FMCSA issues new driver training rules

FMCSA issues new driver training rules

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) ( has issued regulations with training requirements for operators of longer combination vehicles (LCV) — tractor-trailer combinations with two or more trailers that weigh more than 80,000 pounds — and those who instruct LCV drivers. The rules become effective on June 1, 2004.

Drivers may be grandfathered if “during the last two years immediately before applying for the exemption, he or she had no suspension, revocation, or cancellation of his or her commercial drivers license,” among other qualifications.

The FMCSA estimates that 1,750 of the current 35,000 LCV drivers won't qualify for grandfathering. Former employers are now required to respond to inquiries about driver history from prospective new employers in the other FMCSA ruling.

Reasoning provided for the new ruling includes the fact that previously there was no specification for “what minimum information must be investigated, nor was there a requirement for previous employers to provide that information to prospective motor carrier employers when requested. Consequently, many former employers decline to respond to employment investigations, while others — for fear of litigation — merely verify that the driver worked for the carrier and provide the driver's dates of employment.”

With the new rule, previous employers must now respond to prospective employer requests within 30 days. LT

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May, 2004

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