Canadian truck drivers say they want to see new entrants to undergo substantially more training than they currently do, according to the monthly Pulse survey of Today’s Trucking readers.
Almost half expressed opinion that current mandatory entry-level training (MELT) requirements are not enough to improve the quality of entry-level truck drivers.
Provinces have agreed to set minimum standards at 103.5 hours of driver training, and 8.5 hours for air brake endorsements, although several jurisdictions have set higher benchmarks. Saskatchewan and Alberta, for example, require 121.5 hours of training, and B.C. requires 140 hours.
About three in every four (74%) respondents said the activities of newly licensed tractor-trailer drivers should be restricted by a graduated licensing system, and 82% said newly licensed tractor-trailer drivers should need to complete formal apprenticeships.
Thirty-seven percent said newly licensed drivers should spend one to six months with an experience co-driver and in-cab mentor before working on their own. Twenty-seven percent said two to four weeks would suffice.
However, 40% said today’s tractor-trailers are “definitely” easier and safer to operate than previous generations of equipment, and 45% said they were “somewhat” easier and safer.