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Lowering the Trucker Age Limits!

March 6, 2019
driver shortage

Colorado is striving for a lower trucking age, but will federal law allow it? Unfortunately, those from ages 18 to 21 cannot legally operate a commercial truck nation-wide. During the driver shortage, this age gap is crucial. Because many people like to begin training for trades straight out of high-school, the trucking industry is losing vital numbers of drivers since they are simply not old enough to operate a large vehicle across state lines. Colorado is trying to change this.

Recently, Governor Jared Polis signed a bill that will allow those from 18 to 21 to be truck drivers. Although, Polis and the state have to wait until federal law will allow it.

As of February 21, Legislation allowed the state Department of Revenue to permit 18 to 21-year olds the ability to become interstate drivers. So long as the individual owns a commercial driver license and the hauling is permitted by federal law.

Now, federal law does not allow 18- to 21-year olds to cross state lines in a Class 8 truck. Thus, they solely must drive within the state.

The effects…

The American Trucking Association assesses that the trucking industry is short about 50,000 drivers! Sadly, there are some young people who abandon the trade as soon as they discover the age restrictions. Colorado and Polis see removing the age limit as a solution to the problem.  It will attract more drivers, moreover, decreasing the shortage. This will be especially helpful in states that border one another.

Although the age restriction will be lifted, there will be some limitations. This includes, after earning a commercial driver’s license, logging 400 hours of on-duty time and 240 hours of driving with an experienced driver in the cab. Then the driver will be able to contribute to interstate commerce.

So, what do you think? Is it a good idea for 18- to 21- year old drivers to participate in interstate commerce?

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