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Georgia ‘modernizes’ CDL skills testing process

Georgia streamlines CDL skills testing process

The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) has launched an enhancement to the commercial motor vehicle skills testing process, which updates and modernizes the testing procedure, the department said.

Redesigned by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) and approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the result is a simpler and more effective skills testing process that best assesses an applicant’s readiness to operate a CMV safely.

DDS Commissioner Spencer R. Moore said the redesigned test makes obtaining a CDL “more efficient without lowering requirements and most importantly not compromising safety. Applicants are tested on real-world scenarios that all focus on safety critical items.”

The Modernized CDL Skills Test remains in three parts: The Vehicle Inspection (VI), the Basic Control Skills (BCS) Test and Road Test. The VI and BCS were updated during the modernization process.

The new VI requires fewer items, and the applicants are allowed to use a checklist (provided in the “CDL Study Guide”) for the order of inspection. The inspection focuses on knowledge and safety and contains items a driver would typically experience on the job.

The BCS portion of the driving exam is conducted on a smaller footprint and tests applicants on: Forward Stop; Straight-Line Backing; Forward Offset Tracking and Reverse Offset Backing.

The Between, Georgia, DDS Customer Service Center (CSC) is the first location offering the modernized process, and DDS said expansion to other locations statewide is ongoing. Appointments are required for all road skills tests. Appointments for both test types, traditional and modernized, are available until the modernization transition is complete statewide.

Drivers who have already passed one or more parts of the three-part CDL skills test cannot shift to the modernized test and receive credit for sections of the traditional test that were completed successfully. Other requirements for a CDL, including mandatory Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT), have not changed.

Third-party testers also have the option to offer the modernized test to their students, DDS noted.

ATRI seeks input on challenges faced by women truckers

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) pn Wednesday launched a new survey to identify what both women and men truck drivers believe to be the barriers to entry for women truck drivers. 

The research will also capture other challenges that truck drivers encounter while training, on the road, and at parking facilities, ATRI said. The research will utilize responses from both women and men drivers to identify and contrast the unique challenges faced by women drivers. 

This research was identified as a top priority by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee to address workforce shortages, safety concerns for women drivers, and identify steps the industry can take to increase the percentage of women drivers. 

The survey asks for driver perspectives and experiences:

  • When considering a career as a truck driver
  • While obtaining their CDL
  • Regarding challenges encountered as a truck driver
  • For those who no longer drive a truck, why they left the industry

Truck drivers can complete the confidential survey online here until Feb. 2.

Southeastern Freight opens expanded N.C. terminal

Southeastern Freight Lines on Wednesday announced the opening of an expanded service center in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

The contemporary Charlotte service center, located at 4524 Reagan Drive, consists of 230 dock doors. Upgrades include a complete yard rehabilitation and a new remote trailer parking lot.

The facility is part of a multi-phase redevelopment project that aims to incorporate Southeastern’s latest design standards, such as signature structural elements and interior finishes in addition to network and security features. The facility will embrace new technological advances, streamline operational costs, and, most notably, provide its associates with a modernized work environment to thrive in their various roles, the company said. 

“The redevelopments at Reagan Drive will not only serve the local Charlotte market but will also increase the efficiency and bandwidth of freight we can push through this breakbulk, which impacts the entire surrounding region,” said Ryan Smigiel, Vice President of Real Estate. “As the Charlotte area is demonstrating exponential growth, we are looking forward to matching this momentum and expanding our operations to continue improving service to our customers.” 

The new service center will house both Charlotte’s pickup and delivery operation and breakbulk operation on an interim basis while Southeastern works to redevelop its second Queen City facility on Amble Drive – a project that will construct a new service center consisting of 185 dock doors, an appointment warehouse with six additional dock doors, a regional office, and a driver rest facility.  

The Reagan Drive facility opened for business in June 1972 with eight dock doors and six associates. 

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