Trucking news and briefs for Friday, July 9, 2021:
FMCSA launches Training Provider Registry
More than four years after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published its Entry-Level Driver Training rule, the agency has finally launched the long-awaited Training Provider Registry.
Under the ELDT rule, which takes effect Feb. 7, 2022, only training providers listed on the TPR will be eligible to train pre-CDL truck drivers. CDL trainers can now register to be listed on the TPR.
For a CDL trainer to be listed on the TPR, they must follow the training curriculum listed in the rule; using facilities, vehicles and instructors that meet the criteria outlined in the rule; meet recordkeeping requirements; and be licensed, certified, registered, or authorized to provide training in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations of any state where in-person training is conducted. Full requirements can be found in the TPR FAQs.
The ELDT regulations establish minimum training requirements for entry-level commercial motor vehicle operators in interstate and intrastate commerce who are applying for:
A Class A or Class B commercial driver’s license (CDL) for the first time
An upgrade of their CDL (such as a Class B CDL holder seeking a Class A CDL)
A hazardous materials, passenger, or school bus endorsement for the first time
The requirements do not apply to individuals holding a valid CDL or an H, P, or S endorsement issued prior to Feb. 7, 2022. Individuals who obtain a commercial learner’s permit before the compliance date of Feb. 7, 2022, are not subject to ELDT requirements as long as they obtain a CDL before the expiration date of the CLP or renewed CLP.
Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls going up – again
Start saving your nickels and dimes – and more – if your trucking travels put you on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Tolls on the turnpike will rise by 5% in January, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced this week. The agency board voted to impose the higher rates starting on Jan. 2, 2022.
Officials say 2022 will be the first time in six years that fares will have jumped by less than 6%
The most common truck fare will go from $13 to $13.70 for E-ZPass, and from $26.60 to $28 for toll-by-plate.
Biden administration officials discuss trucking issues in roundtable meeting
As part of the Biden administration’s ongoing work addressing supply chain disruption, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, and Deputy Administrator Meera Joshi of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hosted a roundtable Thursday to discuss truck driver recruitment and retention.
"Our economy is getting back on its feet, but the pandemic has exposed and exacerbated longstanding challenges in our supply chain - including truck driver retention.” Buttigieg said. “We are bringing government, industry and key stakeholders together to help support truck drivers and all the consumers and businesses who rely on them."
Buttigieg moderated a conversation with stakeholders to surface best practices to improve driver retention and limit turnover. Walsh provided an overview of the Department of Labor’s registered apprenticeship programs and how they can be a tool in driver retention.
"Registered Apprenticeship - which offers workers quality, on-the-job training along with wage progression, and has been shown to improve job retention - can help build a more stable and resilient workforce,” Walsh said. “I look forward to working with Secretary Buttigieg and industry leaders to expand Registered Apprenticeship in order to improve access and retention in the trucking industry."
Apprenticeships can allow drivers to enter the industry without debt from training, help drivers prepare for the challenges of the job, and receive training on innovative technologies, DOT said in a press release. FMCSA will also facilitate connections between stakeholders and DOL apprenticeship resources and help support the implementation of best practices and administrative actions to improve long-haul truck driver retention.
In addition to Thursday’s meeting, FMCSA is working to address other challenges in trucking, including supporting state DMVs as they return to pre-pandemic commercial driver’s license issuance rates, which is helping address the truck driver shortage, DOT added.
In 2021, an average of 50,000 CDLs have been issued each month, which is 14% higher than the 2019 monthly average and 60% higher than the 2020 monthly average, DOT said. Further, FMCSA granted operating authority to more than 92,000 motor carriers, which is an 88% increase from the same time period in 2020 and a 60% increase from the same time period in 2019.