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Upgrading from Class B to Class A CDL simplified under proposed rule

Certain topics of instruction would be removed from requirements

Posted July 2, 2018

Drivers upgrading from a Class B commercial driver’s license (CDL) to a Class A CDL may find the process a little easier if proposed changes to the entry-level driver training rule (ELDT) become a final rule.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a proposal rulemaking that would eliminate eight instructional units from the required theory curriculum for individuals upgrading from a Class B CDL to a Class A CDL.

The current ELDT final rule requires the same level of theory training for individuals obtaining a CDL for the first time as those who already hold a Class B CDL and are upgrading to a Class A CDL. The agency believes it is an unnecessary step in the upgrade process due to prior training or experience of Class B CDL drivers. The Class B CDL drivers do not require the same level of theory training as individuals who have never held a CDL.

Proposed revisions

The proposed topics of instruction that would be removed are located in the theory instruction portion of the Class A training curriculum, specifically, Section A.1.5, “Non-Driving Activities.”

The topics are:

  • Handling and Documenting Cargo;
  • Environmental Compliance Issues;
  • Post-Crash Procedures;
  • External Communications;
  • Whistleblower/Coercion;
  • Trip Planning;
  • Drugs/Alcohol; and
  • Medical Requirements.

FMCSA is accepting comments on the proposed changes until August 28, 2018. The proposal appeared in the June 29, 2018, Federal Register.

Entry-Level Driver Training Manual: Obtaining a CDL
J. J. Keller's Entry-Level Driver Training Manual: Obtaining a CDL teaches students the basics of safe driving techniques and complies with FMCSA's new entry-level driver training rule.


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