Category Archives: Class 1 Driver Training

Women Becoming Commonplace as Professional Drivers

Next time you’re on the road and you happen look in to the cab of a semi –truck, don’t be surprised if you see a smiling woman’s face.  At First Class Training Centre we are excited about the trend of the growing numbers of women choosing to become a professional driver.

First Class Driver Training for Women

The career of a professional driver is rewarding, challenging, and inclusive.  As the North American economy heats up and driver shortages become more critical, the industry is lucky to see more women enter the workforce.

First Class is the leader in Class 1 training for everyone.  Our facilities are bright, modern and welcoming.  We continue to be committed to excellence in everything we do.  If you are interested in driver training in Winnipeg or rural Manitoba, check out First Class and ask a graduate about us.  They’ll tell you that our professionalism, attention to detail and the best instructor to student ratio in the business makes a difference.

Here’s to you for making the right choice for driver education.

The Class in Class 1 at First Class Training Centre

At First Class Training Centre, we like to think that we put the class back into Class 1 Driver Training.  Let’s talk about “class” from 3 different perspectives.

Excellence in Driver Training

1.  Class is where you go to learn.  Our “classes” at First Class offer the some of the best student to teacher ratio in the country.  All of our instructors have years of experience in the trucking industry and our curriculum is industry recognized as one of the best in the business
2.  First Class is really First Class. Everything we do at First Class is done with the highest standards in the industry.  Our facilities in Brandon and Winnipeg are modern and bright, and the equipment you train on is the latest generation tractor trailers.  We also offer the only mobile training centre in Manitoba.   We treat you with respect and have more one on one time than any other truck training provider.
3. It’s about giving you class. We know that you have made a big commitment to get your Class 1 Driver Training through us.   By the time you finish your training, you will have developed the self confidence to be great as a professional driver.  We want you to be proud of your career and build your confidence to be the best you can be.

Back to School is Just Around the Corner – Are You Ready to go back to school for a Career as a Professional Truck Driver?

Many people think of the start of September as the time when kids go back to school.

Maybe you have a young family, and find yourself in a job that doesn’t seem to fit or pay that well.  You’re having trouble to make ends meet.   Maybe it’s time to think of your next career move to start making some real money.

A career as a professional truck driver is rewarding and pays well.  The good news is that there is a definite need for graduates of Class 1 licensing.   Better news is that First Class Driver Training is the most respected and well run training school in the province of Manitoba. First Class Driver Training has offices in Winnipeg and Brandon and offers mobile training to most parts of Manitoba.

First Class Driver Training is the industry leader in driver education in Winnipeg and Manitoba.  Our graduates are successful in finding work all across Canada and the United States. We are PVI accredited and have one of the best teacher to student ratios in the business.

Compensation in the Trucking Industry: What’s Fair?

Given that the trucking industry is such a lifestyle-based profession, there are probably as many opinions as to what an attractive compensation package is are there are truckers. The trucking industry can include so many variables in terms of compensation that go beyond a salary and a rate paid per kilometer travelled.

Our friends at Trucking HR Canada, a national partnership-based organization, have written a blog to guide organizations through the compensation development process, and have laid out some great tips to help manage the expectations of employer and employee.

Click here to read the article and here to learn more about Trucking HR Canada.

What Are the Requirements to be Employed in the Trucking Industry?

According to Service Canada, the past few years have shown an increase in the number of truck drivers in Canada. The increase is due primarily to Canada’s overall economic growth and more specifically, growth in international trade, particularly with the United States. Job prospects in this occupation are considered fair and the number of truck drivers is expected to increase slightly in the coming years.

Increased job opportunities will result primarily from the need to replace retiring truck drivers, with the 2011 National Household Survey data reflecting 54.5% of employed truck drivers are between the ages of 45 and 64.

While the job opportunities may be there, you have to know yourself and recognize whether you will enjoy the lifestyle that goes along with being a truck driver. Some examples of occupational titles include: bulk goods truck driver; dump truck driver; flatbed truck driver; logging truck driver; long-haul truck driver; moving van driver; tow truck driver; etc.

