LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Trucking Association (ATA) and State Police (ASP) are working together to help ease the backlog of individuals who want to be certified truck drivers.
Staffing issues and a limited number of test sites have sidelined some commercial driver’s license (CDL) candidates, many of whom have been forced to wait weeks to complete the skills test, according to the ATA.
“Our industry desperately needs more safe and qualified drivers to be able to stock grocery shelves and deliver all of life’s essentials,” ATA President Shannon Newton said. “With ongoing supply chain and workforce issues, delaying the certification of fully-trained drivers impacts everyone—not just trucking.”
Professional truck drivers must pass both a written and a skills test to obtain their CDL.
After being notified of drivers facing weeks-long delays between completing their CDL training and being able to take the CDL skills test, Newton approached the ASP to find a solution.
The ASP and ATA came up with a multi-prong approach to streamline the backlog.
First, the Saline County Fairgrounds will provide temporary overflow testing beginning May 31, running for 45 days.
Second, CDL examiners have been approved for overtime through the end of June and have been directed to remain dedicated to CDL testing candidates.
Finally, the ASP is aggressively attempting to fill examiner vacancies with qualified testing personnel and will consider expanding third-party testing options.
“We commend the Arkansas State Police for implementing swift and decisive resolutions to address the backlog of CDL skills tests,” Newton said. “Our economy needs people to go to work and these drivers are ready and willing to do so, with the support of the Arkansas CDL examiners.”
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.