Letters: CDL Examiners; Herald Smith

These Letters to the Editor appear in the Aug. 17 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.

CDL Examiners’ Uncompromising Commitment

The article by Eric Miller regarding the Government Accountability Office’s report on commercial driver license exam oversight was well-written.

For more than five years, I have been a third-party CDL examiner. I can’t speak for all states that utilize third-party testers but only for New Mexico, which relies entirely on third-party examiners. The state’s Motor Vehicle Division closely monitors the process. Routine scheduled, random and covert audits are performed to ensure the integrity of examiners and their tests.

I have been co-scored on exams by both representatives of the state and by administrators of the CDL exam contractor. I, along with the other third-party examiners here in New Mexico, hold our responsibility in the highest regard. Our uncompromising commitment to certifying proficient applicants into the ranks of professional drivers is without consideration to the driver shortage. The reliability and consistency of testing ensures only qualified applicants receive a CDL.

The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators’ standards are followed in their entirety. I take my responsibilities very seriously and am proud of my evaluation of prospective drivers. I test a wide array of applicants coming from different training environments, and I am most impressed with the quality of those coming out of the community college training programs. Far and above, these are the most knowledgeable and skilled candidates I come across. Although these programs are often longer, they are far from the most expensive. I would urge anyone to look at trucking for a fulfilling career and explore all options for training before committing.

Jim Wilcox

Certified CDL Examiner

New Mexico 2006 National Driver of the Year

American Trucking Associations


The Passing of A Trailblazer

I was saddened to read in the Aug. 3 Transport Topics of the passing of CRST founder Herald Smith.

Early in my association career in Washington D.C., I had occasion to get to know Mr. Smith and his young son, John, when the pair came calling at our offices at the National Industrial Transportation League to discuss how the firm could become more active with the league and its members.

This was in the nascent period of motor carrier deregulation when forward-thinking industry executives understood the value of getting closer to their customers and trade groups, absent the constraints and prohibitions of pre-1980 regulation. CRST became a mainstay at NITL’s November annual meetings for years thereafter.

I agree with (American Trucking Associations President) Bill Graves’ description of Mr. Smith as “a trailblazer and a leader” in the trucking industry having witnessed it firsthand.

John A. McQuaid

MCQ Management Associates

Elverson, Pennsylvania