Tag Archives: Winnipeg Truck Driving School

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.

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

Class 3 vs Class 1. Invest a little more to get more.

At First Class Training Centre, we get many inquiries for students seeking information about training to attain a Class 3 (tandem axle truck) licence. A Class 3 licence allows the holder to only operate a dump truck or 5-ton straight truck. And if they do pull a trailer, it can’t exceed 4,600 kg (10,000 lbs).

Potential students of First Class are considering a career move that will involve some sort of driver training. Short term thinking may limit the potential of a student to maximize their career.  As an example. If the job driving a Class 3 vehicle disappears, wouldn’t it be better to have more options than less for your next career move? As well, having a Class 1 license will generally move you up the pay scale quicker even if the unit you are driving is only requires a Class 3 designation..

Class #1 & #3 License Comparison
Class #1 Class #3
Can operate any class of license except motorcycle Can operate only a tandem axle truck and passenger vehicles
Probability of getting job: Excellent Probability of getting job: Fair
Training Cost: $8400 Training Cost: $1600
Course Time: 244 Hours Course Time: 20 Hours

Some companies will only hire drivers with a Class 1 license.  This makes total sense as a Class 1 driver can operate any vehicle.  Class 3 drivers are limited in what they can and can’t drive.

First Class Driver Training is the industry leader in driver education in Winnipeg and the province of Manitoba.  Our graduates are successful in job placements throughout North America. We are MPI accredited, and have a proven track record of success.

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.

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.

Look Out! Summer Brings New Challenges on the Road

Summer’s coming, and with it longer days, warmer nights, and a whole lot of things to enjoy.

Unfortunately, it brings some worries, too, especially if you spend your days driving a truck. Here are some things you need to be prepared for:

Busier Highways
Summer is vacation time, and the roads are going to fill up with travellers who have recreation on their minds. Many will be travelling in unfamiliar locations and operating vehicles that they don’t spend a lot of time behind the wheel of. Be especially mindful of RVs and 4-wheelers towing trailers, and give these drivers as much space as you can.

Harsh Climate in the Cab
It’s going to be uncomfortable, especially out here on the Prairies, where the sun is hot and the days are long. Make sure your truck’s air conditioning works before the season starts, and make sure you have sunglasses, appropriate clothing, and that you stay hydrated, so you can stay healthy and alert.

Maintenance Requirements
Basic vehicle maintenance requirements are heightened in harsh weather – hot or cold. Make sure that your tires are properly inflated (remember to check them when they’re cold, as pressure is likely to go way up when driving in hot conditions), that your truck’s fluids are fresh and at optimum levels. Don’t forget the windshield wash – you’ll be scrubbing lots of bugs off your rig, especially early in the season.

Take it Slow
Remember, no load is worth endangering your life. If traffic’s bad, or you’re too hot, or tempers are flaring, sit back, take a deep breath and a big swig of water, and drive on. Let cooler heads (yours) prevail.

With over 50 years of experience in the truck transport industry, our instructors have seen it all! We’re happy to pass along our tips and tricks, both in the classroom and if you want to contact us.

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.

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.

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.

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.