Training standards for new CDL drivers have reached a higher concern for the FMCSA in recent years. Social media has played a major role in highlighting the further needs for safer commercial vehicle driver training.
Union or Non-Union, the two major attacks on all truck drivers is the DAC report and the government policies that deliberately oversupply drivers into the industry. Government subsidies and grants provided to training motor carriers are actually driving good drivers out of the industry as fast as they come in.
Training companies can receive tens of thousands of government dollars to provide on-the-job training per student. Once trained, these new drivers are paid as low as .23 to .27 cents per mile: a non-living wage. Furthermore, CDL schools should have a new curriculum regarding who can be taught.
Many schools continue to accept any student that walks through the door; even those with felonies, DUI’s and other such violations that absolutely ensures that no motor carrier will hire them.
Training is both prolific and expensive, however it is not realistic or comprehensive enough in light of real driving demands and the unrealistic measures. DAC, which stands for “Drive-A-Check,” has become nothing more than a retaliation tool that carriers use against drivers.
As one driver states: “DAC is being used to beat to death greenhorns.” It is noted as such a serious problem within the industry that the Workers’ Counsel even formed the DAC Report Class Action Registry.
Two of the best solutions to entry-level driver training is to close down the DAC Services and to take away the government policies regarding grant money and subsidies to motor carriers. These subsidies should be dismissed completely for all motor carriers and CDL schools.
As an example, one trucking company that trains students has five training facilities. Each month they run about 80 students through each facility for a total of 400 per month and 4,800 per year. Yet, they only have 3,125 available trucks. The reason companies give for this is to compensate for the high turnover rate within the industry; those new drivers that statistics show will quit the job within the first six months.
However, when you multiply 4,800 students by an average of $3,400 per student, you reach a figure of $16,320,000 per year; add the additional 18% to 25% interest placed on the loan and another few million of dollars come into play.
In the beginning, both began with good intentions, but have resulted in bad consequences by interfering with the industry’s driver supply and demand. These subsidies, along with the DAC report, have actually created an oversupply of drivers, non-living low wages and continue to fuel a revolving door of drivers.