Congress looks to simplify operators' credentialing process

Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022:

Legislation looks to ease credentialing burden for truck drivers

Two pieces of legislation were introduced in the Congress this week that would streamline the credentialing process for truck drivers.

One bill, the Transportation Security Administration Security Threat Assessment Application Modernization Act, was introduced by Reps. Adam Smith (D-Washington) and John Katko (R-New York). If passed, it would allow truck drivers to use one valid background check from a TSA Security Threat Assessment to satisfy the requirements for participation in any TSA program, including the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), Hazardous Materials Endorsement and PreCheck programs.

The second bill, the Licensing Individual Commercial Exam-takers Now Safely and Efficiently Act, or LICENSE Act, would make permanent two waivers issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration seven times over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the provisions of the bill, third-party CDL skills test examiners would be permitted to administer a state's CDL knowledge test, in addition to the skills test. This issue was solved this week with updated guidance from FMCSA that said the agency's current regulations do not prohibit third-party testers from administering the CDL knowledge tests for all classes and endorsements.

It would also allow states to administer the driving skills test to out-of-state CDL applicants regardless of where they received their training. Finally, the legislation would allow commercial learners permit holders who have already passed the required CDL skills test, but who have not yet received their physical credentials, to drive with a CDL holder anywhere in the truck, rather than requiring them to sit in the front seat next to the qualified CLP holder.

The LICENSE Act was introduced in the House by Reps. Darin LaHood (R-Illinois), Troy Balderson (R-Ohio), Josh Harder (D-California) and Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), and in the Senate by Sens. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming) and Mark Kelly (D-Arizona).

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The American Trucking Associations lauded the introduction of both bills.

"With a shortage of roughly 80,000 drivers, we should be making the process of becoming a professional truck driver as user friendly as possible," said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. "By making common sense changes to the CDL testing process and eliminating redundant background checks, we can cut red tape so these hardworking men and women can get on the road navigating our nation's highways instead of navigating its bureaucracies."

[Related: FMCSA extends waiver allowing CLP holder to drive without direct supervision]

TruckPark app partners with hotel chain for trucker discounts

A new collaboration between TruckPark and Red Roof provides discounts to truck drivers using the TruckPark app to book accommodations at Red Roof locations across the nation.

“Partnering with Red Roof is further evidence of our commitment to enhance the driving experience for the more than two million drivers who have access to the TruckPark app,” said TruckPark CEO Anthony Petitte.

When booking a room with the TruckPark app, truckers will receive a 15% discount off the Best Available Rate (BAR) at participating Red Roof locations. Red Roof is introducing the program to all owners and operators that facilitate a truck parking option, according to a statement from the two companies.

Jerr-Dan manufacturer celebrating 50 years

Jerr-Dan, an Oshkosh Corporation company and trailer manufacturer celebrates its 50th anniversary throughout 2022, with activities planned for team members, distributors, and customers in honor of its five decades of quality and reliability, the company said.

Founded in 1972, Jerr-Dan initially built vehicle carriers and trailers and introduced the first aluminum carrier in 1977. Over 50 years, Jerr-Dan has become recognized globally as a manufacturer of light, medium and heavy duty wreckers, carriers, and rotators. 

Jerr-Dan has earned several patents for its products. These include the vehicle transporter, removable/replaceable wear pads, underlift assembly, independent wheel-lift, and underlift control.

“As a company, we are proud of our 50-year legacy of innovation and performance, and our team is proud to provide the highest quality products every day to the operators that rely on our trucks to get the job done," said Bob Nelson, company general manager. "Our mission isn’t just to build the most reliable equipment in the industry. It’s also to empower the men and women who make sacrifices every day to help others in need.”