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Actions the Minnesota Timber Producers Association 

(TPA) has taken on your behalf:

Thanks to TPA’s lobbying efforts, both during Minnesota’s Legislative Session and through discussions with policy makers at the state, federal, and county levels, a number of issues important to TPA members have been acted upon throughout our 87 year history.  Here’s a sampling of how TPA helps loggers in Minnesota:

CDL Training

In response to changes in federal regulations regarding CDL Training, TPA has contracted with the national organization Team Safe Trucking to provide members with a solution to training drivers.  The result is that TPA members wishing to train new drivers can do so without having to send drivers to expensive driving schools in another community:  First the new driver takes the “theory” portion of the training online through Team Safe trucking, then members provide the behind-the-wheel Training with their own fleet of trucks, with TPA providing info on how to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to remain compliant with federal regulations.  Online training is free to TPA members.

 

Wider Loads with Permit Approved

After two legislative sessions-worth of lobbying and negotiation, the Minnesota State Legislature passed a provision allowing wider loads of timber.  The provision is designed to help those hauling nine-foot wood to sawmills. The new legislation adds the ability to haul up to 114 inches (9 ½ feet) to the raw forest products permit.  Among the conditions on these newly permitted widths: loads more than 106 inches wide will need to be flagged during daylight hours, or lighted during hours when headlights are required. Mirrors must be extended to the point that the driver is able to see behind the wider load.  Wider loads are not allowed in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area.

 

2023 Legislative Session

Along with the provision allowing wider loads with the 6th axle permit, several significant provisions passed during the 2023 legislative session: The DNR will now accept payments that are postmarked by the due date as “on time” and will not impose a late fee.  Under previous statute, payments mailed before the due date but received afterward were deemed to be late and assessed a late fee.  Also, several important funding provisions passed, including a total of $9 million for reforestation, and $2 million for forest roads and bridges on both state and county roads.

 

ForestryWorks® Coming to Minnesota

ForestryWorks® is a comprehensive workforce development program designed to help forest products industry companies find employees.  The program was developed in 2018 by the Alabama Forestry Association to create a pipeline of workers for the forest products industry by promoting forestry careers and facilitating training needed to qualify for those jobs.  Since that time, ForestryWorks® has spread to a total of seven states, including Minnesota.  TPA, in partnership with MFI and others, is funding the program to help its members find truckers and equipment operators—among other workers across the industry.

 

Advocacy with DNR and other agencies

When members have questions regarding the administration of timber permits, how truck laws are enforced, or other issues with policy makers, TPA staff utilizes its contacts with various agencies, including DNR, county land departments, State Patrol, and others, to gather information, find solutions, and resolve conflicts.

 

Political Action Committee Formed

TPA formed “TreePAC,” a political action committee (PAC) designed to show support to candidates for state office who support our industry.  Thanks to the generous donations of our members, TreePAC has been able to contribute to the campaigns of several candidates and will continue to show your support for our legislative allies during the 2024 election cycle.

 

Ongoing TPA Member Benefits

All of this is on top of ongoing activities, including:

  • Workers Comp Self-Insurance Program with competitive rates and great service

  • Drug & Alcohol Testing Consortium to keep your drivers compliant with federal regs

  • Communications to keep you informed on important industry topics

  • Networking opportunities like our Annual Meeting and North Star Expo

See what else TPA has done for you over the years (click to download)

 2023   2022   2021    2020    2019    2018    2017    2016    2015 
    2014  2013    2012    2011    2010    2009     2008
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