Inspectors told not to slow COVID vaccine loads for inspections

Trucking news and briefs for Monday, Jan. 11, 2021: 

CVSA tells inspectors not to slow down COVID vaccine shipments for inspections
bulletin issued Friday, Jan. 8, by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance advises inspectors to not hold up trucks for inspection that are transporting the COVID-19 vaccine.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is temperature sensitive,” the bulletin says. “Every effort should be made to get the vaccine to its destination. Shipments should not be held up for an inspection, unless there is an obvious serious violations that is an imminent hazard.”

The notice adds that the vaccine is kept cold using dry ice, which can be hazardous to inspectors and first responders.

The guidance notes that in the case of a crash or other hazmat/dangerous goods incident, law enforcement should follow their local standard operating procedures.

PPP2 loan program opens today for new applicants, round 2, now officially open
The Small Business Administration announced the impending availability of Paycheck Protection Program loans, which are forgivable within parameters laid out by the SBA and detailed in Overdrive Editorial Director Max Heine's recent in-depth coverage of the renewed and revised program. 

PPP2, as the renewed program is referred to, re-opens this week, SBA said, both for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. Initially, owner-operator access to funds will flow through only community financial institutions -- new PPP borrowers can make so-called "First Draw" loans as of today, Monday, Jan. 11. "Second Draw" loans -- available to borrowers who used PPP funds from the initial round and who can demonstrate a 25% revenue reduction comparing a time period in 2020 to the same one in 2019 --  will open this Wednesday, Jan. 13. Avenues to PPP2 will expand to all participating lenders shortly thereafter.

Updated PPP guidance, including two Interim Final Rules, was released Jan. 6 and can be accessed via these links to the SBA website:

Tax specialists at the Katz, Sapper & Miller firm highlighted one aspect of the Interim rules that hasn't been covered in our prior reporting, the reality that if loan forgiveness applications for PPP1 borrowers were not in place as of Dec. 27, 2020, an increase in the loan amount could be in the cards if needed. The following borrowers will be eligible to apply for an increase in their original loan amount:

  • Partnerships that did not include partner compensation in the payroll costs calculation.
  • Seasonal employers that would benefit from the CAA’s expanded 12-week period to calculate their average monthly payroll costs.
  • Borrowers that returned all or part of a PPP loan.
  • Borrowers that did not accept the full amount of the PPP loan.

For more information on SBA’s assistance to small businesses, visit sba.gov/ppp or treasury.gov/cares, or access Overdrive's recent coverage of PPP2 at this link.

ECM issue affecting parking brakes prompts recall of 17k International
Navistar is recalling more than 17,000 International trucks due to a potential issue with the engine control module software in the affected trucks, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

The recall affects approximately 17,213 of the following International models:

  • 2014-2020 International DuraStar
  • 2020-2021 International HV
  • 2019-2021 International MV
  • 2015-2018 International WorkStar

In the affected trucks, when the parking brake is applied and the automatic transmission is still in the drive or reverse position, and the stationary PTO switch is engaged by the operator, the engine may rev and overcome the parking brake’s ability to keep the vehicle from moving, Navistar says.

Navistar will notify owners, and dealers will update the parameters in the Cummins ECM for feature codes 12VXT or 12VXU that enables the PTO neutral interlock for free. Owners can contact Navistar customer service at 1-800-448-7825 with recall number 20510. NHTSA’s recall number is 20V-810.

Pilot partners with RTS Financial for factoring services
Pilot Company and RTS Financial announced Monday a fuel and factoring partnership to work with fleets to provide funding, fuel and other services.

Dedicated teams from Pilot and RTS will work with carriers by combining Pilot Company’s cross-network bundle of fuel savings, credit, truck maintenance and loyalty rewards with favorable advance rates and same-day funding services from RTS.

“We are focused on initiatives that deliver savings, efficiency and convenience to our fleet customers,” said Shameek Konar, CEO of Pilot Company. “We’re thrilled to partner with a highly regarded provider like RTS to offer an integrated service solution for factoring and fuel that helps trucking companies access the resources they need to succeed and grow.”

More information about the partnership can be found here.

Human trafficking awareness efforts ongoing in January
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and today, Jan. 11, served as Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

Members of the trucking industry, including truck stop organization NATSO, participated Monday in the “#WearBlueDay” social media campaign, which is organized by the Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign to raise public awareness about the crime of human trafficking.

On #WearBlueDay, the public was invited to take photos of themselves, friends, family and colleagues wearing blue clothing and share them on social media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – along with the #WearBlueDay hashtag.

Truckers Against Trafficking is also participating in a number of events throughout the month to raise awareness about the crime.


The Business Manual for Owner-Operators
Overdrive editors and ATBS present the industry’s best manual for prospective and committed owner-operators. You’ll find exceptional depth on many issues in the 2021 edition of Partners in Business.
Download
Partners in Business Issue Cover