still clarifying how B-Train rule affects Canadians
WASHINGTON, (July 13, 2004) -- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration has confirmed it will review how a recent final
rule on Longer Combination Vehicles (LCVs) will affect Canadian
operations, if at all.
Although the final rule -- which establishes minimum training
and qualification requirements for LCV driver-instructors operating
in "interstate commerce" -- doesn't affect most Canadian
carriers, the FMCSA's Definition of an LCV (any vehicle with more
than one semi-trailer and a weight in excess of 80,000 lbs) potentially
covers drivers operating B-trains in cross-border operations.
Moreover, the rule as it's written, makes it impossible for a
Canadian driver to comply.
FMCSA has since confirmed to both Today's Trucking and the Ontario
Trucking Association that it's looking into the issue. When Today's
Trucking asked for clarification on how the rule would affect
Canadian operations this past May, an FMCSA spokesperson responded
by saying the agency was working on an amendment.
then, the OTA says it's been in discussion with FMCSA officials,
who recognize the difficulties that have been created with this
regulatory change, and the agency confirmed it's still considering
a solution to the problem.
to the rule, LCV training will consist of driving and non-driving
activities, such as route planning and checking cargo and weight.
Because LCV doubles and triples have different operating characteristics,
FMCSA established different training courses for each vehicle
group. The rule also establishes two types of LCV driver instructors,
classroom instructors and skills instructors.
the FMCSA has proposed allowing certain drivers to substitute
a good driving record and experience for the completion of the
LCV driver-training requirements. The driver would have to provide
the employing motor carrier with evidence that he or she had operated
LCVs safely during the two-year period prior to application b-train.
are placed in a very difficult situation, the OTA says. Compliance
with the rules can only be detected at a compliance audit and,
although it is unlikely that a carrier would be cited, it is recommended
that carriers use what the FMCSA calls 'common sense' -- something
the b-train OTA takes to mean that the carrier should be satisfied
that the driver has the necessary knowledge to operate B-trains
and that any training or testing is documented.