Special training requirements for drivers of longer combination vehicles (LCVs) and entry-level drivers are found in 49 CFR 380. Subparts A through D, apply to all operators of LCVs in interstate commerce, employers of such persons, and those who provide instruction to LCV drivers. An LCV is defined as any combination of a truck–tractor and two or more trailers operating on the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways with a GVW greater than 80,000 pounds. Subpart E lists the rules for all entry-level CMV drivers in interstate commerce.
LCV Driver Requirements (380.107)
Drivers wanting to operate a LCV must successfully complete a LCV driver-training program as detailed in 49 CFR 380.107.
Before receiving training, a driver must present evidence to the LCV driver-instructor that he or she meets the general requirements of 49 CFR 380.201 for the specific type of LCV training required. See 49 CFR 380.107.
LCV Training Certification Document (380.401) and Employer Responsibilities (380.113)
Drivers who successfully complete the LCV training will be issued an LCV Driver-Training Certificate.
A motor carrier is prohibited from allowing a driver to operate an LCV unless the driver can produce an LCV Driver-Training Certificate or an LCV Driver-Training Certificate of Grandfathering. Employers are required to retain a copy of this certificate in the Driver Qualification File, as described in 49 CFR 380.401.
LCV Instructor Qualification Requirements (380.301)
There are two types of LCV instructors: classroom instructors and skills instructors. The requirements for each are as follows:
LCV Classroom Instructor
- Audit the driver training course he or she intends to instruct; and
- If employed by a training institution, meet all State requirements for a vocational instructor.
LCV Skills Instructor
- Provide evidence of successful completion of the Driver Training Program requirements, as stated in 49 CFR 380.201, when requested by an employer or as part of a compliance review;
- If employed by a training institution, meet all State requirements for a vocational instructor;
- Possess a valid Class A CDL with all appropriate endorsements necessary to operate the CMVs relevant to the subject matter being taught; and
- Have a minimum of two years of CMV driving experience in a vehicle representative of the type of LCV training being provided.
49 CFR 380.303 lists acceptable substitutions that qualify for instructor requirements.
Entry-Level Driver Training Requirements (380, Subpart E)
An entry-level driver is a driver with less than one year of experience operating a CMV with a CDL in interstate commerce. Entry-level drivers who drive in interstate commerce, and are subject to the CDL requirements of 49 CFR 383, must comply with the rules of 49 CFR 380, Subpart E.
Exceptions to this rule include:
- Drivers who are subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Transit Administration; or
- Drivers who are otherwise exempt under 49 CFR 390.3(f).
In addition to passing the CDL test, entry-level drivers must complete the following training:
- Driver qualifications
- Hours of service of drivers
- Driver wellness
- Whistleblower protection
Rule Change Notification
FMCSA recently published a final Entry-Level Driver Training Rule. The compliance date for this rule is February 7, 2020. Until this date, the current rule summarized above, remains in effect. For more information, see FMCSA’s Entry-Level Driver Training Rule.
Entry-Level Training Certification Document (380.513) and Employer Responsibilities (380.509)
If entry-level drivers began operating a CMV requiring a CDL in interstate commerce after July 20, 2003, they must complete the additional required training noted in 49 CFR 380.503. Employers are responsible for verifying that each entry-level driver has completed the required training.
The trainer must provide a certificate to an entry-level driver upon completion of training. A copy of the certificate must be maintained in the driver’s qualification file. See 49 CFR 380.509.