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Entry-Level Driver Training to be standardized

by Charlotte Freed | May 03, 2019

Truck driver trainingOver the past three years, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has placed a number of new regulations into effect with the hopes of improving safety on the road. The next regulation on the clock: Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators, entry-level driver training for short (ELDT). 

The ELDT requirements will attempt to standardize today’s existing training curricula. Existing curricula is currently developed at the state level. CDL schools, in-house CDL programs and other courses are expected to overhaul their programs by February 7th, 2020. 

Currently, programs are only required to cover four topics for CDL training: hours of service, driver qualification and disqualification, health and wellness, and whistleblower protection. Under ELDT, these standards will be expanded, with schools and trainers being required to teach 31 specific theory courses as well as 19 behind-the-wheel skills and courses. All driver candidates must have an 80 percent pass rate in theory courses and demonstrate proficiency in all 19 behind-the-wheel skills.

Some are worried that the proposed standards could exacerbate the already daunting driver shortage. Others are concerned that there are not enough qualified training professionals. The FMCSA hopes that these standards will help new drivers adapt to the realities of business and life on the road.

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