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Longer Combination Vehicle (LCV) Driver-Training and Driver-Instructor Requirements

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49 CFR Parts 380 and 391

Applicability and Compliance:

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration established standards for mandatory training requirements for the operators of longer combination vehicles (LCVs) and requirements for the instructors who train these operators.  This regulation will apply to all operators of LCVs in interstate commerce, employers of such persons, and LCV driver-instructors.  These new training requirements became effective on June 1st, 2004.

Any new driver who wishes to operate an LCV should first take and successfully complete an LCV driver-training program that provides the knowledge and skills necessary to operate an LCV.  In order to qualify to receive training a driver should be able to present evidence to the LCV driver-instructor showing that he/she meets the general requirements for the specific type of LCV training to be taken (LCV doubles, LCV triples).  The qualifications for each type of LCV must be met during the 6 months immediately preceding the application for training.  Driver-students who successfully complete the Driver Training Program for LCV Doubles or LCV Triples shall be issued a certificate indicating the driver is qualified to operate an LCV.

Qualifications for LCV Doubles:

  • A valid Class A CDL with a double/triple trailer endorsement;

  • Driving experience in a Group A vehicle.  Evidence of driving experience should include an employer’s written statement that the driver has, for at least 6 months immediately preceding application, operated a Group A vehicle;

  • No more than one driver’s license;

  • No suspension, revocation, or cancellation of his/her CDL;

  • No convictions for a major offense while operating a CMV;

  • No convictions for a railroad-highway grade crossing offense while operating a CMV;

  • No convictions for violating an out-of-service order;

  • No more than one conviction for a serious traffic violation while operating a CMV;

  • No convictions for a violation of State or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control arising in connection with any traffic crash while operating a CMV.

Qualification of LCV Triples:

  • A valid Class A CDL with a double/triple trailer endorsement;

  • Experience operating a Group A truck-tractor/semi-trailer combination or a Group A truck-tractor/semi-trailer/trailer combination that operates at a gross vehicle weight of 80,000 pounds or less.  Evidence of driving experience should include an employer’s written statement that the driver has, for at least 6 months immediately preceding application, operated a Group A vehicle;

  • No suspension, revocation, or cancellation of his/her CDL;

  • No convictions for a major offense while operating a CMV;

  • No convictions for a railroad-highway grade crossing offense while operating a CMV;

  • No convictions for violating an out-of-service order;

  • No more than one conviction for a serious traffic violation while operating a CMV;

  • No convictions for a violation of State or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control arising in connection with any traffic crash while operating a CMV.

Training Requirements:

The training material used for the LCV Driver-Training Program requires training using an LCV Double or LCV Triple and must include the following general categories of instruction:

  1. Orientation;

  2. Basic operation;

  3. Safe operating practices;

  4. Advanced operations; and

  5. Non-driving activities.

These topics are outlined further in the regulation including training topics for each section that is listed above.  In addition to the general requirements, LCV Driver-Training should include behind-the-wheel instruction that is designed to provide an opportunity to develop the skills outlined under the Proficiency Development unit of the training program.  If you should require these detailed training requirements (provided as an Appendix to Part 380) you may request copies through the IBT Safety and Health Department.

Testing Requirements:

The driver-student must pass knowledge and skills tests, in accordance with the following requirements, to determine whether a driver-student has successfully completed an LCV driver-training program.  The written knowledge test may be administered by any qualified driver-instructor.  The skills tests, based on actual operation of an LCV, must be administered by a qualified LCV skills instructor.

  1. All tests shall be constructed to determine if the drive-student possesses the required knowledge and skills for the specific type of LCV training program being taught

  2. Instructors shall develop their own tests for the specific type of LCV-training program being taught, but those tests must be at least as stringent as the requirements set forth in this standard.

  3. LCV driver-instructors shall establish specific methods for scoring the knowledge and skills tests.

  4. Passing scores must meet the requirements of this standard.

  5. Knowledge and skills tests shall be based upon the information taught in the LCV training programs.

  6. Each knowledge test shall address the training provided during both theoretical and behind-the-wheel instruction, and include at least one question from each of the units listed in the sections for the specific type of LCV training program being taught.

  7. Each skills test shall include all the maneuvers and operations practiced during the Proficiency Development unit of instruction (behind-the-wheel instruction) for the specific type of LCV training program being taught.

The driver-student must meet the following conditions to be certified as an LCV driver:

  1. Answer correctly at least 80 percent of the questions on each knowledge test; and

  2. Demonstrate that he/she can successfully perform all of the skills addressed for the specific type of LCV training program being taught.

The Grandfather Clause:

The LCV driver-training requirements include exclusions for drivers that have been driving LCVs for a period of 2 years with the following stipulations.  The motor carrier must ensure that an individual claiming eligibility to operate an LCV on the basis of Grandfathering meets these conditions before allowing him/her to operate an LCV.  The motor carrier must issue a Certificate of Grandfathering to a person who meets the following requirements and must maintain a copy of the certificate in the individuals Driver Qualification file.

In order to qualify, the driver must certify that, during the 2-year period immediately preceding the date of application for a Certificate of Grandfathering, he/she had:

  1. A valid Class A CDL with a “double/triple trailers” endorsement;

  2. No more than one driver’s license;

  3. No suspension, revocation, or cancellation of his/her CDL;

  4. No convictions for a major offense while operating a CMV;

  5. No convictions for a railroad-highway grade crossing offense while operating a CMV;

  6. No convictions for violating an out-of-service order;

  7. No more than one conviction for a serious traffic violation while operating a CMV; and

  8. No convictions for a violation of State or local law relating to a motor vehicle traffic control arising in connection with any traffic crash while operating a CMV.

Additionally, the driver must also certify and provide evidence that he/she:

  1. Is regularly employed in a job requiring the operation of a CMV that requires a CDL with a double/triple trailers endorsement; and

  2. Has operated, during the 2 years immediately preceding the date of application for a Certificate of Grandfathering, vehicles representative of the type of LCV that he/she seeks to continue operating.

Training Certificate Requirements:

The employer is required to place a copy of the driver’s training certificate in the driver’s personnel or qualifications file.  These must be kept for as long as the employer employs the driver and for one year thereafter.  It is also required that each employer issue a proof of training certificate to the employees receiving the training.  Each training certificate must include the following information:

  • Date of certificate issuance;

  • Name of training provider;

  • Mailing address of training provider;

  • Name of driver;

  • A statement that the driver has completed training in accordance with the following sentence:

I certify that the indicated LCV Driver-Training course(s) was provided by a qualified LCV driver-instructor as defined under 49 CFR § 380.105 and meet(s) the minimum requirements set forth in 49 CFR part 380, subparts A and B.

  • The printed name of the person attesting that the driver has received the required training.

  • The signature of the person attesting that the driver has received the required training.

LCV Driver-Instructor Requirements:

There are two types of LCV driver-instructors, classroom instructors and skills instructors.  In order to qualify as a classroom instructor a person shall audit the driver-training course that he/she intends to instruct and if employed by a training institution, meet all State requirements for a vocational instructor.  As a skills instructor a person must provide evidence of successful completion of the Driver-Training Program requirements when requested by employers and/or an authorized FMCSA, State, or local official in the course of a compliance review.  The Driver-Training Program must be for the operation of CMVs representative of the subject matter that he/she will teach.  A skills instructor must meet all State requirements for a vocational instructor if employed by a training institution.  A skills instructor must possess a valid Class A CDL with all endorsements necessary to operate the CMVs applicable to the subject matter being taught, and they must have at least 2 years’ CMV driving experience in a vehicle representative of the type of driver training to be provided.

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