Texas Personal Injury Blog
Last Updated : April 29, 2022

What Are Truck Driver Training Requirements?

Posted on Tuesday, March 1st, 2022 at 9:18 pm    

Anyone interested in becoming a commercial truck driver must apply for a commercial driver’s license (CDL). They must also complete a training program and multiple tests successfully.

Having a thorough knowledge of operating procedures is necessary. Large trucks, such as tractor-trailers, are massive. They can be challenging to maneuver, especially in dangerous conditions. Truck drivers need to understand how to operate these vehicles correctly to avoid accidents with other motorists.

If an unqualified or inexperienced trucker gets behind the wheel of a commercial truck, they could lose control and crash. Sudden braking, turning quickly, or exceeding the speed limit can lead to severe injuries and even fatalities during a collision between a large truck and a passenger car.

Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Truck Drivers

truck driver training requirementsA prospective truck driver must apply for a CDL if they want to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in foreign, interstate, or intrastate commerce. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, entry-level drivers must meet the conditions below to become a commercial driver:

  • List states where they were licensed to operate a CMV within the previous ten years
  • Certify the motor vehicle the prospective driver uses during testing represents a vehicle they intend to operate or will operate
  • Pass a driving and skills test in a vehicle representing the type of motor vehicle the driver will operate or expects to operate and show proof of completing the test successfully
  • Provide proof of domicile within the state where they’re applying for a commercial driver’s license
  • Submit all information required by the state to apply for a CDL
  • Meet requirements issued by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) if applying for a hazardous materials endorsement
  • Certify licensing doesn’t exist for more than one state or jurisdiction, and a disqualification under state law or the disqualification of drivers regulation isn’t applicable
  • Surrender any non-CDL license and commercial learner’s permit held within the state of employment
  • Show documentation proving citizenship or lawful permanent residency

Upon completion of entry-level training, the driver will receive a certificate. The employer must keep a copy on hand throughout the trucker’s employment. Additionally, the copy should remain on file until one year after the truck driver’s termination.

Regulations for Longer Combination Vehicle Drivers

Drivers operate longer combination vehicles (LCVs) on the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. This type of truck is a combination truck-tractor. It has two or more semi-trailers or trailers. It also has a gross vehicle weight of more than 80,000 pounds.

Truckers applying for an LCV license must fulfill the training requirements below:

  • Obey all traffic laws and avoid becoming involved in a preventable accident while taking the skills test
  • Demonstrate the ability to perform the skills required to operate an LCV safely
  • Pass the knowledge and skills test
  • Answer at least 80 percent of the knowledge test questions correctly
  • Present the LCV instructor with proof of meeting the requirements needed to apply for an LCV license

Pursuing Compensation After a Commercial Truck Accident

Whether you were a pedestrian, driver, motorcyclist, or passenger, you could seek compensation from the at-fault party. However, you need to know who caused the crash to determine the available insurance coverage.

truck accident compensationTruck accident cases can be complicated to handle without the help of an attorney. Even though the truck driver was involved in the accident, someone else entirely could be liable for your injury.

For example, the motor carrier might be responsible if they knowingly hired a driver who doesn’t have a commercial driver’s license or failed the training program. An employer could also choose not to perform an adequate background check on a prospective driver. This often happens during a staffing shortage. This error can result in a dangerous trucker ending up behind the wheel of an 80,000-pound vehicle.

Companies you might never consider could also be at fault for the collision. For example, a CMV parts manufacturer could supply the motor carrier with a defective braking system, preventing the truck driver from stopping in time to avoid an accident. Or a maintenance worker could fail to address a problem with the truck before sending it back on the road.

The parties commonly at fault for accidents involving commercial trucks include:

  • Cargo loading company
  • Trailer or cab owner
  • Truck driver
  • Maintenance worker
  • CMV or parts manufacturer
  • Motor carrier

Injured in a Truck Accident? Contact Portner Bond, PLLC

At Portner Bond, PLLC, our truck accident lawyers in Texas have more than 70 years of combined experience pursuing compensation for those injured in accidents. We know how to get the job done while handling cases involving negligent truck drivers and motor carriers.

If you suffered injuries in a truck accident due to someone else’s negligent conduct, call us at (409) 838-4444 right now for your free consultation.