Despite the mayhem wrought by the COVID-19 coronavirus, the American trucking industry has needed more new drivers. Despite furloughs and even some carrier closings, the industry has sought to put new drivers in trucks now that freight is moving and rates improve.
The truck driver training community has, with some adjustments, did its level best to meet that demand. Courses were taught online, and driving schools practiced social distancing to reduce the number of students in trucks with instructors. Schools did so to also accommodate folks who may have lost jobs because of COVID-19 turned to trucker training to quickly and inexpensively get into a new line of work.
At one point just a few weeks ago, 27 of this country’s state departments of motor vehicles were closed. Today, more are open for business, but often by appointment only and some are still working through a backlog of work. This has meant testing and issuing learner’s permits and commercial drivers licenses has lagged.
Don Lefeve is the president of the Commercial Vehicle Training Association and has been helping member schools remain open. He also helped ensure truck driver training was on the Department of Homeland Security’s list of essential businesses. Lefeve says many schools applied for and received Payroll Protection Program funds.
In this episode of the Now What? podcast, Lefeve talks about trucker training during COVID-19 and what its new normal may look like.