Whether you choose to work as a long-haul truck driver or short-haul truck driver, a good portion of your time will be spent alone and possibly away from home, friends, and family for extended periods. If that sounds like it would suit you fine, you can rest assured that opportunities exist in the trucking industry, and a stable, long-term career is essentially guaranteed.

Employment requirements can vary, and oftentimes, on-the-job training is provided, however completion of secondary school is usually required. It’s probably also beneficial to have a good driving record!

Driver licensing requirements vary from province to province, but certain things are standard, such as the air brake endorsement requirement for drivers who operate vehicles equipped with air brakes, and the transportation of dangerous good (TDG) certification is required for drivers who transport hazardous products or dangerous goods.

The only thing that you need to decide is whether a stable career in a growing industry is something that appeals to you, and you can talk to us about the rest, we’ll steer you in the right direction!

Pros and Cons of Being an Owner-Operator

Most truck drivers begin their careers working for a trucking company, which provides the equipment, schedules the loads, and pays the driver by the kilometer.

Some drivers see the potential in becoming Owner/Operators, meaning that they will buy a truck and handle the business aspects for themselves.

PROS
There is increased earning potential in owning your own truck, as well as a lot more freedom to make decisions about what you’ll carry, where you’ll take it, and for whom you’ll work. Many Owner/Operators enjoy the business so much that they’ll purchase additional trucks and hire more drivers. For the right type of person, it’s an excellent opportunity.

CONS
Like everything, being an Owner/Operator isn’t without its downside. The potential for earning is larger, but so is the risk. All costs of the truck (maintenance, repair, fuel, licensing) will be your responsibility, as is managing loading of your truck. Every moment your wheels aren’t turning or your trailer is empty costs you money.

If you have what it takes to be a successful long haul truck driver (self-motivation, responsibility, and a desire for freedom) it’s likely you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Most people begin their careers by working for someone else, and learning the business from the inside. They then take what they’ve learned (both the things they liked, and those they didn’t) and strike out on their own.

First Class Training Centre has instructors who can prepare you for your career in the road freight industry. We’ll do more than just help you get a license – we’ll help you start a career. We have decades of hands-on experience in the industry, at all levels. Contact us online or call Toll Free 1-(855) 632-5302.

Long Haul Trucking

If the thought of spending long hours on the open highway, criss-crossing Canada or the USA alone in the cab of an 18-wheeler excites you, you should consider a career in long haul trucking.

For the right type of person, long haul truck driving is a great job, but it’s not for everyone.

The Perfect Fit
Class 1 Long Haul Driver TrainingThe right type of person for long haul driving is self-motivated, loves travel, and enjoys being alone. It’s ideal for independent people who can work without supervision, and still get the job done. The pressure of scheduling while complying with all of the relevant laws regarding rest time, can be quite complicated. Only the most success-minded people are able to do the job at a high level.

There’s nobody out there on the road with you (except other drivers), so you’ll have to be able to spend long periods of time by yourself, with nothing but your thoughts and the radio for entertainment.

The most important quality in a long haul driver, in our experience, is a love of travel. It’s not a job for homebodies. The best truck drivers enjoy the freedom of the open road, and while they might enjoy the comforts of home, are equally happy out on the road.

Requirements
In Manitoba, you’ll need a Class 1 License to drive a transport truck, and undergo a regular medical examination. To work in the United States, you’ll need to be at least 21 years of age. You’ll need a good driving record, and in some cases you might have to pass a criminal background check and drug testing.

First Class Training Centre has instructors who can prepare you for your career on the road. We’re Manitoba’s Premiere Truck Driving School, and we have decades of hands-on experience in the business. Contact us online or call Toll Free 1-(855) 632-5302.

Is a Career in Trucking For You?

Movies and TV tend to romanticize the life of the over-the-road trucker. If you’ve ever seen “Smokey and the Bandit”, you’ve seen a very inaccurate portrayal of the road freight business.

