CCJ Daily Dispatch, Oct. 30: TSA extends hazmat endorsement renewal waiver through year’s end

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Updated Nov 2, 2020

Trucking news and briefs for Friday, Oct. 30, 2020:

TSA extends hazmat endorsement renewal waiver through Dec. 31
Truck drivers whose hazardous materials endorsements have expired since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic may now have through the end of the year, at least, to renew the endorsement.

The Transportation Security Administration published a notice Wednesday, Oct. 28, extending the renewal exemption through Dec. 31. It was previously set to expire Oct. 31 when it was extended at the end of July.

“Federal partners, state licensing agencies and related associations report ongoing difficulties in timely renewal of expiring HMEs and asked TSA to consider extending the exemption until the end of calendar year 2020,” TSA said of its decision to extend the waiver.

The waiver gives states the ability to extend the expiration date of hazmat endorsements that expire on or after March 1, 2020. If a state grants the extension, drivers with an expired hazmat endorsement must initiate the process of renewing their security threat assessment for the endorsement no later than 60 days before the end of the state-granted extension, TSA added.

Small fleet owner pleads guilty to falsifying logs
Damir Sisic, the owner of now defunct Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based Sisic Transportation Service (STS), admitted the he “altered thousands of electronic entries in service logbooks for approximately 20 drivers in order to conceal the actual drive time and on-duty time of drivers,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island.

Sisic owned approximately 11 tractors and 10 van trailers and employed between seven and 10 drivers at a time. Each truck was equipped with an ELD.

According to court documents, Sisic provided altered driving records to a state trooper investigating the fatality of an STS driver who was driving an STS truck in Oklahoma in April 2018. Additionally, Sisic provided altered driving records for numerous STS drivers to an FMCSA investigator during a compliance review.

Sisic pleaded guilty to conspiracy to falsify records, and he is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 7.

Traton, Hino ink partnership to develop electric vehicles
Navistar’s new parent company Traton has signed a joint venture agreement with Hino Motors to develop electric vehicles, including battery-electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles and their components.

Traton and Hino will team up to shorten lead times for future e-mobility products with battery and fuel cell technology.

The two companies previously signed an agreement in 2018 aiming for a mutually beneficial strategic long-term partnership.  Then in 2019, they signed a procurement joint venture and have now solidified their collaboration in e-mobility.

Volvo to sell UD Trucks to Isuzu as part of partnership
Volvo Group and Isuzu Motors have signed binding agreements to form a strategic alliance within commercial vehicles, which includes Isuzu’s acquisition of UD Trucks from Volvo. The agreement was announced in December 2019 with a non-binding agreement.

The strategic alliance between the two truckmakers will include the formation of a technology partnership, leveraging the parties’ complementary areas of expertise within both well-known and new technologies as well as to create a larger volume base to support necessary, forthcoming technology investments; creation of long-term conditions for a stronger heavy-duty truck business for UD Trucks and Isuzu Motors in Japan and across international markets; and the exploration of opportunities for broader and deeper collaboration within the commercial vehicle business across geographical areas and product lines, such as light- and medium-duty trucks.