CCJ Daily Dispatch, May 22: Compliance reviews going remote during pandemic

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Updated May 25, 2020

Trucking news and briefs for Friday, May 22, 2020: 

FMCSA conducting remote compliance reviews during COVID-19 pandemic
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Wednesday issued new guidance on how it will conduct compliance reviews during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agency said it will leverage “all available technology to access information and records” to limit the risk of coronavirus exposure to trucking company employees and FMCSA investigators. Safety ratings will be assigned using the same standards as normal, even if no on-site review has occurred.

FMCSA is required to conduct compliance reviews to make sure owners and/or operators of commercial vehicles are fit to operate safely.

“Although the definition of ‘compliance review’ in 49 CFR 385.3 describes these reviews as ‘on-site,’ in practice, the advent of electronic recordkeeping and other technology now allows FMCSA to perform the same investigative functions remotely that it could perform previously only by in-person reviews of the motor carrier’s files,” the agency said in the guidance.

The agency added that motor carriers can access and transmit their information to FMCSA through a portal and upload documents securely. Documents can also be faxes or emailed.

“FMCSA may also use email and telephone and video calls as a substitute for in-person interaction with motor carrier officials during the compliance review or to review the findings of the compliance review with company officials during the close out,” FMCSA said.

The guidance allowing for remote compliance reviews is effective immediately and will expire when the COVID-19 national emergency declaration is revoked.

Daimler introduces new financing options on certain Freightliner, Western Star trucks
Daimler Truck Financial has launched a new finance program that allows certain Freightliner and Western Star truck buyers to delay first payments for 120 days, along with down payment allowances of up to $5,000, or $7,000 Canadian.

The Keep the World Moving finance program will run through July 31. Eligible trucks include the Freightliner Cascadia, M2 and SD models; and Western star 4700, 4900 and 5700 models.

Customers who purchase model year 2020 and older units can defer the first payment for 120 days combined with a down payment allowance from $3,000 to $5,000, or $4,200 to $7000 Canadian. Customers who purchase eligible model year 2021 trucks can delay the first payment for 90 days. Used truck purchases may be eligible for a 90-day delay option.