Pending changes mades by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA), the first-ever federal CDL curriculum standards could be published by the end of the year.
Cleared by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) last week, the Entry-Level Training Rule would establish new curriculum that would affect the training standards for those applying for their initial CDL, and upgrade to their CDL1, hazardous materials, passenger, or school bus endorsement for their license.
The proposed rule, as it stands, will introduce trainees to the basics of truck driving. This includes instruction on how to read instruments, how to perform pre and post trip inspections, how to safely back into and dock, and more.
Aside from the basics, the curricula is subdivided into two categories: theory and behind the wheel training (BTW). The BTW category is further divided into range driving and public road driving.
For BTW training, a Class A CDL trainee must complete a minimum of 30 hours, with at least 10 of those hours being on a driving range. For the public road segment, the trainee must fulfill either 10 hours on a public road, or by driving 10 trips on public roads, each no less than 50 minutes in duration. No matter how many hours of BTW training a trainee completes, training providers have been told not to issue certificate unless the student demonstrates proficiency in operating a commercial vehicle.
The FMCSA projected that the new standards would require a 10-day wait from OMB clearance to publication in the Federal Register. To view other significant rulemaking by the DOT, visit the DOTs significant rulemakings webpage.