The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program, which had been taken over via $1.2 billion infrastructure, has been making a new road for young drivers. By which I mean under 21 years old. This is all for the promotion of furthering interstate trucking with a new generation of drivers, while also filling in the gaps left by many older drivers getting busted for their Drug and Alcohol sloppiness. However, smaller carriers and owner-operators aren’t privy to the strict monthly reports and technological requirements.
Truck Driving, as it turns out, is not necessarily a profession you can just teach kids as they’re young.
This budding driver-apprenticeship program created by the FMCSA may add some weight to the wallet. But as it turns out, there’s much more that is at risk when teaching a young kid how to deal with competing trucking fleets out there on the road.
As it turns out, the Pilot Program and any similar reporting and structuring requirements are not to be advised for issuing event amongst the more spirited fleets. To participate in the program, fleets really have to do a page one, gut themselves and re-register with the Department of Labor. Even then, the trucks and drivers are in need to get the message, loud and clear.
Within the program there are certain requirements that ask carriers to utilize the active-braking collision mitigation systems, which also include forward-facing event recording cameras, speed limiters of up to 65 miles per hour or less and even automated manual transmission. Not to mention, the driver candidates are constantly having to utilize two driver periods of a probationary status to show total competency and proficient lesson-learning during 12 performance benchmarks.
Additionally, the program is asking young drivers to spend their time wisely: 240 hours with supervision under an experienced driver and 400 hours overall before it’s allowed that they drive through the interstate unsupervised.
That’s risky business if you don’t know the type of bond you have to develop with your truck when training to use it well. But even outside of the government regulations, there are real-world issues that make the truck-driving age more likely to be that of 23 years old.
It’s discipline that really counts when putting your youth into these type of programs. You have to look at the lay of the land and really see what’s going on here. Are you certain that bringing in younger children will really provide the landscape with what we’re ready for. A bunch of younger drivers that may or may not know exactly what they do?