OTA receives a lot of calls from members and non-members with questions regarding safety, compliance, regulation, technology, OTA membership and profile management, and more! Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
Where can I contribute to OTA's advocacy efforts?
We have a secure online "store" set up if you are interested in making a donation to the Oregon Truck PAC here.
Do you have any job openings?
At this time, OTA does not have any job openings. Please check back with us for any updates.
Does OTA have a protocol for severe weather and/or other emergency situations?
In the event that the roads and/or local area become dangerous, OTA will use discretion in adjusting office hours. For changes and severe weather updates in Oregon, we will leave a voice message on our phone system, website, and use social media platforms to communicate to our members and the public. OTA will also typically send out an email notice to our mailing list. Our goal is to make sure you and your team stay informed and safe during emergency situations. For immediate assistance in these situations, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a driver, other employee, or have a question about a personal trucking/transportation related emergency in the state of Oregon, please contact your employer first about next steps. For specific questions and the protocol regarding an emergency for your company, email: email@example.com. For emergencies outside of Oregon, we might suggest contacting the other state's trucking association. Otherwise, feel free to contact us at 503.513.0005.
When are chains required? What are the Oregon chain laws?
Chains are required when/where posted or in inclement weather. Chain law information can be found on our Oregon Chain Law page here.
I want to hire a driver for a position in Oregon that has a license from another state. We have verified that his license is clear and valid. How do I verify that he has no citations on record for the state of Oregon?
It's possible the driver neglected to address the citation and court, and the court then ordered the withdrawal of driving privilege after DMV’s due process. Drivers have access to their NDR record through DMV. You could require the driver to request and provide DMV NDR status as part of hiring process. Find information on how to accomplish that here.
What is a bill of lading? Is it required for private truck fleets (such as a charitable organization)?
A bill of lading is a legal document between the carrier and the shipper detailing the quantity, destination, and type of goods being carried. When the goods are delivered to their destination, the bill of lading also serves as a receipt of shipment. It is required to be signed by an authorized representative from the carrier, shipper, and receiver, irrespective of the form of transportation and should accompany the shipped goods.
Usually, private carriers transporting their own products for their own use would not require a bill of lading. However, if the products that are being transported require placards when transporting hazardous materials, a bill of lading would be required. Please see: www.justanswer.com/topics-bill-of-lading or www.justanswer.com/topics-transportation for related transportation law questions.
My company uses a lot of short term rental equipment to respond to seasonal spikes in demand. How do I meet my obligations regarding requirement for an ELD starting in December of 2017?
There is a lot to consider here. To begin, point your web browser here to see an article that appeared in Transport Topics on this subject. Pay particular note to these comments:
“FMCSA, for its part, is leaving it up to the industry to decide how to comply. In the rule, the agency said carriers “will have a number of options to choose from the marketplace of ELD providers,” including “portable units that stay with the driver as opposed to being (permanently) installed in the vehicle.” Joe DeLorenzo, director of FMCSA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance, reiterated that the industry will need to determine the best ways to use ELDs in leased and rented vehicles. “The market’s going to have to figure out exactly how that’s going to work,” he said at a recent technology conference. “This is why we have transition time. I think it’s something that’s going to get figured out over the next couple years.”
OTA can only answer your question in these general terms without knowing more about the particulars of the rental trucks you utilize in your fleet. The answer could be as simple as acquiring a number of portable ELD devices that can be easily moved (and installed) from truck to truck with the driver. The "installation" of these is not onerous, although it might make a difference to a fleet regarding how many ELD devices it wanted to purchase or lease depending on how long a period of time it utilized “short term” rental equipment.
Also, one fleet owner says having to deal with ELD data generated by different devices and platforms makes it essential for fleets “to identify the right telematics partner that has the technology to capture and analyze ELD data from many disparate sources,” including trucks and engines of different makes and vintage. Not all ELD providers and ELD products are alike. Some may be more or less amenable to meet the additional demands presented by the specter of a changing rental fleet.
Where can I find information about UCR? Do we need to register annually? What if we only deliver to customers in surrounding states on occasion?
