Issue Background

Driver Training

  • 1-day CDL schools and other “CDL mills” take advantage of people affected by the economic downturn by promising them to get a commercial driver’s license in as little as one day. These “schools” show potential drivers how to pass a state’s CDL exam without teaching them how to safely and effectively operate a commercial motor vehicle.
  • Instructors can have as little as six months experience teaching the next generation of commercial vehicle operators, yet they lack the skills of drivers who have been on the road for years or decades.
  • Are potential truck drivers being trained in how to drive efficiently? Operate in various terrains and weather conditions? Secure and balance a load? Drive a manual transmission?

On March 7th, FMCSA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Entry Level Driver Training. After decades of failed attempts, this is a productive step in establishing federal standards for driver training. Under the rule, drivers would have to complete a training curriculum that includes at least 30 hours of behind-the-wheel (BTW) training. Potential drivers would also have to pass a classroom tutorial featuring lectures, driving simulations, and written examinations. Class B CDLs would require at least 15 hours of BTW training plus the classroom portion. The rule also seeks to create a registry of FMCSA-approved driver training providers and outlines minimum qualifications for instructors, testing, and training vehicles that the agency will use to approve training providers for the registry.

The proposed regulation is the result of recommendations from a 26-member Entry Level Driver Training Advisory Committee (ELDTAC) which included representatives from all segments of the industry, including OOIDA. This rulemaking reflects that FMCSA listened to the recommendations from the industry experts. 

OOIDA will be providing the FMCSA with feedback on the rule and we encourage you to do the same. The comment period is open until April 6th. Please see below for more information about the rulemaking and some key points you may want to highlight when submitting your comments.

Click here for more information on the Entry Level Driver Training Rule (Docket # FMCSA-2007-27748)

Click here to send your comments to FMCSA 

  • FMCSA included the recommended provisions from the ELDTAC. Applaud FMCSA for listening to industry input before publishing the rulemaking and encourage FMCSA to take this approach in future rulemakings.
  • Share your observations and personal experiences of how better trained drivers produce better safety.
  • Explain how poorly trained drivers can cause delays on loading docks, increased congestion on roadways, and more incidents due to inadequate trip planning.
  • Support requiring at least 30 hours of behind the wheel training for Class A CDLs. 
  • Support a provision that allows small business truckers to provide training. FMCSA is seeking comments in support of this provision which would allow those who train 3 individuals or less within a year to have a lower regulatory burden than larger institutions. FMCSA welcomes any additional suggestions on how to lessen the burden for small business truckers who may wish to provide training.