ICBC - Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT)
September 1, 2021 saw the implementation of a new website location and design for ICBC's driver training information. Of interest on the new site is information on teaching the new Class 1 driver Mandatory Entry Level Training known as MELT. There are already a number of driving schools that are offering MELT training and they can be found here.
Here's a link to the 524 page student manual that potential class 1 driver is expected to master before taking their driver's test.
The course standards and curriculum framework guide the driving schools in delivering MELT training. It is based on Canada's National Safety Code Standard 16 and is supposed to exceed those standards.
The foreward to Standard 16 says:
While some of the elements relate to work environments, it is not intended to focus on training and knowledge related to employment environments. Additional training and learning is expected to be provided on the job, related to employment specific to business operations and the types of vehicles, cargo and driving undertaken as part of the business.
MELT training comes into force on October 18, 2021.
The BC Trucking Association champions MELT:
After nearly a decade of advocacy, BCTA applauds the Provincial Government for introducing mandatory entry-level training (MELT) for Class 1 commercial driver’s license applicants. Implementation of a provincial MELT program is essential to protect road users and to help attract and retain qualified drivers to meet BC’s growing transportation needs.
If you are considering taking MELT training to obtain your class 1 licence, there my be funding and grant opportunities available to you.
Considering taking MELT training?
What choices will Class 1 prospective drivers have, from October 18th?
For instance, could a driver still get his C1 Learner's (with air endorsement) and then learn with a buddy, or another company driver?
And what about a driver who already holds his C1 Driver License in another jurisdiction, who moves to BC?
Separately, I'm surprised how few Driver Training Schools that offer Class 1 instruction have so far qualified to teach the MELT program.
I know Canada has two
I know Canada has two official languages but in my opinion anyone holding a commercial licence in the province of B.C. has to write the test and study the manual that should only be available in English.
Yes we have International signage but I want to know that if there is any verbal communication or signs that are not standard that at least the commercial drivers understand.
For years, we've had Class 1 drivers from Quebec driving around this whole continent, and drivers from this whole continent able to drive in Quebec. This has not been a problem, so far as I'm aware.
Meanwhile, within the EU, drivers can operate from the Netherlands to Norway, or from Poland to Portugal, and there ain't none of them required to demonstrate their ability to comprehend English on tests. Prior to Brexit, it was not just commonplace, but often more likely, when driving on motorways in the UK to see commercial drivers from other countries. They don't all work for Coulthard or Stobbart - heck, most of them have the steering wheel on the wrong side, but somehow they muddle through, eh?
So far as I'm aware, although applicants for the Class 5 or 7 license are able to do their Knowledge Test in something like ten different languages, (this eliminates fraud by using a dishonest translator), their Road Test will be conducted in English. But I'm pretty sure this is not the case for any potential commercial driver.
So if a Driving School was to provide instruction for a potential Class 1 licensee, what does it matter whether it's taught in their 'native tongue' - I hope that's still a 'woke' thing to say these days lol - if they comprehend what's being taught? When I go past a Brake Check, I'd rather see a Mexican under the hood using his 9/16" wrench than some moron from Montana who never made it out of high school who prefers to sit in the cab without making any effort to check his rig.
Frankly, there's already an awful lot of 'white guys' out there who don't even know how to shift a roadranger when they're on a hill. But over the last several years, most of the 'professional' driving schools in BC seem to have been desperately trying to furnish automatic transmission trucks in order to make it as simple as possible for drivers to obtain their licenses. And they're all doing this in English, eh?
When I got my licence in 1956 even for a passenger car if you took your licence on an automatic you were restricted to automatics. I certainly hope that if you get a Class 1 on an automatic you are restricted to automatic? Being old school Roadrangers are new and I wonder how many drivers today could shift a 5 & 4. And if you're interested I can.
I wouldn't compare the EU to North America. Very few only know one language.
Why? I have a hill to get home. Once the snow hits the road there isn't a month goes by that I am not held up waiting for a person that cannot speak English that has failed to chain up and not capable of backing down the hill. When you are stopped in a line-up for a couple of hours when I could walk home in 5 minutes you do, or at least I have, become biased. It would be different if language was only occasionally unfortunately it isn't.
Answering your initial question.
In BC, they dropped that requirement back in 1960, and ceased to note whether a manual transmission was used (although there was for many years to potential to incur extra demerits during a road test for stalling, coasting, missing a gear, or failing to keep control on a hill start).
Just as a point of jurisdictional comparison, I believe that to this day in the UK, drivers who take their basic test on an automatic wil still receive a restriction unless the driver re-takes the test in a standard shift vehicle; or can produce evidence (in the case of licencees obtaining a UK license under a reciprocity agreement with a country like Canada or wherever) that they originally passed on a gearshift vehicle).
Meanwhile, right here on this website we were just provided with an item on Driver's License Restrictions.
A driver would be restricted to Automatic only under Restriction 28, if that's what they tested on in a truck. So there you go.
I've also driven a 5 + 4 ... very easy to end up in some kind of neutral, it has to be said, especially on a hill! But let's face it, they're just about museum pieces now, like the 1911 Overland I once drove - and shifted all the way up and down the box whilst accelerating and braking, something many truck drivers couldn't manage without a lot of noise.