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OOIDA campaign pushes for basic standards for new truck drivers

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. -- The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has launched a new campaign to address what it calls “the biggest safety gap in the trucking industry”: the lack of basic training standards for new drivers....

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has launched a new campaign to address what it calls “the biggest safety gap in the trucking industry”: the lack of basic training standards for new drivers. OOIDA says that the agenda outlined in its “Truckers for Safety” campaign will help prepare the next generation of long-haul truckers and will proactively address other highway safety concerns.

“Better trained drivers mean safer drivers,” said OOIDA executive vice-president Todd Spencer. “An experienced career trucker is the type that people want to share the road with, and our members tell us that training should be the biggest focus of highway safety efforts.”

Current US regulations do not include training requirements for becoming a long-haul truck driver. While new drivers must pass a CDL test, testing covers only basic operations and does not address the many on-the-road demands faced by truckers or the hundreds of regulations they are responsible for following, according to OOIDA.

The agenda spelled out in the campaign points out that the more experienced career truckers with safe driving records are often replaced by new drivers with no experience or training – who are again replaced by newer drivers a few months later when they leave the industry. The prevalence of high turnover may be just one of the many consequences, Spencer notes.

“This churn results in more accidents, which in turn will lead to greater congestion, more fuel use, lost cargoes and greater inefficiency in our nation’s freight transportation network,” says Spencer. “OOIDA members are passionate about the impact that undertrained and inexperienced drivers are having on highway safety.”

OOIDA says that too many training programs have been focused on guaranteeing new drivers their CDLs quickly instead of ensuring they will be trained and knowledgeable truckers.

“We can and must do better to make trucking once again a career that people want to join and stay in as a way to provide for their families. If we do not, the consequences will mean lower economic prosperity, reduced highway safety, and negative impacts for all highway users.”

The campaign includes not only an agenda for basic training, but also provisions for improving infrastructure, truck parking, passenger vehicle education and enforcement efforts that encourage safe driving.

For more details about the campaign, visit

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5 Comments » for OOIDA campaign pushes for basic standards for new truck drivers
  1. Gonzotrucker says:

    New drivers should have at minimum 6 months with a trainer on the road. Trucking is a highly skilled trade, and as such needs higher standard in training.

  2. Jerry says:

    This needs to extend to Canada especially the GTA. The quality of driver coming out of that area is horrendous. How some of these people obtain an AZ licence is something a good investigative reporter ought to explore.

  3. Bill says:

    There should be a Government run apprenticeship program similar to other skilled trades with real world supervised driving and schooling combined.

    From what I understand of the industry there would be no problem filling up 3 six week courses with subject matter. Drivers would be supervised for the three years with levels of supervision required for each year and the ones who just are not going to make it could be weeded out fairly early.

    Yes I understand each different sector has individual needs but that’s why you have real world company training in participation. Many other registered trades have the same problem.

    Yes it maybe more expensive to bring a new driver on but I’m sure that expense will lead to safer more efficient drivers and that will save you money in the long run.

  4. Hammer Down Truck n Trailer says:

    Good day to you all. My name is Gary owner of Hammer Down Truck n Trailer / Road Reference Manual. I agree with you all that I new drivers coming out today do not have the proper training from the truck driving schools before getting their class 1 licence. I have many years of experience in the trucking industry and one thing I know when I was on the road,many drivers would ask me for example how to distribute the axle weights on a tractor trailer.This is why I have put together a road reference hand book together to help those new students. To view or buy ask me for a copy @
    Thank you and I hope that I have helped. Gary Ball

  5. John H. McFann says:

    There’s been training and testing standards published for novice commercial drivers since the early 1980’s. Anybody remember Jim McKnight? The current CDL testing standards were revised in the mid 2000’s to bring them more in line with what the driver actually had to do other than ATA roadeo tricks. The problem is not with training standards, but TRAINER standards and CDL examiner quality control. California was the first to implement the new CDL standards and their drivers who came came to the the carrier I was working for couldn’t pass our road test. It hasn’t gotten any better since.

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