A new year brings new regulations and changes across all industries including supply chains and transportation. This year’s changes are not as numerous in years past, but one new regulation and an infrastructure change will have an effect on the availability of drivers and electronic logging devices.
New Entry Level Driver Training
New federal Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) requirements will go into effect February 7, 2022, establishing a single, national standard for obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The revised ELDT regulations apply only to drivers seeking to:
- Obtain a CDL for the first time;
- Upgrade their existing CDL from Class B to Class A; or
- Obtain a new hazmat, passenger or school bus endorsement.
Current CDL holders are not affected.
What changes? Prospective drivers will be required to pass a theory test and a road skills test to obtain a CDL. All new entry-level drivers will be using the same curriculum nationwide. FMCSA estimates that 85% of entry-level drivers already receive training curricula that meet the ELDT requirements.
There are no minimum training hours required nor new exorbitant costs associated with the ELDT. Prospective drivers do not have to go to a truck driver training school and can still receive training from the same places: educational institutions, motor carriers, rural cooperatives, school districts, joint labor-management programs, CMV schools and other venues. If a carrier conducts in-house training today, they’ll be able to do so after the new ELDT rule becomes effective.
The ELDT will require training providers to register with the national Training Provider Registry, making it easier for prospective drivers to find training centers.
Sunsetting 3G Networks May Affect Your ELD
Do you know what network your electronic logging device runs on? To stay in compliance with ELD mandates, any device running on 3G will need to be upgraded before providers sunset their networks.
Mobile carriers are shutting down their 3G networks to make room for more advanced network services, including 5G. Once a 3G network is no longer supported, it is highly unlikely that any ELDs that rely on that network will be able to meet the minimum requirements established by the ELD Technical Specifications, including recording all required data elements and transferring ELD output files.
Therefore, any ELD that requires 3G cellular connectivity to perform its functionality will no longer be in compliance with the technical specifications in the ELD rule after the 3G network it relies on is sunset. When in an area that does not support 3G, a 3G device will register a malfunction. In accordance with 49 CFR 395.34, the carrier has 8 days to get the malfunction resolved, in this case by replacement, unless an extension is granted.
Below are the announced sunset dates from providers:
- AT&T 3G: February 22, 2022
- Sprint 3G (T-Mobile): March 31, 2022
- Sprint LTE (T-Mobile): June 30, 2022
- T-Mobile 3G: July 1, 2022
- Verizon 3G: December 31, 2022