
Entry-Level Driver Training Change coming Feb. 2022
Strict new driver training requirements will arrive on February 7, 2022. While this removes a burden from motor carriers — they won’t have to perform their own FMCSA-mandated entry-level driver training anymore — it places another hurdle in front of drivers who want a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or specific endorsements.
- Ensure that your existing and potential drivers — including employees thinking of becoming drivers — are aware of the new requirements. They will need to obtain training from an FMCSA-registered training provider before acquiring or upgrading to a Class A or B CDL or a passenger, school bus, or hazardous materials endorsement.
- Talk to affected employees about their concerns with the new rules. Consider paying for your drivers’ training and help them navigate the process.
- Decide now if your company intends to register as a training provider. You’ll need to get added to the FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry if you want to perform entry-level training in the new year.
- Even if you’re not on the Registry, don’t stop performing training — for new and existing drivers alike. Ongoing training will remain a critical part of any compliance and safety program.
U.S. Department of Transportation sent this bulletin at 12/07/2021 09:10 AM EST
On November 23, 2021 the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) temporarily approved the previous version (2017) of the Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (CCF). To learn more, read the attached notice from the National Laboratory Certification Program about the OMB action.
What does this mean for DOT drug testing?
- You may continue to use the ‘revised/new’ CCF when collecting urine specimens for DOT tests.
- You may also use the ‘previous version (2017 CCF)’ of the CCF.
- When using the ‘previous version (2017 CCF)’ of the CCF:
- For specimens collected as of November 23, 2021, you will not need to complete a memorandum for the record.
- For specimens collected between August 30, 2021 and November 22, 2021, you will need to complete a memorandum for the record.
Mobile carriers are sunsetting 3G soon. Will your ELD be affected?
Mobile carriers are shutting down their 3G networks to make room for more advanced network services, including 5G. As a result, many older cell phones and other mobile devices will be unable to use data services.
Once a 3G network is no longer supported, it is highly unlikely that any ELDs that rely on that network will be able to meet the minimum requirements established by the ELD Technical Specifications, including recording all required data elements and transferring ELD output files.
Therefore, any ELD that requires 3G cellular connectivity to perform its functionality will no longer be in compliance with the technical specifications in the ELD rule after the 3G network it relies on is sunset. When in an area that does not support 3G, a 3G device will register a malfunction. In accordance with 49 CFR 395.34, the carrier has 8 days to get the malfunction resolved, in this case by replacement, unless an extension is granted.
The announced sunset dates are below.* These are dates for completing the shutdowns. Mobile carriers are planning to retire parts of their networks sooner.
- AT&T 3G: February 22, 2022
- Sprint 3G (T-Mobile): March 31, 2022
- Sprint LTE (T-Mobile): June 30, 2022
- T-Mobile 3G: July 1, 2022
- Verizon 3G: December 31, 2022
Note: Many other carriers, such as Cricket, Boost, Straight Talk, and several Lifeline mobile service providers, utilize the AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile networks.
*Sunset dates are subject to change. Contact your mobile carrier for up-to-date information.
Logging Industry News
Belfast startup GO Lab Inc. has closed on the sale of $85 million in bond funding and completed a New Markets Tax Credit transaction that will fund construction of a wood-fiber insulation factory at the former UPM paper mill in Madison.
TRUCKING DISCOUNTS THROUGH THE ALC!
PLC Members, because the PLC is a member of the American Loggers Council YOU are entitled to special discounts on truck purchases! Click on the brand names below to learn more!
Fabian Oil Discount
Traction Heavy Duty Special
Maine Trailer Discounts
Scandinavian Forestry Equipment
PLC Members get a 5% discount on culverts purchased at Treeline and Frank Martin & Sons
Hale Trailer discounts for PLC Members on new trailer purchases! Call Neal at 207-232-7969 for details!
Cross Arena Discounts for PLC!
Check out the equipment and job opportunities our members have listed at the LOGGING ZONE! If you have equipment for sale, are looking to buy, are looking for employees, or