Frontier Cooperative will now be offering third-party commercial driver’s license testing out of its Brainard office.
According to the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles website, a CDL is required to drive any vehicle with a weight of 26,001 pounds or more, such as a tractor-trailer or semi-truck. A person must go through a series of written and driving tests in order to qualify for a CDL.
Frontier Coop Safety Director Cody Hull has recently become authorized as a third-party tester by the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles. Hull is authorized to conduct a visual vehicle inspection, the basic controls skills test and the on-road driving test. The written tests for the license must be performed at a DMV office, like the one at 451 N. 5th St. in David City open on Mondays.
“We thought it would be more efficient and easier on time to come to Brainard where we take care of it here,” Hull said, about the test. “Instead of taking your test and scheduling it through the DMV, you still schedule it through the DMV, but you schedule it through a third-party tester (as well).”
Frontier will offer these third-party testing services for free for company employees and at the cost of $250 for outside parties, which includes two attempts. Frontier employees can take the test on a company vehicle while outside parties must bring their own vehicle.
Frontier Coop CEO Randy Robeson said 90 percent of the company's employees require a CDL. As scheduling a driver’s test could potentially require a person to wait weeks or even months for an appointment, he said it made sense for the company to be able to perform the driver’s test themselves.
“It's not only great for Frontier but great for the community,” Robeson said.
Hull said the company has been offering the test since July and so far has tested about a dozen people. He said he has tested people from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, a maintenance worker from Lincoln and some local farmers who are expanding their operations to commercial farming.
A 2014 state law (Legislative Bill 983) excludes farmers from requiring CDL to drive state registered covered farm vehicles within 150 miles of their farm or ranch of origin. But those interested in hauling crops long distances commercially need a CDL.
In order to become a certified tester, Hull had to complete 40 hours of online coursework and an additional 40-hour course through Southeast Community College.
“I’m so proud of him,” Robeson said, about Hull becoming a tester. “ Because it’s not an easy thing to do,”
For more information on how to schedule a test with Hull, those interested can call him at 402-403-2294 or visit www.frontiercooperative.com/safety/cdl-third-party-testing.
“It’s just one more service that we can provide our patrons,” Hull said.
Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.