What is Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT): Understanding What You Need to Know

21st March 2024 | Class A Leasing

In the trucking industry, ensuring the highest standards of safety and competence is paramount. That’s where Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) comes into play. If you’re considering a career in trucking or are part of a trucking company looking to stay compliant, understanding what ELDT is, is crucial. This guide addresses the most common questions about ELDT, helping you navigate this essential requirement.

Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) refers to the mandatory training requirements for new drivers before they can obtain their commercial driver’s license (CDL). It encompasses a comprehensive curriculum designed to equip entry-level drivers with the necessary skills and knowledge to safely operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).

Student Passing Their ELDT Exam With Class A Leasing

When Did ELDT Take Effect?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented the ELDT requirements in early 2022. This regulation marked a significant step in standardizing driver education and ensuring all new drivers meet a baseline of proficiency. [CTA] Check out our driving plans here that include ELDT training:

How Long is ELDT Valid?

Once completed, the ELDT certification does not expire. Completing is a one-time requirement that shows a driver has met the initial qualification standards required to operate a CMV safely. However, continuous education and training might be necessary for specialized endorsements or to meet company-specific standards.

What Are the Entry-Level Driving Training Requirements?

The ELDT requirements are divided into two main components: theory instruction and behind-the-wheel (BTW) training.

Theory Instruction:

This part covers various topics, from the essential operation of a CMV and navigating road safety to advanced driving techniques and understanding regulations like hours of service and health and wellness implications for drivers.

Behind-the-Wheel Training:

This practical segment ensures drivers gain hands-on experience in operating a CMV. It includes range (basic vehicle maneuvers) and public road driving, focusing on real-world driving skills and safety practices.

Behind the wheel training to get your CDL in Minnesota

Who is Required to Complete Entry-Level Driver Training?

ELDT is required for:

  • New drivers applying for their initial Class A or Class B CDL.
  • Current CDL holders seeking to upgrade their license (e.g., from Class B to Class A).
  • Drivers applying for specific endorsements, such as the school bus (S), passenger (P), or hazardous materials (H) endorsement, for the first time.

Understanding the ins and outs of Entry-Level Driver Training is essential for anyone looking to navigate the trucking industry safely and effectively. By ensuring that all drivers meet these foundational training requirements, the industry takes a significant step forward in enhancing road safety and professionalism. Whether you’re a new driver starting your journey or a seasoned professional brushing up on the latest requirements, knowing what ELDT is, is indispensable.