• Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • 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:

  • MEMBERSHIP MEMBERSHIP

    Q. What are the top reasons carriers join the association?

    A. Although every trucking company has a different set of needs, we have found that the top 3 reasons are: 

    • Training & Consultation: staying current with safety and compliance and having someone to call when you have a question
    • Advocacy: hearing about issues that affect your businesses and having opportunities to get involved
    • Networking: building relationships, collaborating, and sharing best practices with other industry members

     

    Q. What if trucking is not my primary business?

    A. Even if you're in the construction business, food & beverage, farming, logging, moving & storage, or other sector - if you operate at least one truck that has a DOT number, you are still subject to the same rules and regulations as a trucking-only company. The content in our training classes, events, and publications may not always be trucking-specific because we realize representatives in our industry do a whole lot more than driving a truck, so you'll be sure to get something out of membership with OTA.

     

    Q. Do you have anything to offer construction companies?

    A. Yes! Many of our members are in the construction industry. We can help manage the trucking portion of any business, including construction (or other private and not just for-hire) companies. Chances are, your safety or operations team is handling quite a bit - which is where OTA comes in to answer questions and offer educational opportunities to stay informed and compliant.

     

    Q. What if I only have one truck?

    A. We represent trucking as a whole. As an owner-operator, it's still important for you to stay current with industry trends, new rules and regulations, and get involved in government affairs. That's our job. You'll get all the latest trucking news, including changes and tips. You'll have opportunities to get involved through committees and councils and get your voice heard. And, most importantly, you'll have a full staff of experts to help answer questions and get you trained through our events and classes. We can even provide on-site training because we know you're busy and may not live or work in the Portland metro area.

     

    Q. I offer products and services to the trucking industry (considered an allied member) and am interested in joining. Who is your audience? What types of carriers do you work with?

    A. Pick a size and category, and we can almost guarantee we have those types of members! Our carrier members make up about 3/4 of our membership and consist of owner operators, companies with small or big fleets, and even fleets with international presence. Some members operate trucks but also sell products to other businesses or consumers. Our members transport almost everything you can imagine - some deliver their own products (think grocery chains) and some are hired by other organizations to transport their goods.

    Every carrier operates like any other type of business and requires services related to HR, financial, legal, health, technology, office operations, and more. They also need products and services specific to the industry that could include electronic tracking and logging devices (such as ELDs), brokerage and other logistics services (like load boards and other technology), trucks, trailers, and related parts, emergency cleanup or truck washing services, and more. 

     

    Q. My company doesn't operate any trucks or sell any trucking products. Why would I want to join?

    A. We have plenty of allied members that aren't directly related to trucking! Some of our members are lawyers, chiropractors, insurance companies, IT service providers, educational institutions, publication companies, and more. Trucking companies need business services just like every other company. Because of the trucking industry's niche market and tight-knit community, our members are quick to recommend products and services to their colleagues. You'll find that once you get to know the needs of our industry, many doors will open up for you. 

     

    Q. How can I maximize my benefits as an allied member?

    A. Get involved! Attend and sponsor our events, utilize our online directory, advertise in our digital and online publications, and network with our members. Our most successful allied partners build relationships with other members. They join our committees and councils and get to know our industry so they can better understand the needs of our carriers.

     

    Q. Is membership based on an individual or the company as a whole?

    A. Membership is based per company, and that means that once your company joins, everyone within your organization can have access to member benefits! Each person will have their own profile to access our portal to register for events and view our directory and other resources, receive our weekly newsletter, and have an opportunity to get involved and grow professionally. 

     

    Q. Do you offer any recognition programs for companies and individuals?

    A. Yes, OTA does give awards throughout the year. Here is a list of them:

    • Oregon Truck Driving Championship (Grand Champion, Team, and based on category)
    • SuperTech Competition (Grand Champion, Team)
    • Safety (Safety Professional of the Year, Fleet Safety, and based on category)
    • Carrier of the Year
    • Allied Member of the Year
    • Image

     

    Q. Do you work with new carriers or carriers that haven't even started their business yet?

    A. Yes, we have some members who are brand new to trucking or may not even have a truck yet! We are your resource and can help you with the tools you need to get launched successfully. Our recommendation is to sign up for our four-part Carrier Education Class series because it will provide an overview of the industry in Oregon, and of course contact us with any immediate questions.

     

    Q. Are there other exclusive benefits for members?

    A. Yes! We also offer informational calls related to safety, government affairs, and hot topics in the trucking industry that are not open to the public. Many resources available in the member portal are only distributed to members. It all adds up quickly!

  • OTA (GENERAL) OTA (GENERAL)

    Is OTA the only trucking association in Oregon?

