In case you have been hiding under a rock with the rest of the truckers hoping regulations will stop raining down on them, here’s another regulation to add to the rule book. All new truck drivers are going to have to go through truck driving school in order to get their commercial driver license. Even some existing CDL holders will have to take training in order to upgrade their CDL. But hold your horses. It turns out that Trump’s regulation freeze may cause this latest regulation to slide to the back burner. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has no choice but to hold off on this new regulation. Find out what this means for truck drivers in the future.
New Truck Driver Training Program
In the latest regulation passed by the FMCSA, all new truck drivers will now be required to get trucker training. That’s right, if you are interested in becoming a commercial truck driver for a company like Star Transportation and Super Service Training, you’ll have to start with truck driver training first. In order to get your commercial driver license you will have to successfully complete this training. Then you’ll receive a certificate, which is similar to the process of getting your DOT physical exam certificate. This certificate must be presented to the Department of Motor Vehicles when you go to apply for your CDL.
Also, if you are an existing truck driver with a Class B or C license and you want to upgrade to a Class A CDL you’ll have to take the training. This also applies to current CDL holders who want to get a CDL endorsement. Pretty much, if you haven’t got your CDL Class A right now, you’ll be required to go through trucker training to become a truck driver.
Regulations Put On Hold For Now
On January 20, 2017 Trump ordered a regulatory freeze to prevent new and pending regulations from going into effect. This temporary postponement is meant to give the administration a chance to review and change, or reject, any new regulations. The FMCSA is required to postpone the date that new regulations go into effect for 60 days as of January 20. That gives the FMCSA until March 21 to re-enforce this new truck driver training rule. For new truckers who want to get their CDL without having to get that training behind the wheel, they’d better step on it to be able to comply prior to the new potential deadline.
Right? Actually, that’s not the case. You’ve got plenty of time. Even after the FMCSA puts the pending regulation into action, if it ever does happen, the rule has a three-year window for implementation. This gives all associated agencies including the DMV, trucking schools and truck driver trainers three years to get everything lined up. Considering that these training providers will have to get certified, and the certification process will need a database to maintain records properly, it will take all of those three years to get it all going.
Once the truck driver training regulation is, and if it is, established this will mean that all trucker training will be based on a nationally approved curriculum. This would be similar to collegiate programs and mandated by the federal government. It could also mean that truck drivers would be able to apply for federal money, similar to college grants and federal loans, to help them pay for this training.
That would be great news considering that trucker training programs now cost upward to $8,000 that is typically paid out of pocket or via bank loans. For those truck drivers who want to bypass this expense there is the option of going through trucking school with a qualified trucking company, such as Schneider National. This allows drivers who graduate successfully and get their CDL to train for free, with the contractual agreement to drive for the company that trains them.
In the end, the goal for truck driver training is to ensure that new drivers are adept and equipped to handle the hefty task of being an OTR truck driver. This occupation requires strict guidelines and protocols, and mistakes can, and do, lead to fatalities. Training would be a step toward preventing such hazards from occurring. Furthermore, by creating a national curriculum for trucking schools, along with federally led programs, this could increase the value of going to truck driving school.
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