FMCSA Sets Out to Streamline CDL Training

Compared to many other career paths out there, becoming a truck driver is quick and affordable. When it comes to training and certification, the main goals are to teach safety and protocol. Handled incorrectly, semi-trucks can be very dangerous. 

It’s critical that potential drivers learn the right way of operating a truck. Still, many believe it can be easier to become a truck driver without compromising safety. 

Currently, there’s a multi-step process for earning your CDL A and becoming a truck driver. First, you must enroll in truck driving school. This typically takes about seven weeks. Once that’s complete, you’ll need to pass a test. 

While some states do allow you to take the CDL test without completing school, it’s not recommended. It’s during your schooling that you have hands-on safety and real-life training. Even if you have a CDL, many companies won’t hire you if you haven’t gone through proper schooling. 

Currently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is pushing a rule change that will make it easier to transition through training and testing so that people can become certified drivers faster. 

Removing a Simple Barrier 

The new rule doesn’t aim to lessen the current requirements of earning a CDL or eliminate training. Instead, the goal is to remove a minor restriction that can cause delays and headaches for aspiring drivers. 

CDL training and testing are handled by state authorized instructors. These individuals can provide the necessary training to CDL applicants, and they can also conduct the official testing. However, as it stands currently, they cannot perform both for the same individual. 

That means the person who trains you cannot also handle your official testing.  

This is what FMCSA is looking to change. The hope is that this will speed up the process of attaining a CDL, removing delays and the need for two authorized parties to be involved. While the goal of the original rule was to prevent fraud, many have deemed it an unnecessary measure. 

Another recent change was passed to speed up the process and reduce the cost of upgrading from a class B CDL to a class A. 

Paving Ways for New Drivers 

Ultimately, this bill is another step towards broadening the appeal of truck driving. With the current driver shortage affecting the industry, it’s clear that changes need to happen. Other attempts include lowering the legal age for driving truck across state lines and improving conditions for female drivers

For those who have already earned their CDL A, there are plenty of opportunities available. At Woodruff Enterprises, we have openings across the US including truck driving jobs in Chicago.  

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