U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
Final Rule: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rulesregs/fmcsr/rules2004.htm
Docket Number: FMCSA-97-2176
Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Contact: Bill MacLeod, 202-366-8810
FMCSA Establishes First Ever Training Requirements For Double, Triple Truck Operators, Driver-Instructors
The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced the first ever minimum training requirements for operators of double and triple trucks, also known as longer combination vehicles (LCVs). The safety agency also established new requirements for instructors who train LCV drivers.
The rule prohibits motor carriers from allowing drivers to operate an LCV double trailer or LCV triple trailer until they have the training specified in today's rulemaking, even though they have a state-issued commercial driver's license (CDL) with a double/triple trailer endorsement.
"The final rule will enhance the safety of commercial vehicle operations and help ensure that drivers of large trucks have the knowledge and skills necessary to safely operate longer combination vehicles on our nation's highways," FMCSA Administrator Annette M. Sandberg said.
LCV training will consist of driving and non-driving activities, such as route planning and checking cargo and weight. Because LCV doubles and triples have different operating characteristics, FMCSA established different training courses for each vehicle group. The rule also establishes two types of LCV driver instructors, classroom instructors and skills instructors.
To qualify for the doubles training, drivers will need to show six months' driving experience in vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds. To enroll in the triples training class, drivers will need to show six months' truck-tractor/semi-trailer or twin-trailer experience. Motor carriers may waive driver-training requirements for current LCV commercial motor vehicle drivers who have safe driving records and at least two years of LCV driving experience.
The rule is effective June 1, 2004.
An LCV is any combination of a truck-tractor and two or more trailers or semi-trailers that has a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 80,000 pounds and operates in interstate commerce. Twin trailers, also known as western doubles, would not be subject to this rule. Western doubles have a gross vehicle weight rating of 80,000 pounds or less.
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