The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has granted an exemption to Utah-based reefer giant C.R. England (No. 17 on the CCJ Top 250) from federal rules that require a commercial learner’s permit holder to always be accompanied by a commercial driver’s license holder in the front seat of the vehicle.
C.R. England applied for the exemption in December, citing it as a way to mitigate effects of trucking’s driver shortage by more easily getting new entrant drivers into the industry.
Under the terms of the exemption, a learner’s permit holder who has passed a CDL skills test may drive a truck and trailer for C.R. England without a CDL holder in the front seat. The exemption is good for two years.
The exemption will enable learner’s permit holders to drive in team operations with a driver-trainer. Though a fully licensed driver will be in the vehicle, he or she won’t be required to sit in the front seat, as federal law requires.
C.R. England said in its application for the exemption that states routinely issue temporary CDLs to drivers who have passed skills tests. The exemption would allow C.R. England to productively run a team operation, it says, until the learner’s permit holder can be routed to his or her home state to be granted a temporary CDL.