According the United States Department of Transportation, Department of Motor Carriers, Vol. 25, No. 1, Jan. 1997, On Guard:
“Recent contacts with truck and bus operators indicate that some, particularly smaller operators, are mistakenly assuming that if a driver possesses a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), he or she is trained and experienced commercial vehicle driver. This it not true and can be a very dangerous mistake. All prospective employers of commercial drivers should be aware of the following facts:
- A CDL does not indicate that he holder is a trained or experienced truck or bus driver.
- A CDL merely indicates that the holder has passed minimal skills knowledge tests concerning the type of vehicle he or she proposes to drive.
- A CDL endorsement does not indicate that he holder is trained or experienced in the area covered by the endorsement.
- A CDL endorsement merely indicates that the holder has passed a minimal knowledge test concerning the area covered by the endorsement.
- It is incumbent upon prospective employer of a commercial vehicle driver to ensure that driver is properly trained to operate that employer’s trucks or buses and to handle that employer’s freight or passengers.
Title 49 CFR 391.11(b)(3) (Qualification of Drivers) requires that a driver must be able, by reason of experience, training, or both, to safely operate the commercial motor vehicle he or she drives. This requirement is not met simply by ascertaining that a prospective driver holds a CDL.
Although the CDL Tank (T) and Hazmat (H) endorsements may satisfy part of the Hazmat training requirements of Title 49 CFR Part 172 (Subpart H), possession of these endorsements do no relieve the employer of the responsibility for providing Hazmat training.”