When Is Entry-Level Driver Training Required In The Commercial Driving Context And What Areas Of Training Will Be Covered?
Certain drivers with less than one year of experience are designated “entry-level drivers” and may need training before operating a CMV. The FMCSA defines an entry-level driver as any driver with less than one year of experience operating a CMV with a CDL (commercial driver’s license) in interstate commerce. Entry-level drivers must be trained in the following four areas: (1) driver qualification requirements (federal rules on medical certification, medical examination procedures, general qualifications, responsibilities, and disqualifications); (2) hours of service of drivers (the driver must be knowledgeable regarding the limitations on driving hours, the requirement to be off-duty for certain periods of time, preparation of drivers logs, ways to fight fatigue, and exceptions); (3) driver wellness (basic health maintenance information); and (4) whistleblower protection (information regarding the right of an employee to question the employer’s safety practices without risk of termination or some type of punishment). While the FMSCA does not specifically state a length of training, they do require an average of 10 hours. Of those 10 hours, 5.5 hours should be spent on driver qualifications and hours of service, 4 hours on driver wellness, and 30 minutes on whistleblower protections.
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