Driving longer rules

Driving longer rules

Copyright 2004, Traffic World, Inc.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is establishing minimum training requirements for operators of double and triple trucks, also known as longer combination vehicles. The safety agency also established new requirements for instructors who train LCV drivers.

The rule effective June 1 prohibits motor carriers from allowing drivers to operate an LCV until they have the training even if the drivers have a state-issued commercial driver''s license 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.

Another rule, effective April 29, makes it easier for carriers to obtain background information on prospective drivers. The rule also limits the liability of those required to provide and use driver safety performance information.

The rule requires previous employers to respond within 30 days to questions by prospective employers investigating an applicant. Previous employers will be required to go back three years to confirm employment and provide other information about employees.

The FMCSA will investigate complaints about failures to comply with the rules. LCV training will consist of driving and nondriving activities, such as route planning and checking cargo and weight characteristics.

To qualify for doubles training, drivers will need six months'' driving experience in vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of at least 26,001 pounds. To enroll in triples, drivers will need six months'' truck-tractor/semi-trailer or twin-trailer experience. Motor carriers may waive requirements for LCV commercial motor vehicle drivers who have safe records and at least two years'' LCV driving experience.