BTW Training Solutions- ELDT Traveling Providers

As I sit here to create my first blog post…(yes, it is very late in the game), I want to discuss ELDT traveling providers.  As any good blogger would do, I searched Google to see how often that term is searched.  To my surprise, Google Surfer said that it’s searched zero times a month in the United States.

That finding backs up what I’ve discovered while making sales calls, most people have never heard of a traveling provider and therefore don’t know they have this option for meeting ELDT requirements.

What is a traveling provider?  A traveling provider is an ELDT training provider that offers training at a location other than their own registered location.  Training providers are required to register their training locations with the FMCSA unless they certify as a traveling provider.

Traveling providers may have their own CDL school/training location, but also provide traveling services.  However, many schools do not provide these services, because it’s too much trouble and they are plenty busy training students at their location.

How can a traveling provider help you?  If you are interested in completing ELDT training and acquiring your CDL, a traveling provider maybe able to help you by bringing the training to you.  This will typically save time and money.  However, many traveling providers do not supply the training vehicle (and certainly not the training location), so you as the student must have access to a location and a vehicle to use for training.  As you might imagine, most folks are not able to provide these.

Although not the majority, there are some individuals in that unique situation.  Luckily for them, traveling providers may be the best option to help them complete the required ELDT.  As mentioned earlier, traveling providers can be used to satisfy the required ELDT in less time and for less money than attending a trucking school or CDL program.  

There are some things to watch out for if you are considering using a traveling provider:

  1.  Imposters- ALL ELDT providers are required to be certified by the FMCSA and listed on the Training Provider Registry(TPR) website.  You might consider doing a provider search to verify the trainer is certified.  
  2. Certified doesn’t mean Compliant- The certification process is very simple and almost anyone can do it, so even a scammer can get listed in the TPR.  Unfortunately, there is very little auditing going on among training providers and therefore many are not following all the rules.
  3. Do they meet your state’s requirements?- Being certified requires a trainer to also meet state regulations.  These regulations vary from state to state.  If fact, these are the most difficult compliance hurdle for traveling providers.  Consider asking a traveling provider if they meet your state’s regulations and ask if they could provide you with those regulations to confirm.
  4. Experience-  How much training experience does the provider have?  Have they operated the type of vehicle you need training in?  Do they have the correct endorsements for that vehicle?  What is their success rate with getting students to pass the CDL test the first time?  Instructors are required to have held a CDL for at least two years, but that doesn’t mean they have actually driven a commercial vehicle for any amount of time.  Nobody deserves to be trained by someone that doesn’t have actual driving experience!
  5. Do they have a valid CDL- I shouldn’t even have to include this one, but after a recent meeting with a Tennessee CDL Compliance officer, he said you’d be surprised how often we audit a training provider and find the instructor’s CDL is expired.  

If you would like to learn more about ELDT traveling providers or how we might be able to help you by providing on-site ELDT BTW training for you, reach out to us anytime!