The education and training for new truck drivers are paramount as the industry is working to improve its image and appeal. However, it is still important that entry-level truck driver training is a priority as its important to make sure those operating the vehicle are trained and educated to do so. Especially when there is a new generation looking for a well-paying, meaningful career. As truck technology advances and e-commerce continues to surge, there is a great opportunity to capitalize on the interest of those who may not have seen a truck driving as an option a decade ago.
To that end, there is great anticipation for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) implementation of its final rule on national minimum-training standards for entry-level applicants seeking to obtain a commercial driver’s license or certain endorsements, set to take effect on February 7th, 2020.
Optimism has given way though as word leaking out of Washington is that the entry-level truck driver training rule will be delayed by up to two years. A partial delay of the rule was announced over the summer with federal officials saying at the time, they were working on a strategy to implement some provisions of the rule. A formal announcement of the delay is imminent.
The two key elements of the final rule to be extended are:
- The requirement that training providers upload driver-specific training certification information (i.e., proof of completion of theory and behind-the-wheel training) to the Training Provider Registry.
- The requirement that state driver licensing agencies confirms driver applicants are in compliance with ELDT requirements before taking a skills test for a Class A or Class B CDL or a passenger or school bus endorsement, or prior to taking the knowledge test to obtain the hazmat endorsement.
This issue has pitted FMCSA against the states with FMCSA claiming the states have failed to align their systems with the federal system. The counterclaim to this is that the training provider registry is not even available right now. Frankly, the blame game helps no one as the American economy needs these education and training standards in place ASAP.