New Manitoba commercial drivers will have to complete mandatory entry-level driver training (MELT) before entering the industry.
Manitoba has gotten on board with the country-wide trend of implementing higher training standards for new commercial drivers. Manitoba commercial drivers looking to get their Class 1 license will have to complete 121.5 hours of mandatory entry-level driver training (MELT) as of September 1, 2019.
This means you’ll have to brush the dust off your notepads and hit the classroom for some training!
Currently, the curriculum for the training has not been specified, however, it is believed that it will be similar to those introduced in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Manitoba is not the first to introduce MELT
Ontario led the way with mandatory driver training having introduced their Class A requirements back in 2017. Alberta has recently joined suit introducing mandatory entry-level driver training (MELT) for new drivers, as well as pre-entry requirements for new commercial carriers as of March 1, 2019. Saskatchewan introduced MELT for new class 1 drivers March 15, 2019.
What do the other MELT programs look like for other provinces?
Alberta’s program for Class 1 licensing currently includes 40.5 hours of classroom instruction, 15.5 hours of in-yard training, and 57 hours of practical training. Upon completing the MELT training, the future driver must pass a knowledge test and then take a road test. Find out more about Alberta requirements for Class 1 drivers and carriers here.
Saskatchewan requires 121.5 hours of training, along with a road and knowledge test to acquire a Class 1 licence. You can find out more for Saskatchewan requirements at the Government of Saskatchewan website.
Ontario’s Class A (Commercial Truck) licence requires a minimum of 103.5 hours of training and a road test. Read more here at the Government of Ontario’s website.
Does MELT affect Manitoba Commercial Drivers in the Agriculture Sector?
A one-year hiatus has been granted to the Manitoba agriculture industry to not only avoid creating delays in the start of the 2019 farming season but also to give time to consult with industry leaders to create an appropriate strategy to get drivers trained.
Trucking as a vocation, not just a licence
The Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) hopes that trucking will be recognized as a skilled trade which would open those looking at trucking as a future profession to apply for grants to pay for training and tuition. The MTA feels that being a truck driver is more than a licence and should be treated this way and given more training. MELT is the first step in the right direction.
It will be interesting to see if this comes to pass and if other provinces will follow suit in creating further education and training for entering the trucking industry as a driver. While the schooling would not be required to be a licence holder, it would allow drivers to enter the industry with the proper training to succeed.
Gov of Manitoba