The Province of Manitoba has a class licence system that differentiates a professional driver from a non-professional driver. But sometimes, even if driving isn’t part of your career, how you spend your leisure time might have an impact on what class of licence you require.

It’s safe to say that most people in the province drive under a Class 5 licence, permitting the operator to drive passenger cars, trucks with two axles, SUVs, vans, and most (but not all) RVs. If your RV or vehicle/trailer combination has more than two axles or weighs more than 4,540 kilograms (10,000 pounds), you may need to upgrade your licence to a Class 3. To confirm the weight of your RV, look for the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), typically located on a sticker inside the driver door, or in your owner’s manual. Don’t forget to estimate and include the weight of your contents, it can add up quickly!

The requirements for Class 3 licensing are designed to ensure that anyone driving a vehicle within these parameters has received proper instruction about how to operate a vehicle with increased height and weight. These vehicles have logistical challenges that are unique to them, such as visibility issues and changes in driving conditions like rain, snow, or high wind.

If you think you need to upgrade your licence, contact First Class Training Centre. If you have questions, we can help you understand Manitoba’s licensing requirements. We offer the highest standard of Class 3 driver training, combining in-class instruction with practical in-vehicle training to give you the knowledge and confidence you need to navigate safely in your RV.

Short Haul Trucking

When you think of a career as a truck driver, chances are you envision endless kilometers of highway, truck stop dinners, and days away from home.

While there are a lot of opportunities for “over the road” long haul truckers, there are also jobs that can keep you closer to home.

Short haul drivers generally work in a constrained geographical area, which allows them to be home each night, which is ideal for young families. Many people would forego the generally higher paying long-haul gigs in favour of the domestic stability that short-haul driving affords.

Unlike long-haul jobs, short-haul driving is much more routine in nature. The company you work for will likely have a steady roster of clients it does work for, so you’ll be visiting the same locations more frequently.

The type of equipment you use will be more varied in short haul trucking. You may work for a company that uses smaller vehicles and require only a Class 3 Manitoba License (typically easier to obtain than a Class 1). You may operate a dump trailer as part of your work, and even the biggest trucks you drive will be shorter, as they are “day cabs”, trucks without a sleeping compartment.

In addition to the ability to be home daily, some people simply prefer the varied pace and variety of assignments they find working as short haul drivers. You will need special training and licensing for the job, as well as a regular physical and medical exam.

If you’re considering a career in short haul trucking, visit First Class Training Centre in Winnipeg or Brandon. We’re Manitoba’s Premiere Truck Driving School. Contact us online or call Toll Free 1-(855) 632-5302.

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.

G & T Class 1 Training Ltd Joins Forces with First Class Training

We are very excited to announce that G & T Class 1 Training Ltd. has joined forces with First Class Training Centre Ltd. as of March 21st, 2014.  With this addition, we’ve added 4 more trucks and trailers as well as 4 more instructors to our team. We would like to officially welcome you to our team and family.

This marks a very exciting time for us, here at First Class Training Centre.  From the very beginning, it was our goal to offer the highest standard of Class 1, Class 3 and related driver training to all of our students.  Beyond the basic training required to pass the test, we’ve always felt it was important to train our drivers for the road.

With the addition of these 4 new trucks and trailers as well as the 4 experienced instructors (coming from the G&T team), we are proud to say we are one step farther in the right direction.  We look forward to more great things to come!

Coming to Canada to Work in Trucking

At First Class Training Centre, we get a lot of inquiries from people who are immigrants to Canada, wanting to know about careers in trucking.  Many of these people are trained and licensed in other countries, and want to know how to bring their skills to work in Canada.

We always refer them to Trucking HR, who have a specially designed portal where immigrants to Canada can find the information they need about our industry, and how to take part in it.

The long and short of the matter is that, to work in the Canadian trucking industry, you must be trained and licensed in this country.  Because the safety regulations and operating requirements differ greatly from place to place around the world, it’s essential that truck drivers on the road in Canada must earn their licenses here.

New or foreign trained drivers who want to work are likely to find that they’re welcomed by employers with open arms.   According to a recent Global News report, a Winnipeg-based transportation company has been travelling to Jamaica to actively recruit drivers for their operation here.

If you’re a new Canadian who’s already here, you can start the process of earning your Class 1 or Class 3 license to drive trucks in Canada at one of Winnipeg’s many independent driving schools.

If you want excellent training, with instructors that are real truckers, with a combined experience in the industry totaling more than 200 years, look no further than First Class Training Centre.  Our instructors are an excellent source of information for those who want to find out more about the business, and training for those who decide to prepare for a career in the industry. Contact us online or call Toll Free (1-(855) 632-5302, or in the Winnipeg area call 204-632-5302.

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.

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.