After months of consultation, the Saskatchewan government introduced new training requirements for driving a semi for a farm or ranch operation. The changes follow the implementation of 121.5 mandatory training hours for Class 1 commercial semi drivers that came into effect March 15, 2019.
Currently those that drive truck have to obtain an ‘F’ endorsement as a temporary exemption from the new rules, but that’s about to change.
Come March 1, 2020, anyone wishing to obtain an ‘F’ endorsement on their existing driver’s licence will be required to take 40 hours of commercial driver training. The ‘F’ endorsement will include a restriction that the holder can drive a farm vehicle normally requiring a Class 1 driver’s licence only within a 100-km radius of the address on the vehicle registration, and is restricted to operating within Saskatchewan’s borders.
Then, as of March 1, 2021, the ‘F’ endorsement will be eliminated, and anyone wanting to operate a semi will require a Class 1 driver’s licence, which will include taking the full 121.5-hour mandatory training program. This includes all ‘F’ endorsement holders, who will need to complete the training program; however, drivers who have previously taken 40 hours of training toward the ‘F’ endorsement will be given credit for those hours.
According to a news release, anyone who obtained a Class 1 licence before mandatory training was implemented is allowed to continue to drive a semi.
“We wanted to take some more time to consult with the farm sector on the impacts mandatory training would have on their industry, recognizing that vehicles used in farming operations are – in most cases – not on the roads as much as commercial semis; they also tend to travel shorter distances, and through areas with lower traffic volumes,” says Minister Responsible for SGI, Joe Hargrave.
“That consultation work is now complete. The majority of people we consulted in the agriculture sector agreed training was necessary to improve safety for everyone travelling on our roads.”