Under-21 Interstate Drivers Getting Serious Look By FMCSA

Topic 25571 | Page 2

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Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

This is just an old man talking to Sid V.

Sid, you received some justified correction today, but don't let it get you down. Hang in there. When I first started on this forum, I made many comments that were quickly corrected by the moderators/ experienced drivers. Did it sting? Yes it did, but I realized it was just a way to make me better at the job I was preparing for. I still get corrected on occasion, but upon reflection, it's always justified. Now when I have a question, I'll put it out there to see if my thinking is straight.

One of the regular commenters recently got some corrective feedback and I haven't seen him post a comment since. Don't let that happen to you because it will be a loss to you. It takes a while to get "centered" here for new drivers, but I look forward to your continuing participation.

Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar

Bruce,

I understand that Sid V. is an O/O and I suspect that his comment was made in the context of company driver pay vs. O/O pay. Thus, I doubt that G-town's and Brett's comments will "get him down." On the contrary he may have been baiting their reaction.

DaveW's Comment
member avatar

I'm definitely interested in seeing the comments on the FMCSA questionnaire when they come in.

The first go-around, the vast majority of comments were from outside the industry ... and they were 90 percent against under-21 drivers. Even the remainder of comments that came from carriers, drivers and such were mostly against. So, they promptly shut down any further consideration.

Then, a few years ago when FMCSA was considering an under-21 exception for military-trained drivers, they received only 67 comments, and more than two-thirds were in favor. And, there is now a pilot program for under-21 drivers.

It seems to me that this next go-around is going to hinge on the number of comments that come in. And, from what we're seeing here they will be overwhelmingly negative. It will be interesting to see if FMCSA gives weight to the preponderance of negative comments, against the wishes of the big guns who are pushing to put 18-year-olds into big rig drivers' seats.

Myself, personally, I believe there are 18-year-olds mature enough and responsible enough to do the job. But I believe they are very few and far between, and it would be a daunting task to come up with a method to sort them out from the majority who we wouldn't want to see behind the wheel of one of these behemoths.

I'm thinking about my son who by the time he was 18 was a certified EMT, a SCUBA police diver, and had a certificate in high-angle rescue and wildland firefighting. He earned his commission in the Army in his first two years of military school after graduating second in his class as cadet squadron commander. And he is now an Army captain flying Apache helicopters in Afghanistan putting the hurt on the Taliban. If anyone had told him when he was 18 that he couldn't do something as simple as driving an 18-wheeler he would have laughed himself silly. But, I do believe he is exceptional, and there are very few like him.

I'm definitely going to be following up on the FMCSA website with an article about the comments that come in.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Even if the government allows 18 year olds to drive interstate I doubt many of the mega carriers would touch them. Currently 21 year olds can drive interstate but many still say you must be 23 for insurance purposes. We've had quite a few people about to turn 21 seeking advice and if I remember correctly there is only a couple companies we know of that will accept them before 23.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

DaveW, your son is a rare young man and I can understand why you are proud. But how many 18 year old men/boys are even close to your son? I've seen many 18 or 19 year old's come to the job site and have been hesitant to let them use a simple power tool.

If an 18 year old wants to get into trucking, I think they should start out as an apprentice mechanic or in some related job in trucking. Then when they turned 21, they would have a head start. There are exceptional young men, but they can't be individually evaluated, hence the need for an across the board standard like the 21 year old rule.

Bird 's Comment
member avatar

Are they trying to get somebody killed? And unless im completely missing something here this "proposal" makes no sense. Like Rick mentioned you enlist at 17 the earliest like i did, and get out at 21. So who are they referring too? Who were these participants? To me the answer would be reservists or National Guard. Which in that case would not be something i would support at all. Unless it was some circumstance where it was an active duty member who say got hurt or some unique circumstance allowed them to get out 20 than MAYBE. Another factor would be how much driving did they do outsides the confines of a military installation. Are they logging miles? Just too many variables all around a terrible idea.

Keith A.'s Comment
member avatar

I remember what I was like at 18 and absolutely no way no how would I want to see more like me out there. I was just as stupid and unwise as the next, and even now, six years later, sometimes I'm still a little shocked anyone would let me drive their equipment.

DaveW's Comment
member avatar

DaveW, your son is a rare young man and I can understand why you are proud. But how many 18 year old men/boys are even close to your son? I've seen many 18 or 19 year old's come to the job site and have been hesitant to let them use a simple power tool.

If an 18 year old wants to get into trucking, I think they should start out as an apprentice mechanic or in some related job in trucking. Then when they turned 21, they would have a head start. There are exceptional young men, but they can't be individually evaluated, hence the need for an across the board standard like the 21 year old rule.

Bruce, I agree with everything you said. I think what it comes down to is the maturity level and responsibility rather than the physical ability to handle a big rig.

My son said something interesting about when he was in flight school. He said the Army aviation program prefers young men who have a lot of experience with gaming. It's something about the hand-eye coordination and the ability to think quickly with a lot going on. That takes care of the physical aspect. Any number of kids could do that.

On the other hand, because Army aviation is so elite, and so few can make it through all of the rigorous testing to get to flight school they have already weeded out those who don't have the maturity and responsibility to cut it. I can see where the trucking industry would have a hard time pulling that off with the average high school graduate.

I like the idea of an apprenticeship program, with enough close supervision to weed out the ones who need to be more mature and responsible.

This is going to be a very interesting thing to keep an eye on.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
DaveW's Comment
member avatar

BTW, the proposal published today and is online now. The comments page is up. So far, there are no comments.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

BTW, the proposal published today and is online now. The comments page is up. So far, there are no comments.

Give me a few minutes.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
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