Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration wants new training requirements
for drivers who wish to get a certificate to drive longer combination
vehicles, for instructors who teach drivers and for carriers who
is the first time DOT has established training requirements for
LCV drivers and others. In the future, the FMCSA is expected to
publish “graduated commercial driver’s license” rules, which also
would address for the first time minimum standards on who gets to
drive a “plain ‘ol” 18-wheeler.
official definition of an LCV is any combination of a truck-tractor
and two or more trailers or semi-trailers that have a gross vehicle
weight rating greater than 80,000 pounds and operate in interstate
commerce. Twin trailers, also known as western doubles, would not
be subject to this proposed rule.
LCV double trailers and LCV triple trailers have different operating
characteristics, the FMCSA has proposed separate training courses
for each vehicle group.
proposed curriculum for the LCV training would consist of orientation,
operation, safe operating practices, advanced operation and non-driving
activities, such as route and trip planning, and checking on cargo
double or triple trailer endorsement requires a minimal knowledge
of coupling and uncoupling procedures, or connecting and disconnecting,
and vehicle inspections unique to these LCVs.
qualify for training, the proposed rule would require that a student
driver must, for at least six months before training, have a valid
CDL with a double or triple trailer endorsement. This endorsement
ensures the driver has a basic knowledge of coupling and uncoupling
and inspection procedures for these vehicles.
training requirements include no convictions or suspensions in a
CMV or CDL disqualifying offenses and no at-fault accidents in a
CMV. Those driving a double trailer would need evidence of Group
A driving experience. Group A vehicles have a gross combination
weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds, including a trailer with
a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more.
driving a triple trailer would need evidence of Group A tractor-trailer
or twin-trailer experience. Motor carriers may waive driver-training
requirements if there’s certification that during the last two years
the driver had a valid Class A CDL with a double or triple endorsement;
no convictions or suspensions in a CMV for CDL-disqualifying offenses;
no CMV at-fault accidents; and evidence of regular and continuing
employment and operation of an LCV group.
carriers must ensure that drivers meet these conditions before granting
qualify as an LCV driver-instructor, the proposal requires that
an individual have successfully completed the appropriate LCV driver-training
course; have a valid Class A CDL with applicable endorsements; and
have at least two years' driving experience for the type of LCV
instruction he or she intends to provide.
requirements may be waived if a candidate met the conditions for
a driver waiver of training requirements, and during the last two
years has had experience operating the LCV group he or she intends
to teach, and has experience teaching courses similar in content
to the LCV curriculum.
the proposal, motor-carrier employers must:
only drivers with a certificate of completion for LCV training
or a certificate waiver to operate an LCV.
- Allow drivers to operate only LCVs that they are authorized to
drive by the driver-training certificate, CDL and endorsements.
a copy of the LCV driver-training certificate for each LCV driver.
- Use instructors
who meet the qualification requirements to provide LCV training.
- Maintain an
LCV instructor qualification file for every instructor employed
or under contract.
comments on this notice of proposed rulemaking should be sent by
Oct. 11, 2003, to the USDOT Docket Facility, Attn: Docket No. FMCSA-97-2176,
Room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., Washington, DC, 20590-0001.
Comments can also be faxed to (202) 493-2251.
rule will be posted on the Internet and can be viewed after searching
at http://dms.dot.gov/ . Comments may be submitted
Dick Larsen, senior editor
Larsen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.