The federal Entry Level Driver (ELDT) rule was set to roll out in February of 2022. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is proposing a delay of two years.
Simplifying the ELDT Rule
The ELDT was proposed as a clearinghouse of sorts – a registry for training providers and emerging drivers alike. The ELDT rule standardized training and course material for drivers to ensure that people entering the workforce met the requirements to hold a commercial driver’s license. This required training providers in all states to get on board and comply with the provisions laid out in the ELDT rule.
Why the Delay?
There are numerous reasons for the ELDT rule being pushed to 2022. The first is that not all states were compliant in time. The second is that the FMCSA’s verification process was not fully implemented. There were talks of a partial implementation of the ELDT rule, but that may cause more problems further down the line. As with any system, a partial implementation is more prone to errors, and information could be lost in the cracks, resulting in non-compliance through no fault of the training providers.
Delaying the ELDT roll-out until 2022 will give more providers time to align themselves with the provisions of the rule and give the FMCSA time to improve their database and user-end interface. Most importantly, the upcoming two years would give training providers time to report bugs and errors, as well as providing the FMCSA to correct any issues on the back end to prevent errors once compliance with the ELDT rule becomes mandatory.
This grace period is being used by driver training providers to enhance their courses to offer top-tier training to students. The ELDT rule will give carriers a great resource to use in their hiring strategies. As the rate at which we do business picks up speed, the trucking industry will need a reliable source to ensure they are hiring drivers who have the training and experience necessary to handle shipments of all shapes and sizes.
Express Freight Finance will provide more updates over the next two years as information on the ELDT rule becomes available.