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11/27/2019 Freight volume and rates downturn turns into a 'bloodbath' 11/25/2019 Friday Short Haul - Independent contractors getting booted out of CA, winter weather resources, ransomware attack 11/22/2019 Knowing when to say goodbye to an unprofitable shipper 11/20/2019 Schneider donates trucks; Congress considers women-driver-friendly bill 11/18/2019 Friday Short Haul - CTA files lawsuit against California, Highway Hero nominations sought, video of "Move Over" crash 11/15/2019 Tesla announces new electric Semi model 11/13/2019 Not everyone happy with potential FMCSA clearinghouse delay 11/11/2019 Friday Short Haul - AI taking driving jobs, CRV scam, Truckers protest AB-5, ELDs quit working 11/8/2019 Investigators cracking down on truck accident fraudulent lawsuits 11/6/2019 So you want to start your own trucking company? 11/4/2019 Friday Short Haul - FMCSA emergency exemptions, snow plows, FedEx employee bribery charges 11/1/2019 Human smuggling via big rigs on the increase 10/30/2019 Carriers, drivers look at ways to deal with California's AB-5 10/28/2019 Friday Short Haul - Millennials and trucking, Truckers Christmas Group, Navistar settlement 10/25/2019 Too many drivers still don't know to "Move Over" 10/23/2019 Are trucker strikes a thing of the past? 10/21/2019 Friday Short Haul - Passenger car drivers, spotted lanternfly, women drivers 10/18/2019 OOIDA makes final push for better HOS rules 10/16/2019 Car-truck crash fatalities continue to increase 10/14/2019 Friday Short Haul - Amazon's fleet of day cabs, legislator's disclosure, WTA petition 10/11/2019 ATA chief takes on truck-accident lawyers 10/9/2019 Lonely on the road? Get a furry friend 10/7/2019 Friday Short Haul - Lab-grown meat, fraudulent freight brokering, FMCSA HOS committee, FMCSA Clearinghouse 10/4/2019 UPS takes giant leap in its drone delivery program 10/2/2019 Female drivers are safer bet for trucking companies 9/30/2019 Friday Short Haul - Embark gets financing, FMCSA announces safety grants, Covenant exits Mexico routes, and trucking statistics 9/27/2019 Emissions standards battle heats up between the EPA and California 9/25/2019 Smog checks in the future for California truck drivers 9/23/2019 Friday Short Haul - Volvo Dynamic Steering, Meals for 18 Wheels, speeding crackdown, OOIDA opposes legislation 9/20/2019 Telematics could be insurance-premium-saving boon for fleets 9/18/2019 54 percent of survey respondents still not impressed with telematics technology 9/16/2019 Friday Short Haul - Walmart video, it's churn, not shortage, California's independent contractor bill, hemp drivers plea 9/13/2019 TCA honors three Highway Angels 9/11/2019 Now they're talking about "smart" trailers 9/9/2019 Friday Short Haul - Detention-time comments, truck orders decline, diesel fuel shortage 9/6/2019 Berkeley study says reducing independent truckers can alleviate climate change 9/4/2019 Clearing up concerns about the drug and alcohol clearinghouse 9/2/2019 Friday Short Haul - Hurricane Dorian, Speed limiter bill, Thank a Driver campaign 8/30/2019 Georgia jury awards $280 million for truck-driver-caused multi-fatality 8/28/2019 Friday Short Haul - New eCascadias, Top cities for truck driver jobs, Push against driverless trucks 8/23/2019 Decision on California drivers' employee/contractor status coming down to the wire 8/21/2019 UPS jumps on autonomous bandwagon with TuSimple investment 8/19/2019 FMCSA publishes proposed HOS rule changes 8/16/2019 Fleets, drivers coming to like automated manual transmissions 8/14/2019 CVSA asks for new truck crash study 8/12/2019 Friday Short Haul - HOS revisions delayed, AEB mandate proposed, Koch sued for sex discrimination 8/9/2019 Kodiak Robotics takes lead in autonomous truck industry race 8/7/2019 New York City combats rash of cyclist/truck clashes 8/5/2019 Friday Short Haul - CRST wins lawsuit, OOIDA opposes insurance hike, UPSNav 8/2/2019 Mechanics shortage equals driver shortage in intensity 7/31/2019 DOT announces almost 1$ billion in grants to fix infrastructure 7/29/2019 Friday Short Haul - DOL on sleeper pay, UPS drone delivery, Geowiz ELDs 7/26/2019 FMCSA takes a look at assault, harassment of female and minority drivers 7/24/2019 It's hot out there, what's a trucker to do? Can't idle. 7/22/2019 Friday Short Haul - Utah truck rollovers, aging truckers, lifetime CDL bans 7/19/2019 Truck-mounted LED billboards coming under fire 7/17/2019 Trucker 'drones on' with unique approach to teaching driving skills 7/15/2019 Friday Short Haul - Rhode Island tolls, human smuggling, contractor vs employee status 7/12/2019 ELD mandate deadline looming, many still not compliant 7/10/2019 New "boot" device being deployed to threaten Walmart overnighters 7/8/2019 Friday Short Haul - Prime Inc vs Amazon, mother fights HOS changes, truck drivers appreciation week 7/5/2019 Proper way to fly the American flag on your truck this Fourth of July 7/3/2019 Roundabouts are becoming popular; but are they best for trucks? 7/1/2019 Friday Short Haul - Skills test proposal, driver shortage, hemp sentencing, driverless trucks 6/28/2019 Experts warn of active wildland fire season 6/26/2019 More states signing on to enlist truckers against human trafficking 6/24/2019 Friday Short Haul - Shippers of Choice, insurance rates, wheel spikes, WIT award 6/21/2019 Freight numbers not holding up to 2018's highs 6/19/2019 Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers 6/17/2019 Friday Short Haul - Self-driving certificate, truck platooning, trade war stacking up cargo 6/14/2019 HOS waiver coming soon for fireworks haulers 6/12/2019 FMCSA takes a further look at detention time 6/10/2019 Friday Short Haul - Autonomous delivery, HOS rules changes, CDL retest 6/7/2019 Roadcheck 2019 in effect this week 6/5/2019 Hemp arrest prompts USDA memo 6/3/2019 Friday Short Haul - Waymo big rigs, Move over sting, Under-21 comments 5/31/2019 Severe weather prompts renewed emergency declaration 5/29/2019 Memorial Day holiday is prime time for cargo thefts 5/25/2019 Friday Short Haul - Hauling hemp, road rage fatality, new rules for autonomous vehicles 5/24/2019 Autonomous trucks on USPS test run 5/22/2019 Future era of cab-less trucks will be the end of HOS rules 5/20/2019 Friday Short Haul - FMCSA under-21 comments, Tesla autonomous car crash, 24,000 drivers sign contract with YRC 5/17/2019 Under-21 interstate drivers getting serious look by FMCSA 5/15/2019 Trucker Buddy program matches drivers with a classroom; 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FMCSA to implement under-21 interstate driver program for former military

