2016 World’s Largest Truck Convoy

Join First Class Training Centre this coming Saturday, September 10th, as we cap off National Trucking Week by participating in the 2016 World’s Largest Truck Convoy for Special Olympics.

A unique fundraiser, The World’s Largest Truck Convoy® is an international project of the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) working in conjunction with members of the trucking industry. Convoys take place in cities throughout North America in an effort to raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics athletes.

The Manitoba convoy has been the largest in North America on more than one occasion, and it’s quite a sight to behold!

Come and support our wonderful legion of Manitoba truckers, bring your friends and family, pick a spot along Winnipeg’s perimeter and witness over 200 trucks making a difference in the lives of Special Olympics Manitoba athletes.

The day starts with a pancake breakfast and registration at 8am at the Oak Bluff Recreation Centre. The Convoy gets going at 11am and the day concludes with a BBQ, silent auction, and awards ceremony for top fundraisers – a great day for a great cause!

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!

CLASS 3 PRACTICAL SKILLS PROGRAM

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.

Cruise with First Class Training Centre at the 42nd Annual World of Wheels – March 18-20 2016!

Our love affair with anything on wheels is legendary. That’s one reason why World of Wheels has remained such a popular show, not only in Winnipeg, but in major cities across North America. It’s no secret that Winnipeggers love our street rods, vintage cars, and custom cars, which is why the World of Wheels show regularly boasts tens of thousands of attendees in our fair city alone.

Whether you’re there to get some inspiration for your project car or trying to meet one of the celebrities on hand, keep an eye out for First Class Training Centre. We’ll be on hand, along with our mobile driving simulator, as an exhibitor for the 42nd Annual World of Wheels, sponsored by Piston Ring. Held in the newly -renovated RBC Convention Centre in downtown Winnipeg, this 3-day event boasts Guest Appearances, a Student Career Day, and many other Features & Specials to delight and excite!

Our driving simulator will show you what it’s like to drive a big rig on whatever challenging terrain you choose, so be sure to stop by!

The show begins on Friday, March 18th at 3:00pm and ends on Sunday, March 20th at 6:00pm. Discount tickets are available at Piston Ring, find one near you. See you soon!

Visit First Class Training Centre at the Manitoba RV Show – March 10-13 2016!

“GO & GET EXPLORING!” at this year’s Manitoba RV Show and discover the latest in the RV camping and leisure industry. First Class Training Centre will be on hand as an exhibitor as the Manitoba RV Show partners with the Winnipeg Golf Expo in the newly-renovated RBC Convention Centre in downtown Winnipeg. Two shows for the price of one!

Life on the road in an RV or motorhome is a great way to spend the summer, but if your RV or vehicle/trailer combination has more than 2 axles or weighs more than 4,540 kilograms (10,000 pounds), you might need to upgrade your licence to a Class 3 instead of the more common Class 5.

If you have your eye on the RV of your dreams, come to our booth and ask us how to confirm the weight of your new home on wheels. Don’t forget to factor in the weight of your contents, it all adds up!

The show begins on Thursday, March 10th at 3:00pm and ends on Sunday, March 13th at 5:00pm. Not only that, but ladies get in free and pay no admission all day on Thursday, March 10th, so bring the whole family and come explore your next adventure.

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.

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.

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.

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!