Until recently, there was no minimum training required for those in the trucking industry to their trucking license. As of July 1st, 2017 MELT became law in Ontario. And many members of the public, the insurance companies and those within the trucking industry recognize this as a positive step in improving industry safety and ensuring that drivers of commercial vehicles are expertly trained. Now, the question is: should training rules be extended to those who require DZ licenses in Ontario?
What is a DZ License?
A DZ license is a license required by anyone driving a motor vehicle exceeding 11,000 kilograms (24,000 lb) gross weight or registered gross weight, or any combination of motor vehicle exceeding a total gross weight or registered gross weight of 11,000 kilograms (24,000 lb) and towed vehicle not exceeding a total gross weight of 4,600 kilograms (10,000 lb).
The Responsibility for Drivers
As you might expect, drivers of a vehicle which is that large have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. But at the moment, drivers can simply pass the test by driving an air-brake equipped vehicle with an automatic transmission. Once they have this license, they can then get behind the wheel of large trucks, such as dump trucks, cement trucks and other commercial vehicles. They can then start hauling large loads, without ever having been trained within hauling or long-term driving methods.
Many believe that because of this large responsibility on the shoulders of DZ drivers in Ontario, those who have DZ licenses should be required to undergo mandatory training at a respected training school. The additional training will help to ensure the following:
- Drivers are aware of the impact of road conditions
DZ driver training in Ontario ensures those with licenses understand the importance of driving the truck for the road conditions. Those who haven’t been trained won’t know how the truck reacts in heavy rain, and may be in danger if they cannot react to changes effectively.
- Insurance companies reduce their costs
The insurance companies pay out millions each year in Ontario as a result of accidents involving truck drivers of all sorts. Unsafe maneuvers can lead to expensive and sometimes deadly accidents. And many believe training can help to minimize the number of accidents.
- Companies receive effective drivers to minimize training needs
Companies across the trucking industry will have access to fully-trained drivers who are then capable of streamlining their integration into the driving role. They won’t have to spend more money training the driver and then managing their training process.