Legislation would remove requirements for Entry-Level Driver Training for truckers

South Dakota Ag ConnectionSeptember 16, 2022Agriculture News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – At a time when the American Trucking Association estimates a nationwide trucker shortage of 80,000 drivers, recently introduced legislation would remove burdensome government regulations, which are impacting the agricultural industry, school districts and trucking companies in rural America.

The Trucking Regulations Unduly Constricting Known Service Providers (TRUCKS) Act would exempt employees of agriculture-related industries, school districts and local units of governments (including county, municipal and tribal), from the new Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) requirements to obtain their CDL. For agriculture-related industries, this legislation would allow states to waive all ELDT requirements for Class A CDLs. Currently, states can waive ELDT requirements for Class B CDLs, but they cannot waive them for Class A CDLs or most endorsements.

Earlier this year, a final rule went into effect creating a new requirement for ELDT, adding a burdensome requirement for drivers to obtain their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). This requirement is costly and time consuming, as ELDT training classes range from $450 to $8,500, depending on the trainer, and can take anywhere from three days to 20 days to complete.

One of the bill’s sponsors, Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) said the legislation eases the burden on small trucking companies, agricultural producers, school districts and local units of government. He added, “It also gives power back to the states so they can decide their own rules of the road.”