In our experience as Manitoba’s premiere provider of driver training, First Class Training is aware of the mythology surrounding the trucking life, and as licensed and experienced drivers ourselves, we want to make sure you’re presented with an accurate portrait of your future career, in order to make the best decisions about your personal suitability for the job. Here’s the skinny:

Long hours, mostly away from home. If you’re an over-the-road (long haul) trucker, you can expect to spend days at a time criss-crossing Canada or the United States. It can be challenging to spend this amount of time away from family for many.

It’s solitary. In some circumstances, drivers work in teams, but the bulk of long haul driving is solitary. If you require social interaction in your job, trucking is probably not for you.

Changing scenery. You will have the opportunity to visit places you wouldn’t ordinarily get to see. If you’ve got an urge to see new places, the view from behind the windshield of a semi is hard to beat.

Freedom and Responsibility. While you will have an employer to answer to and a schedule to keep, you will be the boss in your truck. If you like to work independently, and don’t mind assuming responsibility for a huge truck and its’ expensive contents, you’ll love the road freight business.

If you’re considering a career in trucking, you need to see the professionals at First Class Training Centre. We have decades of hands-on experience in the industry and can get you on the road to a new and rewarding future. Contact us online or call Toll Free 1-(855) 632-5302.

Canadian Exports to the U.S. On the Rise

While the slowdown in oil production in the Canadian West is largely viewed as a negative influence on the economy, there are select industries that stand to gain from low energy prices and a weak Canadian dollar. Among them are the Canadian manufacturing sector, and the road freight industry.

It’s easy to comprehend that lower fuel costs will mean higher margins for anyone in the transportation business. The invisible benefit is the lower dollar. When the Loonie drops, Canadian products become more attractive to U.S. buyers. As the United States is our largest trading partner, an increase in purchasing from them can profoundly affect the number of shipments going over the border by road.

2015 is shaping up to be a great year, with shipments of Canadian products heading south in large numbers. For our industry, this means a change in the types of jobs that exist for truck drivers. While the Western provinces have been a solid source of jobs for aspiring truckers, a boom in the manufacturing sector means that there are going to be more opportunities to drive products out of Ontario and Quebec, where manufacturing is generally centred.

This means that there are still going to be jobs in trucking – lots of them. A shortfall of truck drivers over the next five years means opportunities for aspiring truckers. If you’re interested in a career in trucking, come and see us at First Class Training Centre. We’re Winnipeg’s premiere truck driver training school, with decades of experience on the road, and hundreds of hours in the classroom preparing drivers for the rigors of the road. Contact us online or call Toll Free (1-(855) 632-5302.

What’s in Your Emergency Kit?

Anytime you’re heading out on the highway, there’s a certain amount of emergency preparation you need to do.  If you’re a local delivery trucker driving in good weather, your emergency preparation kit might consist of a fully charged cellphone, some extra snacks and water, and a $20 bill tucked in the back of your wallet.

If you’re a long-haul operator working solo for days at a time, you need considerably more gear in your emergency kit.  And if it’s winter, when the weather can leave you stranded at a moment’s notice, there’s a lot more planning that you need to do.  Here are some suggested items for your emergency bag:
1)    Cellphone and extra battery  – In an emergency, communication can be the difference between life and death.  Make sure your phone operates and that all your batteries are charged.
2)    Food and Water – In winter, take enough with you to last a couple of days.  A dense energy source (granola bars, etc.) and a big jug of water are must0haves.
3)    Extra Clothes and a Blanket – You may be stranded without heat, or you may have to leave your truck.  Make sure you have clothing that’s appropriate for very cold weather.  Don’t forget your hands and feet – extra socks and gloves.
4)    Light and Heat – A candle can provide both if you’re stranded in your truck without heat.
5)    Tools – No need to go overboard, but some basic necessities can get you out of a jam.  Screwdrivers and a small socket set can take care of most immediate needs.

6)    Currency – if the power is out, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to use credit or debit.  In these situations, a little bit of extra cash can go a long way.
At First Class Training Centre, we give aspiring truck drivers the training they need for challenging and rewarding careers in the transportation industry. Contact us online or call Toll Free (1-(855) 632-5302.