Over the past year, the process of obtaining CDL in the USA become more complicated with new requirements.
What is their peculiarity and why it happens – Vasily Kushnir, co-founder of the Start CDL Training, answered these and other main questions.
– Vasily, what is the reason for the tightening of the rules for obtaining CDL in 2022?
The tightening of rules is associated with the collection and processing of data. 4 years ago there was a postponement of these rules, however, we finally came to this – a transparent education system and the selection of new methods.
– Do you think the quality of education will improve now?
Yes, it will be better for both carriers and training centers.
We’ve made an online program and now a person can listen to educational information at a convenient time. When I was studying, it was really possible to pass the exam only with a paid translator. I was sitting for two weeks and preparing, it wasn’t easy.
Therefore, it’s very important for us to understand the material – we are now translating the program into different languages.
– What is the difference before and after the adoption of the law?
Nothing changed fundamentally. Yes, there are compulsory lessons. You need to listen, for example, 70 hours, and there are topics that must be studied.
Students must also take the ELDT test. Our team is constantly in touch with them, even at weekends.
– Training, undoubtedly, will rise in price a little. Will this affect (or has already affected) the number of employees in the industry?
1000% that will affect! Already now there is a shortage of staff, there is lack of about 250 thousand people.
However, the authorities do their best to attract the younger generation. If earlier truck drivers over the age of 21 could drive across all states, now it’s allowed for 18 years old.
– What are the salaries of beginner truckers?
At the first stages, they can earn up to $3000 per week. The money is not bad for young guys, however, I think that it’s better to learn something before the age of 25, and then go to trucking.
– What is the qualification level of teachers in your training center?
We currently have approximately 15 instructors. Everyone has their own experience. There are those who deal only with theory, there are driving instructors. All of them pass our internal courses.
– Previously, it was possible not to have a special license and teach others, right?
Yes. But for teachers, the process is complicated by the fact that we report for every hour that a person spent with us or online. We are asked to show not the number of hours spent, but the quality – what this person has learned during this time.
– How well does a person need to know English to study with you?
We also have Russian-speaking instructors. They help and explain everything.
But the level of English is important. You need to somehow navigate what they are talking to you about. This is important in order to understand not only the instructor, but also the inspector or policeman.
The instructor accompanies the student to the examiner, then his authority ends.
–How many students pass the exam successfully?
Before the pandemic, there were phenomenal figures, about 95%! During the pandemic, the indicators worsened – 65%. Perhaps the requirements of the examiners increased.
–What does education consist of?
A person registers on the site, they call him back. All issues are discussed. If the training is online, the form for the first payment is sent, then the username and password are sent to him and he can start training.
We see his progress and how many lessons he listened to. Online study consists of 56 lessons in order to get a Permit – a permit to drive a truck.
After passing the Permit test, a person learns truck’s repair parts and how to check them (PreTrip inspection). You need to get 90 points.
–Does driving experience matter?
Even if a person has it and he may have an idea about the truck, but everyone needs to take the exam. The conditions are the same for everyone. The roads across the USA are real simple, the signs are all clear.
– How is online learning going?
They also study live, on the computer. Theory training takes 3 weeks and practice – 2 weeks.