Securing a job with a top carrier requires that you complete a formal, supervised training program that complies with Canadian and U.S. regulations for commercial driver knowledge requirements. There’s no shortage of schools in Ontario, but it’s important to make sure that you select an entry-level program that teaches you more than how to simply pass a road test. Formal tractor-trailer driver training is available at reputable driving schools – Registered Private Career Colleges – which deliver the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities (MTCU) mandated curriculum.
A subsidiary of Musket Transport Ltd., CHET – Commercial Heavy Equipment Training Ltd. – is one such program. A high-level driver training program, CHET offers a combination of both classroom education and one-on-one hands-on road training. Completing 200 hours of training, at least 50 of which are on the road with a certified instructor, students exit the program with the skills necessary to navigate the road with skill and confidence.
When selecting your driving school, make sure that the program’s curriculum reflects the mandated guidelines for entry-level commercial motor vehicle drivers. It will make all the difference if you want to find work with a reputable carrier. A comprehensive program should cover the following three core competencies:
- Supportive Competencies. These “soft skills” encompass interpersonal, general knowledge, workplace and other non-driving competencies.
- Functional Competencies. This includes learning about equipment operations and other non-driving job functions.
- Driving Competencies. These competencies address the driving and safe handling of a tractor-trailer.
Within these three categories, the CHET curriculum covers five major components. Each plays a key role in ensuring that the driver-in-training gets the skills necessary to find a job with a top carrier upon completion of the program:
This element of the CHET curriculum incorporates classroom, yard and roadway/highway behind-the-wheel training. CMV trainees are introduced to the vehicle and taught how to control the vehicle when in motion. Backing and shifting are some of the many practical skills learned in this module.
Safe Operating Practices for Basic Operation
In this segment of the program, students receive training on visual search, vehicle communication, speed and space management and defensive driving. This includes classroom instruction and important hands-on road training behind the wheel.
Advanced Operating Practices
In this module, students cover such subjects as hazard perception, night operation, extreme driving conditions, emergency maneuvers and passive railroad crossing. Trainees are coached on how to identify hazards and act proactively and reactively when dealing with them.
Vehicle Systems and Reporting Malfunctions
This portion of the course teaches trainees the basic workings of a commercial vehicle and how to expertly handle difficult situations that can occur on the road.
In the classroom, trainees cover such topics as managing life on the road, handling environmental hazards and regulations, accident procedures, trip planning, interpersonal communication skills, transportation of dangerous goods and hours of service requirements.
More than learning the “basics,” students of the CHET training program learn how to safely operate their vehicle in both ideal and less than ideal conditions. With the help of expert instructors, they learn how to shift, turn, back up and brake in a variety of spatial constraints, traffic, and poor weather. These skills become invaluable once the course is completed and a job has been secured. Students also learn skills which help keep them – and those they share the road with – safe, including how to conduct proper vehicle inspections and defensive driving.
At CHET, upon completion of the program, trainees are issued a certificate equivalent to two to three years of driving experience, often resulting in greater rates of employment and larger salaries. Ontario’s largest intermodal carrier, The Musket Transportation Ltd., often extends offers of employment to CHET graduates.
For more information about CHET’s flexible, affordable programs, contact us today.
We Train, We Employ.