Monthly Archives: September 2014

Planning Your Drive South to Escape the Winter?

If you’re planning to take a trip in a recreational vehicle, you need to ensure that you are correctly licensed to take to the road before you leave.

In Manitoba, most people drive under a Class 5 license, which qualifies the operator for most cars, light trucks, SUVs, vans, and many (but not all) RVs.  If your RV or vehicle/trailer combo has more than two axles, or weighs more than 4,540 Kgs (10,000 lbs.) you will likely need to upgrade to a Class 3 license. To check the weight of your RV, check the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR).  It’s usually located on a sticker on the post inside the driver door, or in the owner’s manual.

This requirement for a Class 3 license ensures that anyone driving such a vehicle has received specialized instruction that deals specifically with the challenges entailed in operating a vehicle with increased height and weight.  These vehicles have specific visibility issues, and will be impacted differently than passenger vehicles by changes in driving conditions, like rain and high wind.

If you think you might need to upgrade your license, contact First Class Training Centre today.  We offer the highest standard in Class 3 driver training, combining excellent in-class instruction with the best practical in-vehicle training possible, giving you the confidence and experience you need to take to the road safely in your RV.

First Class Training Centre is Winnipeg’s premiere provider of training for drivers needing to obtain licenses to operate larger vehicles.  If you’ve got questions, we can help you navigate Manitoba’s licensing regulations.  If you need training, our instructors have more than 200 years of experience in operating larger vehicles.  Safety is our primary concern.

Contact us online or call Toll Free (1-(855) 632-5302.

In the Winnipeg area call 204-632-5302.

Emerging Tech Trends for Trucks

The Digital Revolution (in which computer technology keeps getting better, and cheaper) is having a huge impact on the world.  Computers have made their way into nearly every aspect of our lives (because we now carry them in our pockets) and have drastically changed the way we live and work. It’s very likely that, in the coming decades, computer technology is going to completely change the face of the road freight industry with the advent of autonomous vehicles.

Google has already built a car that can drive itself.  Many major automakers are in the midst of developing their own programs, betting on a future that involves an “autopilot” that will take on some, or all, of the driving.  In Germany, Daimler has demonstrated the “Highway Pilot” system for commercial trucks, which can take control of the truck about 50% of the time, at speeds up to 85 km/h.  This will reduce the need for the driver to concentrate on the road at all times – he or she will be able to rotate the driver chair 45 degrees, and use a computer to work on other things, like load scheduling or communication.

Daimler hopes to bring this system to market by 2025, provided that governments enact legislation to allow it.

Daimler is quick to point out that a driver will still be required for the truck at all times, in case a situation arises that the Highway Pilot can’t handle.  We’re looking at a model similar to the aviation industry.  Most commercial airliners spend most of their time on autopilot, but a human is always available in the cockpit, ready to assume control of the aircraft.

Many modern trucks now employ computers to aid the driver.  While none of them take direct control of the vehicle, they can detect and sound an alarm if the driver crosses lane markers, speeds, or becomes drowsy.

Still, it’s unlikely that computer autopilots will replace a human behind the wheel any time soon.  Survey after survey has shown that the world isn’t ready for a car (or truck) that drives itself 100% of the time because of safety concerns, which is good news for truckers!