“AZ” Tractor Trailer Driver Faq

“AZ” Tractor Trailer Driver Faq

Question:  How long is your program?

Answer:  The “AZ” program consists of 200 hours of training. It is scheduled to be completed over 8 weeks, and is considered to be a full time course.

Question:  How much time is spent actually driving the truck?

Answer:  Approximately 50 hours. Each lesson is 4 hours long, with 1 hour being spent on yard work. The remaining 3 hours will have you behind the wheel and driving the truck.

Question:  How much time is spent learning to back the trailer?

Answer:  Three of your 4 hour lessons will be dedicated to backing, for a total of 12 hours. The first two backing lessons will have you teamed up with your instructor and another student, working on our backing range for a full 8 hour day. (4 hours backing + 4 hours observation = 8 hours). The third backing lesson will be 4 hours with you and your instructor, working in a live transport yard, where you will practice backing between other trailers and up to the loading docks. You will also get a little backing at the conclusion of each daily lesson as you reverse to park your trailer.

Question:  Do you hook and unhook the trailers every lesson?

Answer:  Our lessons begin with the tractor and trailer separated. This is the most common scenario in the trucking industry. After doing a pre-trip inspection on your tractor, you will hook up to a trailer. At the end of your lesson, after backing in to your parking spot you will unhook the trailer to conclude your lesson.

Question:  How much time is spent in the classroom?

Answer:  Most of the classroom training is completed in the first week of the program. We will cover all material that you will be expected to know in order to complete your written test. Most classroom courses are 8 hours long, so you can expect to be in class all day. Overall there are 50 hours spent in class, plus the air brake course which is 12 hours long.

Question:  Is your course accredited?

Answer:  Our course is accredited by the MTCU (Ministry of Training Colleges & Universities). We are also recognized by the Ministry of Transport in Ontario as a signing authority.  This means your training and testing is conducted at our location.

Question:  Who conducts your testing?

Answer:  We conduct all testing for this program with the exception of the written test on the rules of the road, and we will make sure you are well prepared for the test. Air Brake tests and road tests are conducted here at DURHAM COLLEGE by our own instructors.

Question:  How many students are in the truck during road lessons?

Answer:  Most of our training is done with just you and your instructor in the cab. The only exception will be when you take your highway trip. Due to the length of this trip (12hours) we schedule 2 students to work with 1 instructor.

Question:  What is included in the highway trip?

Answer:  The highway trip is a real hit with our students. It consists of an extended lesson, scheduled to start in the afternoon and conclude at night. You will drive to a distant destination and return. The driving will be shared with your partner. Subjects covered during this lesson will include, night driving, weigh scales, observation of wildlife, sharing the road with other vehicles, changing weather conditions, and fatigue.

Question:  Do your trucks have sleeper berths?

Answer:  We offer a variety of equipment for you to drive while you are at DURHAM COLLEGE. We have day cab tractors, sleeper tractors, 10 speed transmissions and 13 speed transmissions. All of our trailers are 53 foot vans; some are loaded while others are empty. This way you get to compare and see for yourself how a load affects your driving.

Question:  What qualifications do your instructors have?

Answer:  Our instructors have all achieved their Fleet Driver Trainer accreditation. This course is required to become road test certified by the Ministry of Transport. Our minimum standard to become an instructor at Durham College is 20 years in the transportation industry. Several of our instructors are retired owner operators.

Question:  What is the student to instructor ratio?

Answer:  Our Air Brake course is capped at 15 students, and that is the largest group you will be in. Our “A” licence class size is 4 students to 1 instructor, and our in cab training is 1:1.

Question:  What happens if I fail my road test?

Answer:  If you fail your road test on your first attempt, we will schedule an extra lesson to work on your weak areas, and then we will re-test you. There is no additional charge for this service; however, you must wait 10 days before we can re-test you. If you fail a second attempt, all further testing will have to be conducted at a Drive Test, and the costs will be the responsibility of the student.

Question:  Do recruiters come to your school?

Answer:  We organize recruiting days as needed.