C.R. England works with Premier Truck Driving Schools to provide comprehensive training to new drivers who have signed on with our company. We also hire drivers that have been trained by other schools too. As long as a new driver has successfully completed training and earned a CDL license, there is a place for him or her at C.R. England.
As for the training itself, we field a lot of inquiries from interested drivers wanting to know more about what training entails. First, we want to state that the typical commercial driver’s license (CDL) training program is challenging but by no means impossible to master. Furthermore, the CDL student must already have a standard car license before he or she can even apply for CDL training. That means the driver already knows the basic concepts of driving; he or she only needs to learn how to apply those concepts to heavy commercial vehicles.
What does a driver learn in CDL training? We have broken it down into three basic categories:
- Mechanics of Commercial Vehicles
- Federal and State Regulations
- Practical Skills Necessary for Safe Driving.
1. The Mechanics of Commercial Vehicles
One of the first things CDL students learn is that there are vast differences between passenger cars and commercial vehicles. For example, consider size and weight. The average tractor-trailer is many times heavier and bigger than the average passenger car, to the extent that not respecting the size and weight of a truck could get a driver in trouble.
The mechanics of commercial vehicles involves everything from how the vehicles work to how they handle on the open road. Drivers learn about things such as air brakes, hydraulics, how tractor-trailers respond in certain kinds of weather, and so on. All of this is book-learning that takes place in the classroom.
2. Federal and State Regulations
The trucking industry is one of the most highly regulated in the U.S. New drivers have to acquire at least a fundamental understanding of the federal regulations that govern what they do. In regions where state regulations pose additional challenges, drivers must be familiar with these as well.
Regulatory compliance is important enough that drivers are routinely tested on it. Therefore, commercial driver’s license training programs spend a lot of time on it as well.
3. Practical Skills for Safe Driving
Surprisingly enough, the one thing CDL students are most terrified of is the one they spend the least time working on. It is the area of practical driving skills. A typical CDL driver program puts the student behind the wheel of a late model vehicle in order to practice routine skills like accelerating, shifting, braking, cornering and reversing. All of these skills will be tested during the student’s final CDL exam.
It should be noted that practical skills training can only be offered on a limited basis. In other words, training will be confined initially to a closed course and then expanded to local roads. But it is simply not practical to expand training far enough to cover all sorts of driving conditions that account for traffic, weather, and so on. This is one of the reasons C.R. England pairs new drivers with driver trainers for a certain amount of time after employment first begins. We know our new drivers will be exposed to things they did not experience while in CDL school.
A good commercial driver’s license training program prepares new drivers to earn their licenses and get to work. For more information about our training program via Premier, contact us right away.