A lack of drivers eligible to drive trucks for commercial purposes – specifically for deliveries – within the US has led to changes to the laws.
“A pilot program, first proposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in 2020, would allow drivers aged 18 to 20 to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce after completing probationary hours. However, they would not be able to drive passengers, hazardous materials or special configuration vehicles.” (cbsnews.com)
This is a change from current standards that allow drivers younger than 21 to drive commercial trucks only within state lines,
Why is there a lack of drivers?
Due to the stay-at-home regulations during the first few months, there was a huge increase in delivery orders. More drivers were needed and the strain of additional work led to many qualified drivers quitting. On top of that, the stay-at-home regulation meant families needed 24-hour childcare which led to the need for more people in the home and less eligible people to be on the road.
This is not news to anyone.
What may not be considered by many is the inability to test or train new drivers. Those drivers that were currently in the process of becoming qualified for CDL licenses were also sent home. Testing halted and the process of putting truckers to work slowed.
Covid is not the only reason that there is a lack of drivers, but it is a leading factor of the current issue.
The benefits of allowing teens to become CDL drivers
Again, CDL drivers aged between 18 and 20 are eligible to drive semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles within state lines, so the following benefits only speak to increasing the regulations to include driving across state lines.
An increase in talent.
Adding drivers is progress for anyone in the logistics company. As a recruiting firm that works with CDL drivers in five states, the boost of eligible drivers is a huge bonus to us, and to our clients.
Safety, which is always a concern, will no doubt be ramped up to meet the younger drivers, but historically, younger drivers have shown themselves to be more skilled drivers than expected. (www.cbsnews.com)
A boost to collaborative businesses.
We’ve all seen the store shelves looking close to empty in recent months. Having more eligible drivers that can cross state lines means farmers can get produce to stores before they spoil and factories can get their products on shelves, consumers can purchase the items they want without having long delays and annoyances, and there is less waste across the board.
More freedom for experienced drivers
Many may consider that teens will take the jobs of more experienced drivers. This is highly unlikely. Insurance and safety protocols still stand in place and more experienced drivers will continue to be in demand. There will be less need for them to perform lower-level jobs, which will increase job satisfaction and lead to a greater chance of stepping up the career ladder.
Want to put us to the test? List your driving vacancy free: www.Spectra360.com/list-your-vacancy
At Spectra360, we work with trucking companies across California, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, and Washington to find the nation’s best drivers.