First Class Training Centre Celebrates Canadian Truckers!

It’s been a busy summer full of successful graduates (check out our Facebook page for pics), but now we are gearing up for National Trucking Week and wanted to take a moment to recognize the significant contribution of Canada’s truck drivers to the Canadian economy and workforce.

National Trucking Week, celebrated September 4th thru 10th this year, is a great time to consider the truck driving occupation and the benefits it has to offer. Canada’s national trucking group, The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) launched National Trucking Week in conjunction with the provincial trucking associations, as a way to recognize the men and women who keep the country’s freight moving.

Today, there are about 400,000 truck drivers in Canada, representing over 1% of the population and 1.5% of the labour force – that’s a lot of coast-to-coast movement for one industry!

Check out what the Manitoba Trucking Association has planned for National Trucking Week.

First Class Training Centre will be capping off the week by participating in one of our favourite charity events – Special Olympics Manitoba’s World’s Largest Truck Convoy. The event takes place on Saturday, September 10th, 2016, and this will be our fourth year of participation. We’re proud to be a sponsor of this very worthy cause, and will have trucks participating in the convoy, so look for us around the perimeter!

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.

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.

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.

Our Mobile Classroom and Driving Simulator

At First Class, we’re proud to be the driver training centre with Manitoba’s first fully integrated mobile transport training facility and driving simulator.

Equipped with a fully functioning Tractor Trailer Air Board system and a state-of-the-art Driving Simulator, it is capable of providing comprehensive driver training to the highest industry standards, anywhere in Manitoba.

A full complement of theoretical industry based training facilitated by experienced Certified Manitoba Class 1 instructors is available directly within the training facility. We also offer the ability to develop a curriculum tailored to your organization and its’ needs, including complete orientation programs for newly hired drivers. We can target specific areas of concern such as the simulation of winter driving, night driving, or maneuvering through black ice. Maybe a real simulation of the dangers of distracted driving is needed as a reminder?

Our mobile transport training facility can do all this and so much more. Successful transport companies realize that there is no other single factor that can affect their bottom line as much as well-trained staff in the competitive trucking industry. Our high standard of training may be the competitive edge that your firm needs to be an industry leader.

Whether the goal is lowering your insurance rates and operating costs or simply attracting customers with an enviable safety record, training your drivers is one of the most cost effective high return investments you can make.

Contact First Class Training Centre, in Winnipeg, Brandon, or almost anywhere in the province that you may be, to learn more about this unique training opportunity.

We’re currently in the midst of our 2016 tour with our mobile classroom, so come and check us out when we’re in your community. We are touring the high schools speaking to students, but feel free to drop by and we will try our best to fit you in as well.

February 8 – Rorkerton School – STUDENTS
February 9 – Pine Creek Minegoziibe Anishinabe School – STUDENTS
February 10 – Swan River Swan Valley School – STUDENTS
February 11 – Swan River Friendship Centre – OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
February 12 – The Pas Margaret Barbour Collegiate – STUDENTS
February 13 & 14 – The Pas – OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
February 16 – Cranberry Frontier Collegiate – STUDENTS
February 17 – Flin Flon Hapnot Collegiate – STUDENTS
February 18 – Flin Flon Community – OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
February 19 – Thompson RD Parker Collegiate – STUDENTS
February 20 – Thompson – OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

More dates to come!

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.

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.

Visit us at Manitoba Ag Days January 19-21 2016!

As part of our continued support of the agriculture and transport industries, First Class Training Centre will be hosting an exhibit at Manitoba Ag Days in the Brandon Keystone Centre. You can find us at Booth 414 in the City Square Exhibition Hall.

Manitoba Ag Days is widely known as the largest indoor agricultural show in Canada and attendees can expect to experience the best in agricultural production expertise, technology and equipment. The event attracts exhibitors and spectators from all over Canada and North Central United States.

We will be there showcasing our extensive course offering, which, in addition to Class 1 and Class 3 driver training, also includes safety training, emergency medical training and transportation of dangerous goods. We will have our mobile driving simulator on site, so come and take it for a spin! Try your hand at different scenarios like mountain driving, black ice, and city driving.

Event: Manitoba AgDays
Date: January 19, 20 and 21, 2016
Venue: Brandon Keystone Centre Address: 1 – 1175 – 18th Street, Brandon, Manitoba

Admission and parking are free so be sure to drop by. See you there!

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.

Opportunities Exist in Trucking

Despite the fact that the Canadian economy has slowed in recent months, especially in the petroleum industry, the long-term outlook for truck drivers remains solid.

Experts are predicting a wave of retirements in the coming decade. Coupled with rising demand for goods across the country, a shortfall of 20,000 to 30,000 truck drivers is forecast to hit by the year 2020. For job seekers looking for a long-term career, this is good news. Here are the types of jobs you can look for in the trucking business:

Long Haul (Over the Road) Driver
The bulk of opportunities, especially for new drivers, lie in the long-haul trucking industry. You can expect to spend long periods of time alone and away from home, but will gain experience quickly, be well compensated, and see Canada and the United States from a unique perspective. You’ll drive an 18-wheeler, which requires you to take Class 1 driver training.

Short Haul Driver
These jobs tend to pay a bit less than long haul assignments. Some companies have a limited area in which they do business, and have opportunities that are closer to home, which means you can expect to be home more regularly. Some of these opportunities only require a Class 3 License, which has fewer requirements and is generally easier to earn.

Support Staff
With the increase in the volume of goods moving around by truck, there will be opportunities in the industry that aren’t behind the wheel. Scheduling, dispatching, loading, warehousing and many other “spin-off” jobs are expected to open up as a result of the industry’s continued expansion.

If you’re considering a career in trucking, we have decades of hands-on experience to offer. Come and visit us at First Class Training CentreContact 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.

More Jobs Driving Less Than Truckload

Since it first became a common shipping mode in the 1980s, LTL (Less Than Truckload) shipping has become a staple of the trucking industry. These smaller shipments have made the freight business, and in fact the manufacturing and distribution industries as a whole more competitive, and have changed the way companies move their goods to market.

Previous to the advent of LTL trucking, businesses were restricted to the cost of a full truck to deliver goods, making smaller shipments impractical and giving an advantage to customers who shipped at higher volumes. The LTL model levelled the playing field, giving smaller companies better access to transportation so they could compete more effectively.

Life on the road is different for companies and individuals moving goods that don’t fill the truck. There are more pickups and deliveries, and goods need to be handled more on their way to their destination. For over-the-road haulage, LTL carriers prefer tandem or “pup” trailers, which allows them the ability to drop off half of their load to a terminal, and then continue to a second destination with the other half.

For local delivery, goods are generally moved to a day cab truck, which is shorter because there’s no sleeper compartment. Trailers often utilize roll up doors rather than traditional swing doors, as it makes it easier to load and unload. The truck will be equipped with a pallet jack, as the load will need to be manipulated between shipments.

LTL shipping means more business for smaller companies, and more opportunities for aspiring transportation professionals. We’re forecasting a significant shortage of truck drivers in the short term, which means that carriers that accept LTL shipments will be looking for drivers. If you’re pursuing in a career in trucking, come and see us at Winnipeg’s premiere driving school, First Class Training Centre. Our instructors are freight professionals who know the ins and outs of the complicated trucking business, and can help you make informed decisions about he best way to enter the industry for you.

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

In Brandon, contact us at (204) 727-4781 or fill out our online form with your questions.