ATA Looks To Lower Minimum Driver Age To 18

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by RetiredUSN, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. RetiredUSN

    RetiredUSN Medium Load Member

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    I was at the shop the other morning and this subject came up with some mechanic & driver friends. The discussion got pretty heated with some of them. I saw it on the TR homepage this morning and thought I would ask you "old hands" what you thought about having 18 year old drivers hauling freight.

    My philosophy: If they are considered old enough to put guns in their hands and march them off to war,............. they should have the right to drive a truck.

    I got blasted (in a friendly way) by some of the guys for supporting young drivers.
     
    texasbbqbest Thanks this.
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  3. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    .......and buy a beer!
     
  4. 77smartin

    77smartin Road Train Member

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    I dunno.
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    I have a hard time seeing this as a good idea given the already pathetic training that exists in this industry.
     
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  5. unloader

    unloader Heavy Load Member

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    I'm 28 now and looking back I did not have nearly the amount of maturity or understanding of the world in general to truly be responsible behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle.

    In fact at 21 I probably would have washed out of the industry very quickly.

    I turned to trucking not as a last resort, but because I wanted a career. At 26 it turned out to be the best thing to ever happen to me.

    So I think I vote no on lowering the age. Don't most companies want you to be at least 23 anyway for insurance purposes?

    unloader
     
  6. RetiredUSN

    RetiredUSN Medium Load Member

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    Your point of view came up during the discussion at the shop by a couple guys, and they really went back and forth over it. I personally think it works both ways myself. What is the perception versus reality when it comes right down to it? I see plenty of 45 year old drivers that I wouldn't want riding a lawn mower, or manage a check book.......... for maturity reasons.

    I do get your point.
     
    Fishell Trucking and cnsper Thank this.
  7. Ringo1

    Ringo1 Light Load Member

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    I can see this for the farmers son or daughter who's been handling equipment since they were 12, and now they can legally help the family business to drive at 18. It's a win for that segment but I don't see the benefit for the industry beyond that.
     
  8. lester

    lester Road Train Member

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    You know you can already get your cdl at 18. Just can't leave your state. Had mine since the day after I turned 18. Hey I didn't go to trucking school either. Boom mind blown.

    Also 18 would have been perfect for me to go otr as I'm was pretty sure I was invincible back then
     
  9. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    That's right; can get a CDL at age 18 for intrastate driving.
     
  10. gpsman

    gpsman Road Train Member

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    It's not the training. If you are among the drivers who adheres to anything resembling the basic driver training received as a teen, you are a very, very rare bird.

    Few things are more common on our roadways than a speeding truck maintaining a woefully inadequate following distance for a 4-wheeler, and that ain't the fault of any formal training of which I am aware.
     
  11. G.Anthony

    G.Anthony Road Train Member

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    Well since many can obtain a CDL at 18, but stay with-in state lines, I can only surmise the ATA wants to open up the OTR segment for the young ones. Perhaps to help aliveate the so-called driver shortage? I think the ATA has/is a "love-hate" relationship with truckers. I can remember many, many years ago, they (ATA) proposed a long term apprenticeship program for new drivers. I think that proposal fell on deaf ears.

    If we have problems now with driver training at CDL Mills, and problems now with mega-carrier schools, what is to say the "apprenticeship program" would be all fine and dandy?

    I think that would be abused to the hilt.

    Yes, it is so very true, that there ARE INDEED MANY 40+ year olds as mature as a 10 year old, that is a given.

    Since I personally DO NOT HAVE any statistics regarding the maturity of 18 year olds, I will still go out on a limb and say that there are MORE immature 18 year olds out there than the 40+ ones.

    As it is now, I really do not support 18 year old getting a class A license. Frankly, not even a class B, until they reach at the very minimum of 25!

    IT HAS BEEN statistically proven, the younger people have MORE crashes AND tickets over the "older" drivers. Does anyone really wanna give an 18 year old a privilege to drive a near 80,000 lbs missile? Let alone a 3 to 4,000 lbs 4 wheeler?

    I know I don't.
     
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