What to Know About The New ELDT Requirements

Beginning on February 7, 20220, new entry-level driver training (ELDT) requirements went into effect. These were set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates the trucking industry. The ELDT regulations apply for drivers who are upgrading from a Class B to a Class A commercial driver’s license (CDL), earning a Class A license for the first time, or earning certain endorsements. 

If you are interested in entering the trucking industry, you will need to complete training with an institution that meets these requirements, such as Yuma Truck Driving School.  

Updates to the FMCSA’s ELDT Requirements

The new ELDT requirements include several key updates, and it’s helpful to compare the new regulations to the previous ones to get an idea of what has changed.

Here are some of the updates: 

  • Prior to the recent changes, all that was necessary to provide entry-level training was meeting state-level training requirements. Under the new rules, this training can only be provided by those on the FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry (TPR). 
  • There is now a required list of standardized topics that CDL instruction must cover. 
  • Before the new requirements went into effect, CDL written tests were administered by each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This is not the responsibility of training institutions, and they must report students’ scores to the FMCSA. 

Topics for CDL Theory Instruction

Entry-level CDL training programs must cover a list of topics, which are divided into five categories. Instructors will need to use assessments to determine student proficiency and students must earn a score of 80% or more to pass.

The theory instruction topic categories are: 

  • Basic Operation: Students will need to learn the basics of how to operate a commercial vehicle, including orientation, shifting/transmissions, and coupling and uncoupling (for Class A CDLs). 
  • Safe Operating Procedures: In order to earn their commercial licenses, students must understand topics related to safe driving including how to handle extreme conditions, night driving, and visual search. 
  • Advanced Operating Practices: This category includes the topics of skid control/recovery, hazard perception, and railroad crossings. 
  • Vehicle Systems and Reporting Malfunctions: CDL theory instruction must cover how to identify and diagnose malfunctions, as well as roadside inspections and vehicle maintenance. 
  • Non-Driving Activities: Entry-level training for drivers must cover subtopics related to non-driving activities, such as medical requirements, environmental compliance, and fatigue awareness. 

Topics for Behind-the-Wheel Training

In addition to theory instruction, driver training programs need to include a hands-on behind-the-wheel component. While there isn’t a minimum number of hours for this, instructors need to cover all required topics and document the total clock hours of training. 

The new ELDT requirements include the following topics in a range setting: 

  • Coupling and uncoupling
  • Pre-trip, en route, and post-trip inspections
  • Sight side and blind side parallel parking
  • Straight line, off-set, and alley dock (45 and 90 degrees) backing

In addition, instructors must cover the following topics on a public road: 

  • Hours of service (HOS) regulations
  • Basic vehicle controls such as lane changes and turning
  • Space/speed management
  • Driving safely
  • Visual search
  • Nighttime driving
  • Railroad crossings
  • Shifting/transmission
  • Communication/signaling
  • Skid control/recovery, jackknifing, and other emergencies
  • Hazard perception
  • Extreme conditions

Get Your CDL

At Yuma Driving Driving School, our program meets all the new ELDT requirements and we can help you earn your CDL in as little as four weeks. 

Contact us today to learn more about our truck driver training.

Arizona CDL Requirements

A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is necessary to start a career as a truck driver. This replaces your standard Arizona driver’s license and allows you to drive large commercial vehicles. To earn your CDL, you will need to meet certain requirements, some of which are federal while others are specific for Arizona.

Here is what you need to know about Arizona CDL requirements:

Which Vehicles Require a CDL

Federal agencies regulate the trucking industry, namely the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA), which is one of its subagencies. These organizations determine when which vehicles require a CDL to operate and these rules apply in Arizona and across the country.

There are different types of commercial licenses that allow you to drive different vehicles. Our schools can help you earn a class A or class B license. We recommend a class A CDL in most cases, as this allows you to drive both class A and class B vehicles.

With a class A CDL, you can drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) or gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or 26,001 pounds or more with a towing capacity of over 10,000 pounds. With a class B license, you can drive a vehicle with a GCWR or GVWR of 26,0001 pounds or more with a towing capacity of less than 10,000 pounds.

Earning a CDL

Federal Commercial License Requirements

To drive a commercial vehicle across state lines, you must be at least 21 years old. If you are at least 18 years old, you can earn a CDL with an intrastate restriction, meaning you can only operate a CMV within state lines.

Before earning your license, you will need to pass a background check. Various offenses can permanently or temporarily disqualify you from holding a CDL. The FMCSA lists these on its website.

There are also national standards for the process of obtaining a CDL, which Arizona follows. You will need to first earn your commercial learner’s permit (CLP) by passing a written exam. This is multiple choice and covers information about safe CMV operation. After this, you must pass a skills test using a vehicle of the class that you intend to operate (e.g. a semi-truck for a class A CDL).

Arizona Commercial License Requirements

All CDL holders in the State of Arizona need to have a certificate from a DOT physical on file with the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD). You will need to complete a physical examination every 24 months at a minimum to keep your CDL. If you have any medical conditions, your doctor may require more frequent physicals.

In order to get your Arizona CDL, you also need proof of residency. The Arizona MVD lists acceptable documents here. You will also need to establish that you are a United States citizen or legal permanent resident through the documents listed in the CDL manual.

Earn Your License and Start Your Career

At Yuma Truck Driving School, we can help you earn your commercial license in as little as four weeks. We offer job placement assistance to help you get your career started as quickly as possible.

Contact us today to learn more about earning your Arizona CDL.