Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) is scheduled to be in effect this summer (July 1, 2017) as the Ministry of Transportation aims to set higher standards for prospective commercial truck drivers wishing to take The Commercial Truck Driver Training Standard (Class A) test. This is good news as MELT better prepares entry-level drivers for a safer and able career.
The Ministry of Transportation reported that in 2014 only 28% of the Class AZ drivers coming in for testing had taken any approved training programs. Out of the 9,000 drivers who took the test that year, this meant that a whopping 6,500 potential drivers went for testing without any approved training. As the first province in Canada to initiate MELT, Ontario is taking a bold and important step in the right direction with Mandatory Entry Level Training.
Let’s look at the details
So, what exactly is mandatory? The Ministry of Transportation has stated that a minimum of 103.5 hours of approved training be completed before someone can be allowed for testing. The responsibility of testing all drivers wishing to gain Class AZ licenses falls on the ministry. The responsibility of training the drivers currently falls to Private Career Colleges, such as 5th Wheel Training Institute, Public Colleges, and Driver Certificate Programs by approved employers to train only their own staff employed within the company.
The average cost of the MELT approved AZ truck driver training will vary depending on the number of hours offered in the program. A program designed to offer just the minimum 103.5 hours may range from $4,000 to $5,000. A more involved program offering 150 hours may ranger from $6,000 to $7,000. Even with the MELT minimum requirements, employers are still required to provide onboard training to new drivers depending on the needs of the trucking company. The truck driver program at 5th Wheel Training offers a multitude of equipment training along with the AZ certification program.
Looking into the future
The Mandatory Entry Level Training is Ontario’s way of keeping the roads safer for truck drivers and everyone who share the roads with them. Currently there are no minimum standards for truck drivers who wish to take the Class AZ test, something most Ontario residents are not aware of. You can contact the team at 5th Wheel Training Institute to keep you prepared and ready for the future of your career.