Autonomous vehicles are all over the news. You’ve heard the stories about beer trucks driving themselves across the Rocky Mountain States and self-driving Ubers trying to survive New York City’s insane traffic. A day will come eventually when self-driving trucks are a reality. But as Brian Fielkow, our friend at Jetco , has recently said, that will be years from now.
In the meantime, though, truck and vehicle technology gets smarter and smarter by the day. Backup cameras for rigs, lane warning lights, brake assist, self-functioning fog lights are now common place. These are all recent developments in the fast evolution of the smarter truck and all of these together could be a key to attracting more drivers to the industry.
Making the Driver’s Life Easier
As Fielkow said in an interview with Yahoo! Finance, new technology in trucks could lead to reshaping the image of the truck driver. A grueling professional job could be seen as a little easier to outsiders, who may reconsider giving truck driving a try or even returning to the industry after leaving previously. Fielkow believes that all the tech upgrades, especially driver assist, combined with newer, more comfortable cabins will actually make truck driving more “fun” for drivers. More fun is a good start but that doesn’t solve Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
For over 40 years I have watched the FMCSA and its programs blossom into an entity that has focused its regulations and attention to saving lives of the motoring public and the professional drivers that share the road daily.
The early days were filled with the opinions of many that the regulations and programs would have a negative effect on productivity and revenue, yet the FMCSA continued its unwavering course because they fully understood that the programs being designed were to save lives and reduce injuries. They also understood that the acceptance and success of these programs would not happen overnight and worked alongside the transportation industry throughout the process to make the transitions as smooth as possible.
In the early days these rules and regulations were not accepted with open arms but became the subject of many breakroom and Truckstop conversations. Many drivers did not feel the need for further rules and regulations and argued that a reduction of these rules was in order. Unfortunately, safety statistics did not support their opinions.
Once the programs were in place, a portion of the driving population rose to top rather quickly. This did not consist of professional drivers that adhered to the rules and regulations, but just the opposite. This group of dangerous drivers and companies were the consistent violators that had little to no regard for the rules and regulations or the safety of other drivers or the motoring public.
NATMI has finalized plans for the summer 2019 instructor Train-the-Trainer program. All prospective instructors wishing to teach NATMI courses, who have not attended a previous train-the-trainer program, must attend the upcoming program, which is scheduled on Thursday, July 25th and Friday, July 26th (the program will end by 2pm on Friday).
This year's program will be held in Denver, Colorado at the NATMI headquarters office building. The 2-day program covers NATMI's goals and expectations for instructors, background on our nationally-recognized certification programs, as well as how to effectively instruct NATMI courses.
Attending the course does not guarantee that a participant will be eligible to teach NATMI courses. Each participant must present a 3-minute overview, as well as a 15-minute module and be evaluated by their peers and NATMI representatives leading the program. Based on the quality of the presentations, NATMI will determine whether a participant is ready to teach. Only those approved following the train-the-trainer course will become NATMI instructors.
The program content is roughly equivalent to the Essential Instructional Skills for Professional Driver Trainers course, which is required for the NATMI Certified Driver Trainer (CDT) designation. For this reason, those attending the program can use the course to fulfill the training requirement for the CDT program, though the remaining steps for certification must be completed (i.e., the certification exam and online submission of candidate experience).