New CDL testing procedures coming to Missouri

Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 4:14 AM CST
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QUINCY (WGEM) - Truckers haul everything from food to the supplies your family needs so it’s important they keep themselves and others safe when they’re on the road.

After December 4, those looking to get a CDL in Missouri will see some new things on their test.

Chris Koetters, the Instructor of Transportation services at John Wood Community College, said the test will have different pre-trip requirements like checking brake lines or tires, instead of the more mechanical inner workings of the truck. Truckers will also have a new skills test which will focus on where truck crashes occur.

“They’re addressing a couple issues, one of them being that drivers when they’re passing somebody end up accidentally at some point in time possibly clipping them with the back of the trailer so one of the new skills is addressing that and then the other one is actually has to do with stopping because when you have this huge vehicle, unlike your car, you can’t see the front of the truck more often than not,” Koetters said.

He said many of those crashes occur at 15 miles per hour or less, such as when truckers are at a dock or a truck stop. He said the small parking areas combined with fatigue lead to many of those incidents.

Bridget Bleigh, the Vice President of Bleigh Ready Mix, said data collection and safety are important to them and other trucking companies. She said they have a program that can tell if a trucker is using their cellphone or wearing their seatbelt. She said it can even see if they are speeding or breaking too harshly. She said the more data they gather, the more training it allows them to provide to their drivers.

“Our trucks are large trucks,” she said. “We carry a lot of weight, I mean if we should drop a back tire off of a black top we will probably tip over, we can’t stop on a dime like a car could.”

Koetters said the industry wants their drivers to be safe at all speeds and be more aware of their surroundings.

Koetters said these changes were needed two years ago, but COVID had delayed those changes.

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