C.R. England is asking for a rule exemption to improve its driver training process.
England, a large refrigerated hauler, offers commercial driver’s license training in partnership with a number of schools. Under rules set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a CDL holder must accompany a trainee with a commercial learner’s permit who does not yet have the full license.
In a petition to the agency, England asked that this requirement be suspended when the trainee has passed the CDL skills test but has not yet received his certificate.
Before this restriction went into effect, states routinely issued temporary CDLs to drivers who passed the test. With a temporary permit, England could route the trainee to his home terminal, where he could get his CDL and be assigned to an on-the-job training position with a trainer.
This allowed the trainee to become productive immediately, England told the agency.
England said the rule forces it to send the driver home before hiring him, which creates a risk that he might move to another company after getting the CDL, or to hire him and send him home in a non-productive run.
The exemption would allow the trainee to drive as part of a team on that trip, resulting in reduced costs and increased productivity, England told the agency. It would apply only to trainees who have passed the CDL test and who have a commercial learner’s permit.
Comments on England’s request are due by December 29.