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.

Graduation Rate linked to Job Placement

At First Class Training Centre, our focus is to be the best truck driving and safety training school in Winnipeg, Brandon, Manitoba and Canada.

Excellence in Driver Training

It’s no wonder our graduation rate is one of the best in North America.  Our dedication to being the best helps you to be your best behind the wheel.

It all starts with a dedication to quality in everything we do.  Our instructors are at the top of their game and we have the best instructor to student ratio in the business.  Our equipment is modern, clean and in superb condition.  We also offer the only mobile driver simulator in Manitoba.  At First Class, we create an environment of excellence.

What does this mean for you when you graduate from your Class 1, or Class 3 training?

Simply put, First Class Training is recognized in the industry as one of the premier training centres for driver training.  The trucking industry recognizes our graduates are road ready and can contribute to their organization immediately.

If you are thinking of a career in a big rig, or you are looking to upgrade your truck driving skills, you need to know that First Class Training Centre is the high road to success

More Connectivity is Coming

Gone are the days of “seat of the pants” trucking, in which a solitary driver had to face all kinds of obstacles in an effort to get the goods where they needed to go, on time and in good shape.

Today, you might find that you’re the only one in the cab of the truck, but you’re far from alone. You’re connected in obvious ways (your radio and cellphone) and in ways you don’t commonly see. The loads you carry are tightly scheduled, and if you’re a little late for a drop-off, you will be missed.

Even the trucks themselves are becoming more connected. GPS tracking tells you and your clients exactly where the truck is at all times. Even tire pressure monitoring systems are starting to come online, alerting you (and if you are driving for a fleet operator, them) about fluctuations in pressure, tire wear, etc. Fuel consumption is tightly monitored so adjustments can be made.

Most of these new digital communications take place without the drivers’ knowledge, and provide truck owners with a wealth of information that they can use to manage their fleets.

These tools are being integrated into more and more trucks. The leader is Sweden’s Scania, who not only manufacture premium trucks for the European market, but also operate their own trucking business to help them build better trucks. Scania not only makes the tools that communicate the deluge of data generated by a truck on the road, they have determined how to use this information to better serve their customers.

The digital revolution is just starting in the road freight business, but you can bet that it will become an important part of the industry, and quickly. Those who don’t modernize risk perishing at the hands of better informed operators.

If you’re considering a career in trucking, you need to see the professionals at First Class Training Centre. As Winnipeg’s premiere Truck Driving School, we have decades of experience on the road, and hundreds of hours in the classroom. Contact us online or call Toll Free (1-(855) 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.

A Holiday Greeting from First Class Training Centre

From Jim and the team at First Class Training Centre, we would like to wish you all a very happy holiday season!  2013 was a year of many successes for us, and we are looking forward to another prosperous year in 2014.

We will be closed from December 24th afternoon until January 1st of the new year.  Our school will reopen on Thursday, January 2nd.  We will be starting a new Class 1 training course on January 4th so be sure to sign up for a spot to start the new year off on the right track.  We have limited seating available.

Have a wonderful holiday season and all the best to you and yours!

Driving After Dark

On the shortest day of the year (Dec 21), Winnipeg has only 8 hours and 5 minutes of daylight.  Because of our northern latitude, the Prairie Provinces have more hours of darkness in the winter than most of North America.

Nighttime driving is far more dangerous than running down the highway in the day.  A combination of reduced visibility, less ability to perceive depth, and fatigue caused by the body’s natural impulse to sleep in the dark make a driver more likely to have an accident after sunset.

Here are some things you can do to increase your safety when driving your truck at night:

Check Equipment

Make sure your lights are working – all of them.  Reflectors, too.  It’s just as important to be seen by other drivers, as it is to see them.  Replace anything that’s not performing properly.  Incandescent headlamps will dim over time – check and replace them periodically, and make sure they’re aimed properly.

Upgrade Headlamps

If you’re an owner/operator, equipment upgrades are up to you.  If your truck’s a bit older, you might want to look at some of the new headlamp systems.  Just resist the urge to light the front of your truck up like a travelling sun, and blind other drivers.

