UPS Asks FMCSA to Allow Driver-Trainees to Operate Twin Trailers

Washington D.C. – The United Parcel Service (UPS) is seeking permission from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to allow its driver-trainees to operate twin trailers on public roads.

In a Federal Register notice, the FMCSA says the world’s largest package delivering company is requesting that its driver-trainees holding commercial learners permits (CLPs) be permitted to operate twin 28-foot trailers on a public road to obtain behind-the-wheel (BTW) skills training under the direct supervision of a driving instructor.

Federal CDL regulations do not allow an employer to permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) during any period in which the driver does not have a CLP or CDL with the proper class or endorsements; the regulations do not permit a double/triple trailers endorsement on a CLP.


UPS Argues Current Rules Create “Strain on Operations”

UPS says it operates a domestic long-haul fleet of approximately 20,000 CMVS and employs approximately 26,000 long-haul drivers.

UPS uses both conventional and double trailers in its long-haul fleet and requires that all of its CDL drivers be qualified to operate doubles trailers.

This fleet hauled UPS deliveries over more than 2.7 billion miles of domestic roadway throughout the United States in 2017.

In its request for exemption (RFE), UPS says it wants to “ensure that its driver trainees know how to safely operate the vehicles they will actually be driving in UPS’s operations.”

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) mandate that a driver must wait at least 14 days after obtaining a CLP before he or she can take the skills test required to obtain a CDL.


The mega carrier argues that in some states it can take much longer than 14 days.

“Therefore, weeks can pass between the time a driver receives his or her primary training and the time the driver is able to obtain on the road training or experience in doubles,” the RFE states.

Further, UPS asserts this situation is “very inefficient, extends and breaks up training time and creates a strain on UPS’s network and operations.”


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Lastly, UPS claims granting the exemption will lead to “comparable” safety outcomes with those under current FMCSRs.

“By permitting UPS’s driver trainees to obtain on the road training in doubles during their initial training period, the exemption would ensure at least a comparable level of safety to that obtained by complying with the regulations, while simplifying UPS’s training schedules and minimizing disruption of its operations

FMCSA is requesting public comments on UPS’s RFE.

The view the docket and/or comment, click HERE.
Photo shared courtesy of UPS



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