The commercial driver’s license – the future of our entire industry depends upon it. Gone are the days of truck drivers being the “cowboys” of our highways. Sure, the modern driver must have the work ethic of those beloved cowboys, but must also possess many other attributes. With the depleting infrastructure of our country, increased volume on our highways and massive regulatory changes (just to mention a few things), the modern driver must be very accomplished in all areas to become successful.
Whose responsibility is it to ensure that a driver is prepared to embark upon this new career path? The CDL school? The carriers who will eventually employee these drivers? The individual seeking the CDL? To speak quite candidly, few individuals seeking CDL licenses really even know what it takes to become a successful driver in this modern era. They entrust the CDL school to provide them with a solid foundation of knowledge to catapult their future in their new career choice. The carriers then assume the responsibility of “finishing” the job, by tailoring the CDL holder’s new found knowledge to their specific culture.
From a carrier’s perspective, we have an expectation that the schools are responsible to provide us CDL holders who have attained a certain competency level in all areas of driving, lifestyle and truck management skills (TMS). We anticipate being able to move forward with the “finishing” process, and not regress back to these basic principles. With that being said, I would like to share a few statistics to aid in communicating some of the areas in which we are finding deficiencies:
- 30 out of 381, or about 8% had to completely repeat our entire TMS program. This includes map reading, trip planning, logging and time management/truck utilization skills.
- 10% needed extra mapping help.
- 68% needed extra logging assistance.
- 5% needed additional truck management help.
At Maverick, we have a commitment to our over-the-road driver trainers to provide a CDL student who’s attained a certain educational level before they are ever placed in a trainer truck. As you can see from the above statistics, if we could see improvement in some of these basic areas, it would allow us to focus more of our time on the “finishing” process which includes truck technologies and other advancements that have been implemented to protect the driver and the motoring public.
With the average road time being 4 ½-5 weeks with a trainer to incorporate TMS skills, adding additional classroom time to teach basic principles has increased the student’s time away from home. This has created turnover and increased cost for the carriers, not to mention losing potential drivers from this career altogether.
Our culture at Maverick is to be committed to the individual. We do not look at students as a class. We focus on each and every perspective driver. We have an obligation to educate each individual so they will be successful for themselves and their families.
We believe we all have the same goals. We are dedicated to achieving these goals by continuing to partner with CVTA to educate & mold the future drivers who are so critical to our industry. We all must work together to teach and retain these outstanding drivers who serve this great country of ours each and every day.