NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A Nacogdoches business owner is upset over a state backlog in conducting behind-the-wheel commercial drivers license tests. The sign maker and installer said it's jeopardizing the ability to serve his customers.
Tracy Aylor has all the multi-faceted qualifications as a sign installer for Monday Sign Service.
"You have to be an electrician, a welder, a sheet metal operator, a crane operator," said Jason Monday, the owner of Sign Shop.
And a commercial truck driver, a license Aylor has been trying to get for months from the Department of Public Safety. Aylor passed his written test with flying colors. Problem is there's no one around to issue the behind the wheel driving test.
"I can't get in to take my driving test within my 90-day window," Aylor said. "Next Wednesday will be my deadfall on my date. I can't make it because they don't have enough employees to supply the demands of the public."
Monday says it's the same story at DPS offices from Houston to Texarkana. He's called them all. There's concern Aylor will have to start the entire process, fees and everything, all over again.
"The bigger companies are taking up the blocks that are available for at least a month in advance because they have high turnover rates and a company like mine, who is small and doesn't anticipate the need for a driver, we really lose out," Monday said. "We don't really have the opportunity to get in there."
Monday bought a smaller truck not requiring a CDL. It's no good for huge sign deliveries. So Monday is on the road. Right now, he's the only licensed class A CDL driver.
"I can operate one truck to the job site easily," Monday said. "It's the second and third trucks that's the problem."
Aylor is confident about taking the behind the wheel CDL test, but admits the frustrating dilemma creates additional pressure to pass.
State budget shortfalls have led to reduced staffing. Monday is lobbying for change. Meanwhile, he's hopeful his employee will obtain an unguaranteed testing slot in Houston for next week. Fuel, labor and insurance for the trip costs the company about $700.