Mandatory entry-level training (MELT) – What it means for a truck driver???


Responsibility for new driver performance and conduct on the road has been targeted onto the transport companies. HR manager would think If I had given him the keys to a truck and sent him on a trip, I would be guilty of negligent hiring, even though our government has given him their privilege to drive. MELT will be officially rolled out and take effect in July 2017. MELT is going to look much different from what earning a Class A licence looks like today. Gone are the days when one could simply pass a test and drive a transport truck on the highway. After fully implemented in Ontario, MELT will require drivers looking to earn a class A licence with a minimum of 103.5 hours of training. Thirty-six and half hours are to be spent in the classroom, 17 hours in the yard (pre-trip inspection), 18 hours in the truck off-road and 32 hours on road. The on-road test will ensure new drivers can safely complete four right turns, four left turns, four intersections (two stop and two through), two lane changes, one driving along, one expressway section, two curves (one left and one right), and one emergency roadside stop/start. Drivers will also have to complete either an offset backing (left or right) or an alley dock 90 degree backing to demonstrate their backing skills. In addition, the knowledge test will now be 30 questions (before MELT tests were only 20 questions) selected at random from a new set of 120 competency-based questions the MTO and partners developed. MELT will not change a thing. Neither will the new road test guidelines that are being given to the testing centers. The Ministry has standardized the maneuvers a driver must successfully complete: the failing here is that they will not be tested on a maneuver if there is no facility available for the test center to perform the maneuver. Further, there is still no under-the-hood component to the testing, so the pre-trip is a memory test, not a knowledge test. One of the things that would drastically change the quality of candidates is a screening process. Before enrolling a student, schools should be required to give aptitude tests, so they would be training people who actually have a chance of being successful in the business. There should also be a fail rate. Schools should have the responsibility to tell individuals if they are not suited for this line of work, rather than feed the fantasy with promises of extra help. “The truth is, not everyone can be a truck driver.”