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DOT Issues Truck Driver Training Proposal

With so much work on the oilfield dependent upon commercial vehicles, PESA members should take note of a new proposal impacting truck driver training requirements.

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a new regulatory proposal to set minimum standards for new entry-level truck drivers.  The draft rule will be open for public comment until April 6, 2016.’

This proposal largely follows consensus recommendations developed during the Spring of 2015 by a group of stakeholders, including representatives from the truck and bus industries, law enforcement, highway safety, and other organizations.  This was the first FMCSA regulation developed under a “negotiated rulemaking” process.

The FMCSA proposal covers first-time CDL applicants, sets a minimum training curriculum, behind-the-wheel and classroom instruction requirements, and sets minimum qualifications for training providers.  For new drivers seeking CDL for a combination tractor-trailer, 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training would be required.  For a new driver seeking a CDL to operate a dump truck or box truck, the proposal calls for 15 hours of behind-the-wheel training.

According to the FMCSA, the proposal “incorporates performance-based concepts by requiring that driver-trainees demonstrate proficiency.”

Congress has required the FMCSA to set these standards since the early 1990s.  The proposal calls for a compliance date of three years after the effective date of the final rule.

You can review the proposal and submit public comment online at  More background information is available online at

PESA’s VP for Operations and External Affairs, Ryan Bowley, is available to discuss the proposal should you have any questions.  Please send him an e-mail at