Mandatory Entry-Level Training
MELT is here! Just in time for summer.
To drive a truck today, all you have to do is to take a knowledge and road test at a DriveTest Centre to get your Class A licence. There are no mandatory or required courses to take. Some drivers might participate in voluntary training with a training organization and some companies also offer their own training programs. All that is about to change – MTO officials confirmed that in the next few weeks, Ontario’s Transportation Minister will be introducing the MELT (Mandatory Entry-Level Training).
This new proposal will require new applicants for a Class A licence, to successfully complete a mandatory entry-level training course prior to attempting the road tests. The introduction of mandatory training, in addition to the testing requirements, is designed to ensure that commercial truck drivers are properly trained before they are licensed.
MTO is also updating the knowledge (written) and road tests for all commercial class licences. Going forward, full training would take anywhere from four to six weeks before a new driver can earn his/her licence. Here are some details about the new proposal.
Knowledge test and training requirements:
- The knowledge test will now be 30 questions (up from 20).
- Drivers looking to earn a class A licence will require a minimum of 103.5 hours of training.
- Drivers will be required to spend 35.5 hours in classroom.
- Drivers will need to spend 17 hours in the yard (pre-trip inspection) training.
- Drivers will also be required to spend 18 hours in the truck off-road and 32 hours on road for training.
The on-road test will test the drivers so they can safely complete the following:
- 4 right turns.
- 4 left turns.
- 4 intersections (2 stop & 2 through).
- 2 lane changes.
- 2 curves (one left and one right),
- 1 each of driving along, expressway section and an emergency roadside stop/start.
- Either an offset backing (left or right) or an alley dock 90 degree backing.
Here are a couple of quotes:
The safety of all users of Ontario’s roads and highways is our top priority. The introduction of mandatory training in addition to knowledge and road tests is designed to ensure that commercial truck drivers are properly trained before they are tested.
Steven Del Duca – Minister of Transportation
By being the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce mandatory entry-level training for commercial truck drivers, Ontario is leading the way in terms of further improving highway safety and helping the industry to ensure it has an adequate supply of consistently trained, quality new drivers in the future. This is a game-changer.
David Bradley – CEO, Ontario Trucking Association
The Ministry of Transportation and its team are to be applauded for their stakeholder engagement in regards to the mandatory entry-level training standard. The ministry included many levels of the industry in the meetings to develop the standard, and made it clear from the beginning that the industries view was not only wanted, but necessary. Overall the mandatory entry-level training standard is a great win for the industry and will help to raise the profile of the job of the professional driver in our industry. The standard will also go a long way in removing the unqualified licensing mill training schools from our industry.
Mike Millian – President, Private Motor Truck Council of Canada
The new standards are expected to be released by summer 2016. Training schools and providers will have approximately one year to develop their curriculum and to obtain the necessary approvals. The schools will be required to get the curriculum approved by a MELT program expert before the proposed July 2017 deadline.
Applicants who do not complete the mandatory entry-level training course through an approved training provider will not be permitted to attempt the Class A road test.
This proposal will not impose new training obligations on existing Class A driver’s licence holders. Please visit the MTO for more information. Here is the official press release from the Ontario Government
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