A year ago when I began the journey of writing for Energy Chaser there were two things I didn’t know. 1. I didn’t know it was a weekly publication 2. I had no idea there would be so many national pivotal changes (some short lived) in safety. As far as the weekly nature of the publication goes, I’ve adjusted as best I can - I am grateful to be able to be on the pulse of how to make safety and operations merge more seamlessly and have an audience for my strategies.
ELDT - What you NEED to Know
Yes, it came out of nowhere and I’m a little frustrated with the DOT for not marketing this more effectively. What you may not know - If your company has commercial vehicles on the road of any kind, this will affect you.
There is nothing new about the training and verification regulation itself. CDL drivers have always had to complete skills and knowledge tests in order to operate, however the federal oversight and standardization of this process, did not exist. Each company had their own way of determining skills and knowledge, and the DOT allowed them discretion in the process.
On February 7, 2022 the transportation industry will be forever changed. I have gone through the trouble of briefly summarizing the changes below as well as some of the challenges we’ll face as an industry after February 7th. In my next article, I will break down the updated standard further.
All new licensed drivers will need to complete the ELD training for:
New Licenses A | B | C Including Buses (including permitted drivers who have not completed and passed their CDL tests.
Any endorsements to a CDL. Air Brakes, HAZMAT, Passenger Vehicles,
Existing CDL drivers who do not need new/additional endorsements do not need to complete the training. They are ‘grandfathered’ into compliance.
The ELDT covers the two categories listed above: Knowledge and Skills. Any one can apply to become a training center, but they must meet certain criteria.
ELDT Training Criteria
ELDT Training Centers are required to have a USDOT Number and must determine their costs, curriculum, and methods of instruction and verification as well as well as have the equipment and means to verify the skills of drivers. They also must determine whether the training will be completed on private or public roads.
We do not have enough drivers. All industries requiring transportation are currently affected by this. This adds another hurdle (and cost) to the transportation industry as the demand for transportation professionals is growing.
If employers require a driver to have completed the ELDT as a prerequisite for employment (as they sometimes do with Safeland or ANSI H2S training, personnel will be incentivized to be hired on by an eager trucking company, take the course, and leave for another company.
The cost of the training is currently unknown, the registry for training centers is not currently live, and while there are no restrictions I’ve seen (thus far) about being compensated for a driver’s training if paid for by their employer, there may be a lot of battles with the Department of Labor over who is responsible to cover the cost (as the training follows the driver).
4. Barrier to Entry
With the need for ‘new’ drivers at an all time high, as well as insurance restrictions tightening (age, years of experience, etc.) why will younger men and women decide to enter the industry? In some cases, a CDL training course currently runs (in Williston) about $6,000 and in Dickinson $8,000 - with no guarantee of success.
At Basin Safety, we’ve registered to be a training provider and have been approved by the DOT, but would love feedback from our commercial driver / operator partners on how to best navigate this process from an efficiency and cost perspective. We’re entering new territory together, and the more we plan for success, the more successful we’ll be.