Dim the Lights Inside

Dash lights and accessory lighting should be kept as dim as possible, as illumination inside the cab will interfere with your ability to spot things outside.

Wear the Right Glasses

If you require corrective lenses, anti-reflective coatings can make it easier to see, because they stop light from bouncing around inside your lenses.  Avoid sunglasses or novelty tinted glasses – they’ll cut down on the amount of light that makes it to your retinal, so you’ll actually see less.

Don’t Look into the Lights

When a car approaches, don’t look directly into the headlamps.  Your vision will be affected afterwards.

Find out about a career as a Transport Truck Driver.  At First Class Training Centre in Winnipeg we offer comprehensive training by seasoned professionals.  Call Toll Free 1-855-632-5302.

In the Winnipeg area call 204-632-5302.

Safety – First Priority on the Road

Trucking is a critical part of the Canadian national economy.  90% of the goods sold in our stores travel by road, and the volume of freight travelling at any given time is steadily increasing.  This means that the number of opportunities to become employed in the trucking sector is on the rise.  It also means that the number of trucks and drivers out there in harm’s way on North America’s highways is at an all time high.

First Class Training Centre is Winnipeg’s best place to start training for your trucking career.  Our seasoned instructors have over a half century of combined experience in the transportation industry, and will teach you the invaluable safe driving techniques that will help to make your trucking career a long, safe one.  Here are some of the things that they’ll teach you during your course:

1)      The most important safety device in the truck is sitting in the driver’s seat. Proper rest, nutrition, and the right frame of mind is essential to maintaining the level of concentration that safe operation of a truck requires.  Take care of yourself – never violate laws regarding hours of service, and never, ever drive tired.  Fatigue impairs!

2)      Be aware of traffic around you.  Drive according to road conditions – never too close to the vehicle ahead.  Be cognizant of the truck’s “No-Zones”, areas where you can’t see a hazard.  Drivers of passenger cars don’t always know when they’re invisible to you.

3)      Vehicle maintenance is key. You’ll learn how to do a proper “circle check” before starting your trip, and spot potential faults before the wheels start turning.

4)      Drive Defensively! Keep your license and your life.

The instructors at First Class Training Centre will help you acquire the skills you need to land and keep a job in the trucking industry, and put you on the road to a long and safe career.

To find out more about First Class Training Centre and how we can help you take those important first steps toward a rewarding career in freight transport, contact us online or call Toll Free 1-855-632-5302.

In the Winnipeg area call 204-632-5302.

The Law of Supply and Demand Could Put You in the Driver’s Seat

90% of the goods available for sale in Canada arrived where they are today thanks to the trucking industry.

Canada’s west is growing.  People are moving to the Prairie Provinces in search of economic and lifestyle opportunities.  Opportunities for companies to move in and provide goods and services are at an all-time high.

The Conference Board of Canada has determined that economic growth, the pending retirement of a large group of truck drivers, and reluctance in young people to take on the demands and responsibilities of the job are coming together to form a “perfect storm” for the trucking industry.  The Board predicts that by the year 2020 the trucking industry will be short approximately 25,000 drivers.

These numbers are particularly disturbing, to both companies in the transportation industry and Canada’s Federal and Provincial governments.  Former Transport Minister, Steven Fletcher, said in a speech to the Manitoba Trucking Association: “If not addressed, driver shortages could become acute and a brake not just on your industry but on the wider economy.”

This looming shortage of drivers means that the outlook for younger people considering a career in trucking is better than it has been in decades.  More companies will be hiring drivers, and the law of supply and demand dictates that they will be doing everything in their power to attract and retain new drivers.  If you’re seeking opportunity, a career in the trucking industry could be just what you’re looking for.

Winnipeg’s First Class Training Centre offers you the opportunity to learn practical, real-world skills that lead to jobs in trucking.  Our instructors will help you learn how to drive a truck, and how to navigate the ins and outs of a job search in the industry.

To find out more about the upcoming driver shortage, and what you can do to turn it to your advantage, contact First Class Training Centre online or call Toll Free (1-(855) 632-5302.