REGINA, Sask. – The Province of Saskatchewan will require drivers in agriculture to complete mandatory entry-level driver training (MELT) starting next year.
Like those looking to acquire a Class 1 licence to drive a commercial truck, farm workers will need to complete 121.5 of training as required by MELT, which came into effect March 1.
Agriculture workers were given a temporary exemption from MELT by earning an ‘F’ endorsement on their licence to operate farm equipment without having to complete the MELT program.
“We wanted to take some more time to consult with the farm sector on the impacts mandatory training would have on their industry, recognizing that vehicles used in farming operations are – in most cases – not on the roads as much as commercial semis; they also tend to travel shorter distances, and through areas with lower traffic volumes,” minister responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance Joe Hargrave said. “That consultation work is now complete. The majority of people we consulted in the agriculture sector agreed training was necessary to improve safety for everyone traveling on our roads.”
Commencing March 1, 2020, any farm worker looking to obtain their ‘F’ endorsement will be required to take 40 hours of commercial driver training. The worker will then be able to drive a farm vehicle within a 100-km radius of the address on the vehicle registration, and is restricted to operating within Saskatchewan.
Starting March 1, 2021, the province will eliminate the ‘F’ endorsement, and anyone wanting to operate a commercial vehicle for agriculture purposes will need to complete the full 121.5 hours of MELT training. Drivers who have already completed the 40 hours of training will be given credit toward the full MELT program.