WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today joined Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) in introducing the Trucking Regulations Unduly Constricting Known Service-providers (TRUCKS) Act. At a time when the American Trucking Association estimates a nationwide trucker shortage of 80,000 drivers, this legislation would remove burdensome government regulations, which are impacting the agricultural industry, school districts and trucking companies in rural America.
“At a time when we already have a shortage of drivers and continued supply chain constraints, the FMCSA’s new training requirements impose higher costs and discourage new drivers from entering the workforce,” said Hoeven. “Our legislation provides important regulatory relief and flexibility by allowing exemptions for agriculture, small businesses and state and local governments. This will help ensure farmers, ranchers and other small businesses, as well as school districts and other government entities have access to the reliable and affordable transportation services they need while ensuring safety on our roads.”
“At a time when our nation is in a recession and faced with worker shortages and supply chain issues, American businesses should not have to battle the heavy hand of government,” said Rounds. “We should be working on policies to help our producers and consumers, not hurt them. This legislation eases the burden on small trucking companies, agricultural producers, school districts and local units of government. It also gives power back to the states so they can decide their own rules of the road.”
Earlier this year, a final rule went into effect creating a new requirement for Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT), adding a burdensome requirement for drivers to obtain their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). This requirement is costly and time consuming, as ELDT training classes range from $450 to $8,500, depending on the trainer, and can take anywhere from three days to 20 days to complete.
The TRUCKS Act would exempt employees of agriculture-related industries, school districts and local units of governments (including county, municipal and tribal), from the new ELDT requirements to obtain their CDL. For agriculture-related industries, this legislation would allow states to waive all ELDT requirements for Class A CDLs. Currently, states can waive ELDT requirements for Class B CDLs, but they cannot waive them for Class A CDLs or most endorsements.
In addition to Hoeven and Rounds, the legislation is cosponsored by Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.). Click here for full bill text.