Dave Wickenhauser on Mon, February 25, 2019

Last Updated: Sun, February 24, 2019

Brad Bentley, Truckload Carriers Association and Professional Truck Driver Institute president, speaks to the first Department of Defense class to graduate with PTDI certification at a ceremony held at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia, on January 23, 2015. The program gives airmen professional training so they can transition into the civilian workforce as commercial truck drivers.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has long been friendly to the idea of making it easier for trucking companies to recruit and hire former military members as drivers.

They allow states the opportunity to offer qualified military members and veterans a quicker trip through the CDL acquiring process by granting testing waivers; thus getting them behind the wheel faster. This benefits the service men and women, but also helps trucking companies seeking qualified drivers to ease the driver shortage.

FMCSA has now upped the ante in the military recruitment and hiring process. Late last year they announced their Under 21 Military CDL Pilot Program, allowing carriers to put drivers under 21 to work driving outside of their home states.

Currently, federal law requires drivers to be 21 years old to drive interstate. Anyone under 21 cannot even drive a load within a state that has originated out of state or that is eventually headed out of state. Congress has bills proposed that will lower the interstate driver age to 18.

But, in the meantime FMCSA is close to implementing a 3-year pilot study that will partner with carriers, allowing them to hire 18 to 20-year-olds for interstate driving. The program comes with some caveats.

