Monthly Archives: January 2014

Information Sessions – Thompson, MB

Today is the day!

We will be holding 2 information sessions today in Thompson, Manitoba for drivers that are interested in receiving Class 1 or Class 3 Driver Training and becoming a professional driver.

The information sessions will take place in the TRCC Multi Purpose Room at 3:00 pm and again at 7:00 pm.

Interested in arranging a group driver training session? Give us a call at 204-632-5302.

Fighting Fatigue – Staying Awake (and Healthy) During Night Runs

Driving at night has a lot of advantages for a long-haul truck driver.  There’s a lot less traffic on the road, making it easier to earn money when you’re paid by the kilometer. Fuel costs are reduced, and you’ll use the brakes a lot less frequently.

Unfortunately, the human body isn’t designed to be awake at night.  Our internal clocks are dictated by the circadian rhythm of the sun – and haven’t really gotten the hang of the changes that modern living and electric light have brought about.  As a result, fatigue is often a factor in nighttime driving accidents.  Here are some things you can do to keep fatigue from being a factor for you.

Keep a Regular Sleeping Cycle

If you drive a lot of nights, resist the urge to stay awake too long when the daylight hits.  You’ll naturally wake up a bit when the sun rises.  Fight this by sleeping with blinds on the windows.  On your days off, don’t completely “flip” your sleeping cycle – your body will get confused.

Don’t Rely on Caffeine or Carbohydrates

Coffee and sugary foods are both short-term solutions to fatigue, and both deliver a “crash” after only a short time.  Another dose might be effective, but for an even shorter term.  Stick to healthy foods – your energy level will be more consistent, and your waistline will thank you.

Get Exercise

A fit driver is a more capable driver.  Long haul trucking can make it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle – you need to go out of your way to ensure that you are in top shape to take on the rigors of the road.  A quick run around the truck when refueling or at a rest stop can get your blood flowing for the next few kilometers, and a good exercise regimen will pay dividends for years to come.

If You’re Too Tired to Drive – Don’t

No matter what your logbook says, fatigue impairs your ability to drive.  Pull over and take a nap – nobody will fault you for putting your safety, and everyone else’s, first.

When you take driver training At First Class Training Centre in Winnipeg, you’ll get the benefit of highly experienced trainers with decades of industry experience.   Call us Toll Free 1-855-632-5302.

How to Deal with Black Ice

Black ice isn’t really black.  It’s clear. And it’s extremely dangerous.

Black ice is a thin layer of frozen water on the surface of the road.  The asphalt underneath shows through, making it appear as though the pavement is merely wet.

Since it will occur at times when much of the road has water on it, black ice is often nearly impossible to detect until you are driving on it, at which time the slightest change in speed or direction can have catastrophic results.

When should you worry about black ice?

Water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius.  Temperatures can fluctuate over short distances due to local changes in atmosphere, the makeup of road surfaces, and changes in sunlight falling on the road.  Generally, you should be cautious when the temperature drops to 5 degrees or so. Bridges and other elevated sections of road develop ice first, because air can circulate underneath and lower their temperature faster than roads directly on the ground.

How can I spot black ice?

Most of the time, you can’t see it – you need to anticipate it.  Anytime the temperature gets close to freezing, watch the upper corners of your windshield and the backs of your mirrors.  If ice forms there, it will form on the road surface.  Look for spray coming up from the wheels of other vehicles.  Ice won’t splash up as water does.  Be especially careful on bridges and in shaded areas.

How can I prevent an accident?

Anytime you suspect icy conditions, reduce your speed significantly.  Remember, braking capacity will be greatly compromised, and even a simple lane-change can cause a wreck.  Triple your regular following distance.

How do I handle a skid?

If you start to skid, depress the clutch pedal quickly to disengage the transmission.  Concentrate on putting the truck in front of the trailer – the weight of the trailer will cause you to jackknife if you don’t.

At First Class Training Centre, our trainers have decades of real-world trucking experience to draw on.  To find out what makes us the city’s best truck driving school, visit us online or call Toll Free 1-855-632-5302.

In the Winnipeg area call 204-632-5302.

Trucking In Winter

Truck drivers do a whole lot more than hang on to a steering wheel and watch the kilometers pass.  Out there on the road, they are the manager, driver, navigator, communications technician, and safety officer.

When driving in winter conditions, there are a lot of things that a driver needs to do to manage the business of getting themselves and their loads from A to B.  Here are some tips for driving transport truck in the winter:

Be comfortable. If the road conditions get to the point where every kilometer is nerve-wrecking, you’re headed for trouble.  Time to pull off and let it pass.  Watch other truckers – if they’re getting off the highway in droves, there’s probably a reason.  Seek experienced drivers at the truck stop or on the CB, and follow their advice.

Be prepared. In the event that you have to stop somewhere less civilized than a truck stop, or go off the road and have to wait for a rescue, make sure you have some survival gear in the truck. Extra blankets, water, food, a first aid kit, and some candles are essential winter travelling companions.

Make sure you have plenty of fuel. In winter, you can find yourself in a traffic jam for hours, and you don’t want to be worrying about how much diesel you have.  When the temperature gets cold, diesel fuel will gel and your truck won’t run.  When driving in winter conditions, make sure you use an anti-gelling additive.  Buy some extra ahead of time, because it can get scarce at truck stops when everybody suddenly remembers that they need it.

Go easy.  No load is worth your life.  Don’t drive faster than conditions will allow, and if they won’t allow driving at all, don’t.

At First Class Training Centre, we’re in the business of preparing people for the real world conditions they will experience in the trucking industry.  To find out about an exciting career in transportation, visit us online or call Toll Free 1-855-632-5302.

In the Winnipeg area call 204-632-5302.