Entry-Level Driver Training Changes

By: Tom Bray

Publication: Transport Safety Management Today

Date Posted: 07/01/2021

New ELDT Rules Coming February 7, 2022

The “entry-level driver training” (ELDT) regulations are intended to make sure drivers entering the industry can operate CDL-required vehicles safely. These regulations are found in Subparts E, F, and G in Part 380 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

Importantly, there currently are two different sets of regulations: the ones in effect now (Subpart E), and the ones that will go into effect next February (Subparts F and G).

Current ELDT requirements

The current ELDT requirements in Subpart E of Part 380 apply when a carrier hires a driver with less than one year of experience to drive a CDL-required vehicle. Evidence of a new driver’s experience is based on the driver’s application and the carrier’s background checks done during the hiring process.

The current ELDT training rules say that drivers must be trained on:

  • The driver qualification requirements;
  • The hours-of-service requirements (limits, logs, etc.) and fatigue management;
  • Health and wellness; and
  • OSHA’s whistleblower protections.

Anyone can do this training; there is no special credential required. Once the training is complete, the driver must be issued a certificate of completion (see §380.513).

A copy of the certificate, either from a school, previous employer, the carrier hiring the driver, etc., needs to be in the driver’s DQ file before the driver operates a CDL-required vehicle for the carrier.

Upcoming ELDT requirements

As of February 7, 2022, the current ELDT rules go away and the new ones in Subparts F and G in Part 380 go into effect.

As of that date, for a driver to be able to take a CDL skills test (or a hazardous materials endorsement test), the driver must have completed training at an entity listed on the FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry, or TPR. The training must include specific classroom, range, and road training. Any entity can be on the TPR and do the training, as long as they meet the TPR requirements and complete the process to get onto the TPR.

Carriers that don’t want to be on the TPR will need to hire and train only drivers that already have their CDLs (only doing “finishing” or “OJT” training).

Over the next three months, we will be taking a deep dive into the requirements for an entity to be on the TPR.

Key to remember: Keep following the current entry-level driver training (ELDT) rules when hiring CDL drivers. As of February 7, 2022, however, you’ll need to be on the TPR if you want to train drivers who do not have their CDL (or who only have a CLP and still need to take their skills test).

About the author
Tom Bray - Transportation Editor

Tom has been with J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. since 2005. He brought with him an extensive background that includes years of experience in DOT compliance, policy development, driver human resources, driver training, training program development, CDL testing, claims management, and accident and injury prevention.

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