According to a U.S. Department of Transportation news release, the program derives from the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. And it will allow a limited number of individuals between the ages of 18 and 20 to operate large trucks in interstate commerce – provided they possess the military equivalent of a CDL and are sponsored by a participating trucking company.

“This program will allow our veterans and reservists to translate their extensive training into good-paying jobs operating commercial vehicles safely across the country, while also addressing the nationwide driver shortage,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.

During the three-year duration of the pilot program, participant drivers will have their safety records compared to the safety records of a control group of drivers who are 21 to 24 years old and who have comparable training and experience driving large commercial trucks.

The idea is for DOT to collect data from the experiment; which will allow the Secretary of Transportation to formulate recommendations to Congress to legislate future licensing regulations. The study should help determine if age is, indeed, a contributing factor in truck driver safety.

As participants turn 21 they will no longer be in the program, and will be replaced by a new under-21 driver. However, they will be eligible to continue driving interstate for their current motor carrier or another company.

How the program will work

There are a limited number of spots open for drivers in this pilot program. They must be 18 to 20 years old, and:

  • Have received heavy-vehicle driver training and experience while in military service, and
  • Are sponsored (hired) by a participating motor carrier.

As the pilot program begins to be implemented FMCSA will provide a list of qualified carriers. Drivers wishing to participate must apply directly to one of those carriers. The carrier will then submit the driver's information to FMCSA for review of his or her safety record, and allow or disallow the driver to be in the study.

To be eligible drivers must have held within the past year one of the military occupational specialty ratings below:

Participants must also meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be 18, 19, or 20 years old as of the date they are approved for participation;
  • Have certification from a military service of relevant training and experience driving heavy vehicles while in military service;
  • Agree to the release of specific information to FMCSA for purposes of the pilot;
  • Meet all Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMCSR) requirements (except age) for operating a CMV in interstate commerce (FMCSR part 383, subparts G and J, require that drivers be tested for knowledge and skills, and part 391 includes additional qualifications, including driver medical examinations); and
  • Understand that participating drivers are not allowed to transport passengers or hazardous materials, nor operate special configuration vehicles (double or triple-trailer combinations or cargo tank vehicles) while participating, regardless of any license endorsements held.

How carriers qualify for the program

At the launch of the program FMCSA plans to have at least 200 under-21 drivers and 200 control drivers. They also plan to collect data on a further 200 current under-21-year-old drivers who are driving intrastate.

FMCSA says it will need about 70 motor carriers to hire drivers for the program. Carrier applicants will be given priority if they can provide their own control group of drivers of the same number as its participating under-21 drivers. However, if necessary to meet its goals for the numbers of drivers FMCSA may accept carriers that can provide drivers from only one of the categories.

Qualifying motor carriers must be a trucking company already engaged in interstate commerce and must meet other requirements. An application will be posted on the FMCSA website when the program is ready to launch.

Here are details of what must be met for carriers to participate in the program:

  • Complete and submit an application;
  • Agree to supply control group drivers in numbers equal to participating drivers under 21;
  • Train covered drivers on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations;
  • Install and operate electronic logging devices on all vehicles operated by study and control group drivers;
  • Agree to comply with all pilot program procedures;
  • Agree to submit required pilot program data reports monthly;
  • Monitor and report safety records of participant and control group drivers as FMCSA requires; and
  • Maintain a good safety record in accordance with the prescribed program criteria.

Control Group Driver Requirements

Carriers participating in the pilot program must provide the same number of drivers to serve in the control group as the number of drivers under 21 they are sponsoring. Carriers must inform control drivers they are being monitored during the pilot. To be part of the control group, drivers must:

  • Possess a valid CDL;
  • Be 21–24 at the time of acceptance into the pilot for control drivers;
  • Have comparable training and years of experience to study group drivers, regardless of the source;
  • Be a full-time driver for the participating motor carrier;
  • Have no disqualifications, suspensions, or license revocations within the past three years, nor be under any out-of-service order;
  • Agree to the release of specified information for the pilot program; and
  • • Sign release forms indicating understanding that FMCSA will collect data on their driving histories as a part of the study.

The program is due to launch some time this year. Interested persons can monitor FMCSA's Under 21 Military CDL Pilot Program website.

Sources: Military Drivers Program, USDOT Pilot Program, Under 21 Military, U.S. Air Force

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