    OTA is the only nonprofit for general trucking (almost every state and Canadian province has one), but there are other state and national groups that focus on specific commodities, equipment, and transportation modes such as intermodal, logging, owner-operator, agricultural, and tow trucking businesses. OTA members include a variety of trucking industry folks these specific groups, and many belong to other associations, too. 

     

    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. You can also contact us at 503.513.0005.

     

    Can I pay my OTA invoices online?

    Yes, if you are the billing representative for your company and are an active OTA member, please log into the members-only site to pay your outstanding balance. Contact us if you are the billing contact but cannot log in.

     

    Does OTA offer online classes?

    Yes, classes usually have an in-person or virtual option (depending on whether it's safe to meet). When you register, you can select which option you prefer. OTA can also offer custom training, mock safety audit, and other consultative services virtually upon request. 

     

    What is your cancellation policy for training classes and events?

    Cancellations for classes must be made 48 hours in advance of the class date in order to receive a refund. Each event has its own cancellation policy but will typically be at least one week in advance (due to required headcount for space and food at the venue). You can see each policy in each event registration section. Please contact us with any questions at 503.513.0005.

     

    Do you have any job openings or do you have a job board for trucking positions in the industry?

    At this time, OTA does not have any job openings nor do we have a job board. Please check back with us in the future.

     

    Does OTA invite public speakers to present at training classes and events?

    Yes, OTA has a list of experts for various trucking and business related topics. If you are interested in speaking to our members during one of our meetings, training classes, or events, please contact us to get on our list: info@ortrucking.org.

  • EMERGENCY & SEVERE WEATHER EMERGENCY & SEVERE WEATHER

    Does OTA have a protocol for severe weather and/or other emergency situations?

    All information about emergencies will be listed on the OTA Emergency Page. 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: info@ortrucking.org.

    For weather updates, dial 511 from any phone or visit TripCheck. Learn more about the Oregon Chain Law and/or sign up for ODOT alerts.

    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: safety@ortrucking.org. 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. 

    If you are calling to report a natural or technological emergency/disaster, please contact the 24-hour Oregon Emergency Response System (OERS) at 800.452.0311. Find more information about OERS on their website.

     

    Where can I find out about road closures in Oregon?

    Washington County

    Clackamas County

    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.

  • COMPLIANCE COMPLIANCE

    What are the legal axle weights in Oregon?

    Information pertaining to size and weight are found on our Size & Weight page or our Permits page.

     

    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. 
     
    Find 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 TaxProof 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 the form.
     
    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 page 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.

     

    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" (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).

     

    Can time spent waiting to be loaded or unloaded count toward the break requirement?
     
    Time spent waiting to be loaded or unloaded is on duty unless the driver has been released from all responsibility for the truck. Except for drivers attending loads of certain explosives, on-duty time cannot be considered as a break.
     
     
    Does Oregon require an intrastate-only carrier to file information, on an annual or biennial basis, that is substantially the same as that which would be reported on an MCS-150?
     
    Oregon adopts the Federal Motor Carrier safety regulations annually and makes them applicable to intrastate carriers.  Therefore, submission of MCS-150 form and updates are required.
     
    How Can I Become a Collector For DOT Drug Testing?
     
    To become qualified as a collector, you must be knowledgeable about Part 40 regulations, the current “DOT Urine Specimen Collection Procedures Guidelines,” and DOT agency regulations applicable to the employers for whom you will perform collections, and you must keep current on any changes to these materials. You must also (1) successfully complete a qualification training program and (2) pass a monitored proficiency demonstration, as required by DOT regulations [See 49 CFR Part 40.33 (b-c), effective August 1, 2001]. Please note: there is no “grandfather” clause or waiver from this requirement.
     
    A collector’s qualifications are not location/collection site specific, and their eligibility will follow them anywhere DOT Agency regulated urine specimens are collected.
     
    There is no requirement for qualified collectors to register or to be on any federally-maintained or federally-sponsored list, but they are required to maintain (for Federal inspection) documentation of successful completion of their training and proficiency demonstration requirements.

    Learn more

  • SAFETY SAFETY

    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.

     

    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.

     

    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.

     
  • SPECIALTY EQUIPMENT SPECIALTY EQUIPMENT

    Where do I find information about farm trucking in Oregon?

    Please reference the ODOT MCTC webpage.

    Download the Farm Endorsement Application.

  • GENERAL TRUCKING QUESTIONS GENERAL TRUCKING QUESTIONS

    Does Oregon offer any incentives for CNG (natural gas) vehicles?

    Yes, please visit the U.S. Department of Energy's "Alternative Fuels Data Center" page here for more information.

     

    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.

     

     

    Does OTA offer any services to new carriers or people that are still establishing their business?

    Yes! OTA offers consultative services and training classes to make sure your business is ready to go. We can help direct you to organizations and people to help you along the way. Our Ongoing Carrier Ed classes will likely be the best training for anyone new to the trucking business.

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