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Deadline extended for farm truck driver course

Farmworkers driving semi trucks have been given an extension on mandatory training in Alberta. The NDP government announced on Wednesday that workers will have until March 1st of 2020 to complete the new Mandatory Entry Level Training driving program. The new rules are due to start on Friday.

Alberta Pulse Growers Chairman of the Board Don Shepert also farms near the St.Brides area. He says the delay is warranted because of the new changes it’s asking from the Ag industry.

“Drivers used to get tests done in a week fairly easily. They’d get the guy trained and get his license fairly quickly with the old system. The new system is just going to take a while to get going.”

The new standards to be met include 40.5 hours of in-class study and 57 hours behind the wheel before drivers are given the OK. Shepert says most farmers are in agreement that the program will make for safer drivers.

“As far as that goes, safety is a priority for everybody. This will increase safety.”

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Eligible workers have to apply for an extension on the plan through Alberta Transportation. A standard Class 1 license will also have to be obtained before November 30th.

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