Agency makes GPS training standard for new entry-level drivers

| March 13, 2013

GPSThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued recommendations on Global Positioning Systems and will require entry-level CDL holders receive training on use.

The FMSCA is distributing brochures and flyers with recommendations to truckers that include tips on selecting navigation system designed for trucks and buses.

On March 11, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer announced the FMCSA will make GPS training mandatory when it issues its entry-level CDL operator rule in upcoming months. The 2012 omnibus transportation reauthorization law prioritizes a rulemaking the agency began in 2007 to revise training requirements for entry-level operators.

The New York Democrat had pushed for training after a state study indicated the dramatic increase in low bridge strikes were caused by trucks using inappropriate GPS systems. The devices widely available to consumers may not have programming showing low bridges, hazmat routes and other information relevant to truckers.

The study indicated GPS systems were faulted in more than 80 percent of these accidents. On the Long Island Expressway alone, it accounted for more than $4.1 million in repairs.

Since 2007, New York has spent $3 million for new bridge warning signs and education targeted at truckers and a state task force engaged GPS companies to implement changes. Still, the accidents continued at an alarming rate, Schumer said.

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  • 4btrucking

    Just when you think you’ve seen it all. Might be time to pull out the old resume’…I’m losing my dream thanks to government and illegals….

  • jackwagon

    They do what they want, they are out of control. Big goverment sucks

  • Dave Nichols

    The problem is that the states and localities do not report the needed information to the federal highway data base that feeds ALL gps systems. Of course the morons such as schumer have no clue, only that they can make a few political points with granny greentree voter.
    Until this reporting is mandated, the problem will continue and no amount of training or buying so called truck gps units will fix it.

  • Trucker Lee

    I don’t use a GPS and have never struck a bridge. And no amount of training will change the education level, language skills, attitudes and thinking abilities of those coming into the industry. The problem was never GPSs, the problem is the lack of training. Schumer continues to be clueless!

  • Don Lanier

    I agree that too many states dont keep the signage up to date or in good shape, I have passed many a bridge with no signs anywhere, the Height of any bridge should be painted in BRIGHT LARGE LETTERING across both sides…then there would be no guess, I have to agree with Dave….GPS is a great tool but I have found it has many flaws, its getting better but if you blindly follow this device youll wind up across railroad tracks, In the Ocean, In a Pasture or field or down some muddy unpaved road….Its a GUIDE, Not the GOSPEL

  • Don Lanier

    Another issue with Low Bridges is Road Paving, Ive seen 4 layers of asphalt poured under a bridge making a 13-6 bridge now 12 8…..or having Power lines or Pipes run under neathn the bridge structure….you have to have some common sense and any fool who drives across a wooden covered bridge hasnt got a lick of COMMON SENSE…

  • ilovdieselsmoke

    GPS training? This just shows they’re desperate for drivers. Wonder what the response would have been forty eight years ago when I first started if I had asked my employer for road map training? Wanna bet I wouldn’t have been driving anyone’s trucks. Next it’ll be a potty train certificate to receive your first CDL..

  • Mike Jones

    Its always a guessing game in New York as to what the REAL clearance is under any overpass….there were plenty of wrecks before GPS was ever used…and still today nobody knows..that place is nothing but a Joke.

  • Mike Jones

    Funny….and so True!

  • mousekiller

    Simply put: You Cant Fix Stupid. No matter the training, learning to shift gears has no relation to what a driver does with the information the GPS has. It is the thinking process that is missing in today’s youth. College grads that can’t make change at Micky D’s with out the computer. BRAIN FAILURE.. A GPS is nothing more than an information tool. Far too many drivers don’t know how to use that information.

  • mousekiller

    I don’t think they are short drivers but steering wheel holders. Good Drivers can think for the most part but Alas, the pros and good drivers are leaving the industry in droves as we will not tolerate the treatment that is being shoved down out collective throats. GPS training? Can’t they read the directions that come with every GPS in the box or call customer service? Being PC is coming back to haunt us now.

  • Danny

    What kind of dunces are there in this country. Next are we going to have to train new entry drivers on how to use the satelitle radio, CB’s., audio entertainment systems. What a nanny state.
    Maybe, just maybe if the trucking industry would try to find literate, common sense people we could move back to running freight. Not worrying if some moran can use a GPS. GET REAL PEOPLE.

  • Doug

    New York and New Jersey have not marked their bridges correctly anyway. But people should use the truck GPS instead of auto one’s. The problem really is you can’t fix stupid people, which includes politicians and their regulations.

  • mousekiller

    Just how stupid have we given birth to? Proof that the government thinks truck drivers are too stupid ignorant and lazy to think for themselves. Given the ones I have seen ,smelled and shared the road with I understand where they got this idea from. Unfortunately we all pay the price and share the penalty. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.