The Unified Carrier Registration Agreement (UCRA) is a base-state system for registering interstate motor carriers with vehicles over 10,000 lbs., including private, for-hire, and exempt carriers, farmers operating in interstate commerce, and brokers, freight forwarders, and leasing companies. Click here if you need more information to help you decide if your operation is properly considered interstate transportation. All of these operators must pay annual registration fees that fund state motor carrier safety programs, enforcement, and UCR administration. The program is designed for states that need to replace revenue they formerly collected under the Single State Registration System (SSRS). Oregon never participated in SSRS and it’s not participating in UCRA. Oregon-based interstate operators must pay online at a UCRA-designated website or they must select a western state, other than Oregon, and pay their fees to it.
Click here for more information about how to calculate and pay UCR fees.
What is the HVUT, and who must pay it? How do you report and pay it? Are there any exemptions?
HVUT stands for Heavy Vehicle Use Tax
Proof of payment of HVUT is required for commercial registration of trucks weighing 55,000 pounds or more. This is an annual tax paid to the Internal Revenue Service. See Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return - Form 2290 and Instructions for Completing Form 2290 here.
The IRS now offers a way for all motor carriers to electronically pay HVUT. Moreover, the agency is now requiring carriers to file electronically if they have 25 or more vehicles. In June 2008, the IRS sent letters to all heavy vehicle taxpayers who had registered 25 or more vehicles in the past to inform them that they’re required to e-file their Form 2290. Carriers cannot e-file the HVUT return directly to the IRS. Instead, they must submit it through one of the IRS-approved transmitter/software providers, each of which charges a fee for the service. Visit the Form 2290 e-file Web page at here for links to the companies that have passed IRS testing requirements for software developers of electronic business returns.
The IRS is continuing to accept the paper Form 2290 for anyone registering fewer than 25 vehicles. A stamped copy of the Schedule 1 will continue to be returned to carriers by mail if they submit the paper form. Those using e-file will receive Schedule 1 electronically through their transmitter/software provider. The electronic Schedule 1, which has an e-file logo watermark, can be printed and used as proof of payment.
What do I need to know about Electronic Logging Devices (ELD's)?
Please visit our ELD page here for information about ELD regulations, how to comply, and what to look for when choosing a provider.
Where do I find information about farm trucking in Oregon?
Please reference the ODOT MCTC webpage here.
Am I exempt from Oregon income tax by the Amtrak Act?
Please note, OTA does not provide legal or tax advice. You may want to reference a document posted by the Oregon Department of Revenue titled "Individual Income Tax Guide" here (see page 44 for information regarding the Amtrak Act). OAR 150-316.127-E has been renumbered to OAR 150-316-0173 and can be found online here. In addition, here is a relevant interpretation from a CPA that seems to answer the question and suggests that Oregon taxes are NOT due. The article reference dates back to 2010, so you may want to contact the Oregon Department of Revenue to ask if anything has changed in the intervening years.
My company employs CDL drivers although some of those drivers are permanently assigned to drive light trucks (less than 10,000 pounds) for which no CDL is required. Are we required to maintain driver files or follow other FMCSR requirements for those light truck drivers just because they hold a CDL? If we don't, how should we document this on our end so a DOT safety inspector won't draw an incorrect conclusion and inappropriately find a violation?
A commercial motor vehicle is generally defined as over 10K lbs. Operating smaller vehicles does not come under ODOT jurisdiction. Similarly, a driver with a CDL operating a vehicle less than 26K lbs. does not require drug/alcohol testing. Drug/alcohol testing is required when you operate a CMV requiring a CDL. For documentation purposes, it may be best to keep the employment files separate from the employees driving CMVs.
When running a Commercial Driver's License Information System (CDLIS) Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) through a third party HR management software system, I'm not finding the self-certification that an individual is a non-exempt interstate driver. I'm also not finding the medical certification information on the MVR that states whether they are medically certified, even though we have a DOT medical card. When I screen a record, it shows the state of Oregon doesn't report medical certifications on electronic MVRs. If that is true, where can I find this information? Do I need to set up an account directly with the state of Oregon?
Third party accounts will not have the medical information as requested above. To obtain it, you'd have to sign up for DMV Automatic Reporting Service (ARS). Point your web browser here for information on how to do that.