Industry Opinions: The CDL Training Double Standard

Today's Trucking Magazine
Originally posted at Today’s Trucking magazine online

This week, Steve Rock over at Today’s Trucking wrote an interesting premise about how the industry is trying to curb the qualified driver shortage and why you should be concerned. He calls out a lot of industry and government agencies that seem to just be passing the buck instead of improving the situation.

Readers will note that he’s speaking about a coinciding driver training issue in Canada that basically mirrors what’s happening here in the USA. We’ve run a separate opinion piece on that problem before and our readers had plenty to say about it.

From the article by Steve Rock:

“Pilots wanted: must have suit, nice hat, head for heights and good sense of direction.”

Just imagine if that were the answer that airlines came up with to address the global pilot shortage; there would be a public outcry.

So why is the answer to the truck driver shortage in Canada to simply lower the training and testing standards so that anyone can get a license? A recent Ontario ruling that allows tractor-trailer drivers to take their test in an automatic truck goes some way to show that the bar has been lowered. As does the fact that a driver’s test pre-trip is more like an en-route circle check than a full inspection.

Take a look at National Occupation Code 7411, Truck Driver. The list of required skills is a long one. Note that I said ‘skills’, which also pertain to a national code. Granted, they may not be rocket science skills, but they are valid skills nonetheless.

How many occupations demand the diversity of knowledge that trucking requires? Not many. Truckers need to be technology experts, administrators, customer service reps, and be able to safely drive an 80,000lb vehicle as part of their daily jobs…

Read the rest of the article at Today’s Trucking online.

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