The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will hold a listening session on March 22, 2013 in order to receive input from drivers and industry professionals concerning training standards for entry-level truck drivers.
The session is in relation to Section 32304 of the MAP-21 federal highways and infrastructure funding law. The four hour session, between 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. will be held at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky and will be available by webcast.
FMCSA will provide participation information one week before the session via their website. Those unable to attend MATS, can listen in and submit their ideas via www.regulations.gov and referencing Docket Number: FMCSA-2007-27748.
Training standards for new CDL drivers have reached a higher concern for the FMCSA in recent years. Social media has played a major role in highlighting the further needs for safer commercial vehicle driver training.
Union or Non-Union, the two major attacks on all truck drivers is the DAC report and the government policies that deliberately oversupply drivers into the industry. Government subsidies and grants provided to training motor carriers are actually driving good drivers out of the industry as fast as they come in.
Training companies can receive tens of thousands of government dollars to provide on-the-job training per student. Once trained, these new drivers are paid as low as .23 to .27 cents per mile: a non-living wage. Furthermore, CDL schools should have a new curriculum regarding who can be taught.
Many schools continue to accept any student that walks through the door; even those with felonies, dui's and other such violations that absolutely ensures that no motor carrier will hire them.
Training is both prolific and expensive, however it is not realistic or comprehensive enough in light of real driving demands and the unrealistic measures. DAC, which stands for "Drive-A-Check," has become nothing more than a retaliation tool that carriers use against drivers.
As one driver stated to the Tampa Bay Trucking Examiner: "DAC is being used to beat to death greenhorns." It is noted as such a serious problem within the industry that the Workers' Counsel formed the DAC Report Class Action Registry.
Two of the best solutions to entry-level driver training is to close down the DAC Services and to take away the government policies regarding grant money and subsidies to motor carriers.
In the beginning, both began with good intentions, but have resulted in bad consequences by interfering with the industry's driver supply and demand. These subsidies, along with the DAC report, have actually created an oversupply of drivers, non-living low wages and continue to fuel a revolving door of drivers.