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Truck driver recruitment efforts hindered by federally required Entry Level Driver Training, says Trucking Association VP

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The recruiting of new truck drivers is being hindered by the Entry Level Driver Training rule that began last spring, says a trucking industry executive. 

The ELDT rule went into effect on February 7th, 2022. The rule puts forward minimum requirements for entry-level driver training standards. The requirements apply to training providers and CDL applicants. 

Now, nearly two years later, Mid-West Truckers Association Vice President Matt Wells says the number of truckers remains steady, despite calls for more drivers – all because of the added barriers to entry created by the ELDT.  

Wells also says that the new rule requires people who don’t really fit the mold of truck driver to complete the ELDT. 

“You also have CDL requirements for your local township supervisors that operate their dump trucks. That need is completely different than the need of an over-the-road truck-driving company,” said Wells to 25 News Now.

Despite $48 million in grants aimed at bringing more people into trucking, Colleges that offer a trucking school, like Illinois Central College, have added only 30 more students to the course than the previous year. The grant even pays trucking students $15 an hour to go to school and covers the cost of the course.

In 2022 and 2023, efforts have been made to repeal the ELDT ruling, but for now it remains in effect. 

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