The Professional Truck Driver Institute has reached the 20-year milestone of certifying courses at entry-level truck driver training schools across the U.S. and Canada.

"I have to believe that the things we did and the current methods of truck driver training schools as a result of the standards we put together have led to improved, safer drivers out there, and this began with the PTDI," said Ed Kynaston, who served as the organization's first president when the Professional Truck Driver Institute of America was incorporated in 1986.

Despite the lack of a federal ruling regulating industry standards for entry-level drivers, many in the industry have turned to PTDI.

"In my 14 years of involvement, I have seen PTDI improve by continuing to review and revise standards, keeping up with training and technology changes that have come up over the years, and making sure we are right there as an industry with standards," said Robert McClanahan, director at Central Tech Transportation & Safety Education, who has served on the PTDI Board since 1996.

Central Tech Transportation & Safety Education, located in Drumright, Okla., received PTDI course recertification in December, as did the Center for Employment Education in Anchorage, Ark.; and SAGE Technical Services, Billings, Mont. In addition, the fourth Baker College, located in Romeo, Mich., received initial course certification.

The PTDI Board recently completed the first comprehensive review of the Entry-Level Skill, Curriculum and Certification standards. When the standards were first revised and released as final in 1999, an estimated 250 stakeholders, including schools, carriers, government agencies, and insurance companies, were involved in the process.

"For the future, I hope PTDI continues to maintain the standards that hundreds of individuals helped to develop," said Phil Whitmer, dean of transportation technology and transportation system program coordinator for Baker College. "The PTDI certification process makes us strive to be the best we can."