KRTS Supports Road Testing On Automatic Transmission
Caledonia, Ontario… Effective May 1, 2012 upgrading or renewing a commercial driver’s licence can be done using an automatic transmission.
The Ministry of Transportation (MOT) responded to a request from the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) to modernize the class A road test.
Although many training centers across the province are not happy with the decision made by the province, some facilities are embracing the change. One of these facilities is Kim Richardson Transportation Specialists, Inc. (KRTS), who operate multiple facilities in Ontario.
“The trucking companies that we do business with everyday are requesting that the people we educate, be educated on automatic transmissions. We will continue to answer the needs of our customer”, said Kim Richardson, president of KRTS.
Industry experts say there are a number of reasons and a good rational for the change. They say automatic transmissions will expand recruitment and retention potential, improve fuel economy and reduce Green House Gas (GHG) output of fleets, as well as potentially reduce insurance claims.
Lisa Arseneau of Pearson Dunn Insurance commented, “As an Insurance Professional in the Transportation Industry, I see the move to allowing all applicants attempting a Class A road test (upgrade or renewal) to use commercial vehicles, including dump trucks, equipped with either a manual or automatic transmission provided all other minimum vehicle configuration requirements are met as a welcome initiative on a safety level. Enabling a commercial truck driver to operate their vehicle with an automatic transmission will lend itself to focusing their concentration on safety habits such as visual scanning, awareness of surroundings and safe maneuvering without pulling that attention to shifting. From a claims perspective, I feel that it could also lessen truck roll back on upgrades as well, and provide for a less stressful working in cab environment.”
Richardson says, “We will continue to offer training on manual, multispeed transmissions so our clients will be able to competently operate a truck with either transmission, but the industry, our customer, has spoken and we need to listen.”