Some trucking industry experts are concerned about the effects the newly instated trucking school regulations could have on recruiting new drivers.

New federal rules regulating CDL training requirements went into effect on Monday. Now, some industry experts are concerned that the high price of standardized trucking schools will negatively affect the recruitment of new drivers. 

The new rules, known as the Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT), went into effect on February 7th, and require prospective truck drivers to complete their training from a school listed on the Training Provider Registry. This change means that the old school way of learning to drive via family or friends is no longer an option, and some smaller, more affordable trucking schools may no longer qualify as acceptable CDL training either. 

“People won’t be able to now just walk up to someone who has a truck and say, ‘Hey, can you teach me how to drop your truck?’ Now you will be required to go to a school for formalized training. It could pose a barrier,” said Ken Snipes, director of Austin Resource Recovery (ARR), which handles the city’s waste management. 

“Schools are somewhere around usually 5, 6, $7,000 dollars. That’s not a small sum of money for a lot of people,” Snipes continued. 

Despite concerns over price, some involved in the trucking industry say that these new standardized requirements across the country could improve driver training and overall safety. 

“Before, all someone had to do was pass a state test,” said Delbert Crawford, the director of Austin’s Changing Lanes CDL School. 

“It will make the roads safer,” he told KXAN. “They should have come out with this rule a long time ago instead of delaying it.”

“Having standardized curriculum and outcomes across the United States for people who are entry level drivers is a very good thing,” said Roy Hawkins, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Southern Careers Institute in Austin. 

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