FMCSA’s final version of a rule to set minimum truck driver training standards has been sent to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. Once it is approved, which can take up to 90 days, it can be published by DOT to go into effect in three years.
If the final version of the rule is the same as the proposed rule that was released earlier in March, the Entry-Level Driver Training will include a core curriculum for new truck drivers receiving their Commercial Driverâ€™s License. To get the license, the drivers will be required to finish 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training. The rule has also added minimum requirements and qualifications to instructors, training vehicles and testing. That will help create a registry of approved trainers.
The core curriculum consists of two categories: behind-the-wheel training and classroom time.
Behind-the-wheel training takes 30 hours in total and consists of 10 hours driving on a range plus either 10 hours driving on public roads or 10 trips on public roads, no less than 50 minutes each. The remaining hours are at the discretion of the instructor.
During the hours in the classroom new drivers will get information on instruments and controls of a truck, pre-trip and post-trip inspections, backing and docking, shifting, hours of operation, driving at night, and more.
The estimated 10-year cost of the rule would be at $5.55 billion, including costs to everyone involved, such as state agencies, trainers, carriers and drivers.