Central states coordinate to simplify trucking during COVID-19 pandemic
April 28, 2020
As COVID-19 continues to put pressure on the trucking industry, the Mid-America Association of State Transportation Officers is stepping up to the plate to ensure truckers can proceed to deliver essential goods in the central states.
According to a news release, MAASTO members are coordinating strategies with each other to keep the wheels of the supply chain moving. MAASTO central states include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Transportation officials in those central states are making efforts to permit overweight freight shipments to expedite the process of moving crucial supplies. Also, CDL regulations are relaxed to ensure as many truckers as possible are moving freight. Furthermore, central states are easing license and registration renewal requirements to prevent the need to make an additional trip to a department of motor vehicles, further exposing drivers to public contact.
MAASTO President Craig Thompson told Land Line Now Senior Correspondent Scott Thompson that weight limits in Wisconsin and nearby states have increased to 90,000 pounds. Thompson, also secretary designee of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, pointed out that without the coordination of MAASTO central states, truckers could likely see a patchwork of weight regulations. Consequently, truckers could find themselves legal in one state and suddenly breaking the law after crossing state lines. MAASTO’s recent coordination prevents that from happening.
In addition to weight and CDL regulations, MAASTO central states have also coordinated to ensure truckers have a place to park.
Thompson told Land Line Now that the 10 states have been communicating to make sure rest areas remain open and maintained. MAASTO members have been sharing best practices with one another.
“These supply chains don’t stop at state borders,” Thompson said in a statement. “We need to be working with other states, especially our neighbors in the middle of the country, to make sure we do what is needed to remove barriers that would impede response and recovery.”
MAASTO has been active in addressing truckers’ needs. Earlier this year, the association coordinated with the American Transportation Research Institute to get trucker’s input for a parking survey. The survey is a follow-up on the real-time Truck Parking Information Management System, or TPIMS. The survey wants to identify truck driver perspectives on the system within the central states.
For more state-by-state information regarding parking and trucking regulations, visit Land Line’s COVID-19 resource page.
Land Line Now Senior Correspondent Scott Thompson contributed to this story.