What Are Truck Driver Training Requirements?
Posted on Tuesday, February 1st, 2022 at 4:29 pm
If someone wants to apply for a commercial truck driver position, they must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). In order to obtain a CDL, an applicant must complete entry-level driver training from one of the training providers identified ty the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Tractor-trailers, semis, and other commercial trucks are long, heavy, and contain items that could be large or hazardous. Operating these vehicles requires knowledge and skill. Truck drivers must understand how to maneuver a truck correctly and safely on any road.
Unqualified and inexperienced truckers often cause accidents with other vehicles. They don’t know how to brake correctly, take wide turns, or handle steep inclines. They could lose control and collide with a nearby pedestrian, telephone pole, or stationary object if they don’t have the necessary training.
Requirements for Commercial Truck Drivers
A prospective entry-level truck driver who intends to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate, intrastate, or foreign commerce must first obtain a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL). They’ll need to get training from the Training Provider Registry.
Anyone applying to become a commercial truck driver must also meet the requirements set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:
- Show proof of citizenship or lawful permanent residency
- Certify they don’t hold a license in more than one state or jurisdiction and don’t qualify for disqualification under state law or the disqualification of drivers regulation
- List all states of licensing to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in the previous ten years
- Complete and pass a driving or skill test in a vehicle similar to a motor vehicle they will operate or intend to operate and submit proof of the completed test
- Surrender any non-CDL license and commercial learner’s permit carried in the state of prospective employment
- Provide documentation for proof of domicile in the state of the completed application
- Certify that the vehicle used during testing represents the motor vehicle they will operate or expect to operate
- Meet requirements set by the Transportation Security Administration if applying for a hazardous materials endorsement
- Submit additional information required by the state to obtain a CDL
Entry-level truck drivers must receive instructions on the topics below when applying for a CDL:
- Whistleblower protection – Anyone employed by a motor carrier can ask about the safety practices used by their employer without reprisals or termination for discussing their concerns.
- Hours of Service – Training to operate a CMV should include instruction on handling fatigue on the road, maintaining a record of duty status, meeting the required number of off-duty hours, and staying within the maximum driving hours limit.
- Driver wellness – Truck drivers should receive information regarding routine health maintenance, including diet and exercise, and the importance of avoiding excessive use of alcohol.
- Driver qualifications – Anyone applying to operate a CMV must understand employment requirements, such as responsibilities, procedures for medical exams, general qualifications to operate a CMV, and disqualifications determined by offenses, loss of driving privileges, and orders.
Upon completion of necessary tests, the truck driver will receive a training certification. It should remain on file by the employer during the trucker’s employment and for one year after their termination.
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Regulations for Operating a Longer Combination Vehicle
A longer combination vehicle (LCV) has a gross vehicle weight above 80,000 pounds and consists of two or more trailers or semi-trailers. Licensed truck drivers operate LCVs on the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways.
Applying for an LCV license requires meeting the conditions below:
- Demonstrate the ability to perform the skills required to operate an LCV
- Show the LCV instructor proof of meeting the requirements to obtain an LCV license
- Complete a knowledge and skills test
- Correctly answer 80 percent or more of the knowledge test questions
- Obey traffic laws and avoid causing or becoming involved in a preventable accident while taking the skills test
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Truck Accident?
Many people think they should hold the truck driver liable following an accident. It’s common to believe the trucker is at fault because they were the one driving. Although their actions could have contributed, another person or company could be just as responsible.
Parties you could hold liable for your injury include:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Maintenance or repair employee
- Owner of the trailer or cab
- Cargo loading company
- Truck or part manufacturer
Motor carriers must complete a thorough background check of any truck driver applying for a job. Determining whether the prospective employee has a valid license, certification, and training is necessary. It’s also critical to learn about employment history, criminal records, and prior accidents while on the job.
Without a comprehensive background check, motor carriers won’t know if they hire an experienced truck driver. Unfortunately, many employers will skip this vital step if there’s a staffing shortage or a small pool of qualified drivers.
Injured in a Truck Accident? Contact Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC Today
If you sustained an injury in a truck accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC immediately.
Since 2005, we have represented injured clients in Kentucky and Ohio. We fight for accident victims and pursue the maximum compensation available.