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Alberta provides truck training exemptions for farmers

Alberta provides truck training exemptions for farmers

Eligible producers can apply for a farm-restricted Class 1 driver’s license

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The Alberta government is providing farmers flexibility when it comes to truck licensing.

As of April 1, and after the successful completion of a Class 1 test and other necessary components, eligible farmers and family members can apply for a farm-restricted Class 1 license and skip mandatory entry-level training (MELT).

Drivers who wish to obtain air brake and other endorsements must complete those courses.

Under this farm-restricted license, farmers and family members can operate a Class 1 vehicle with a “P” condition code, meaning they must comply with farm restrictions.

Eligible family members include spouses, children, parents, aunts, uncles and nieces.

Drivers can operate Class 1 vehicles, include tractor trailers, within the province of Alberta and for farming purposes.

These purposes include deliveries of farm products, grains or farm produce to a farmer’s farm, or to a market. Materials and equipment intended for farm use can be transported as well.

Alberta has more than 149,000 licensed Class 1 drivers, but only about 31 per cent drive trucks, government data says.

And a TruckingHR Canada study of Alberta’s trucking industry released in 2023 showed a gap of more than 1,700 drivers in 2021.

Industry groups are pleased to see the provincial government take this step to minimize the pressure of finding licensed drivers.

“The farmer Class 1 licence exemption is a positive first step to alleviate the trucking shortages impacting farms and ranches. Alberta Beef Producers is looking forward to working with the government and stakeholders on future steps in transportation to ensure a healthy agricultural supply chain for Albertans,” said Brodie Haugan, chair of Alberta Beef Producers

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