Truck drivers face new training requirements

News AASHTO Journal August 20, 2003
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The U

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed new training requirements for operators of longer-combination vehicles who wish to obtain driver-training certification. The safety agency also proposed new requirements for instructors who train LCV drivers.

An LCV is any combination of a truck-tractor and two or more trailers or semi-trailers that have a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 80,000 lb and operate in interstate commerce.

The proposed federal requirements would mean that motor carriers must not allow drivers to operate a double or triple until they have the training specified in the new rulemaking, even though they have a state-issued commercial driver's license with a double/triple trailer endorsement.

The proposed curriculum for the LCV training would consist of orientation, operation, safe operating practices, advanced operation and non-driving activities, such as route and trip planning and checking on cargo and weight. The double or triple trailer endorsement requires a minimal knowledge of coupling and uncoupling procedures, or connecting and disconnecting, and vehicle inspections unique to these LCVs.

To qualify for training, the proposed rule would require that a student driver must, for at least six months before training, have a valid commercial driver's license with a double- or triple-trailer endorsement.

Under the proposal, motor-carrier employers must:

* Allow only drivers with a certificate of completion for LCV training or a certificate waiver to operate an LCV;

* Allow drivers to operate only LCVs that they are authorized to drive by the driver-training certificate, CDL and endorsements;

* Maintain a copy of the LCV driver-training certificate for each LCV driver;

* Use instructors who meet the qualification requirements to provide LCV training; and

* Maintain an LCV instructor qualification file for every instructor employed or under contract.

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