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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has approved the Intermodal Association of North America's (IANA) exemption request for equipment inspectors' training, IANA officials announced yesterday.
IANA applied for the exemption so a chassis mechanic could be qualified as an equipment or brake inspector, provided that he or she has successfully completed a training program consistent with the intermodal-recommended practices described in the IANA Guide to Chassis Inspection and Repair.
Without the exemption, an individual must have a combination of training or experience totaling at least one year for qualification, IANA officials said in a press release.
In requesting the exemption, the association maintains that a performance-based approached to training can be as or more effective than time-based training, they said.
"The anticipated benefits from this exemption are industry-wide, including greater safety, reduced roadside breakdowns and improved customer service," said IANA President and Chief Executive Officer Joni Casey. "This will also lay the groundwork for the recruitment of much needed industry resources."
Between 25,000 to 30,000 mechanics across the United States are now qualified to work on intermodal equipment. The industry's need is closer to 40,000 mechanics, however.