TRUCK DRIVING TRAINING PROGRAM
TRUCK DRIVER (221.279.02) CLASS A CDL
In 1978, the trucking industry expressed a need for better-qualified drivers, so the Virginia Highway Users Association assisted Tidewater Community College (TCC) in setting guidelines in order to train students to become professional drivers. The TCC Truck Driver Training Program gives students the opportunity to obtain the skills necessary for a successful, well-paid career in the trucking industry. Upon entering our program, students should have knowledge of standard shift vehicle and clutch operation.
Our program is an intense eight weeks of combined classroom and practical training. We offer both day and evening classes which meets Monday through Friday at the training facility located on the old Portsmouth Campus. Our program includes both classroom instruction (30%) and practical experience (70%).
TCC does not guarantee employment for graduates of the program and does not have a placement program to assist students in obtaining employment after graduation.
Tuition costs, based on 16 semester credits, are as follows (tuition may increase without notice):
$ 2,402.25 (Virginia Residents)
$ 5,475.85 (Out-of-State Resident)
$ 2,650.25 (Military Contract Rate)
- Students must submit a Tidewater Community College Application for Admission which can be found online at www.tcc.edu. You can submit your Application for Admission and financial aid at any TCC campus.
Students are required to submit an official TCC Application for Admission. Once the application is submitted, the college will issue a 7-digit “Emplid” and an email address (JDoe@gmail.com). The Emplid # and email is required for any business with Tidewater Community College. If a student does not have a high school diploma or a GED, the student is required to take a placement test. For testing information, contact the Assessment Center at (757) 822-2194.
- Payment/ financial aid arrangements must be made before you register! Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. TUITION MUST BE PAID AT REGISTRATION TO GUARANTEE SPACE IN THE CLASS!
This course is available to veterans who qualify under the GI Bill of Rights. Students who plan to use their VA educational benefits should contact the Veterans Affairs office at (757) 822-2197. Financial aid is also available to qualifying applicants. The FAFSA application can be found on the TCC website at www.tcc.edu or contact the Financial Aid office at (757) 822-2215. Make sure you are enrolled in an eligible curriculum (221.279.02 Trucking Program, this is a 16-credit course) for financial aid purposes. Be sure to list Tidewater Community College as a school choice on your FAFSA. TCC code is 003712. Please check and use your email to keep track of your financial aid. Please see your counselor or financial aid advisor if you have questions. FINANCIAL AID IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STUDENT!!!
- Please complete steps 1 and 2 before registering for the Trucking Program. Bring your student ID# and financial aid award letter to the new Portsmouth campus off of Victory Blvd.! The Trucking office is located in building C, room 117-C. The Portsmouth campus is the only TCC campus that offers the Truck Driving Training.
ONCE YOU HAVE REGISTERED, YOU MUST PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING:
If there are any discrepancies regarding your license, you will be immediately dropped from the program!!!
- A Department of Transportation (DOT) Medical Examination Report (physical examination) and a Medical Examiner’s Certificate (wallet size). Physicals are good for two years and are required for employment upon completion of the course. It should be noted that some medical conditions such as a history of heart trouble, mental illness or back injury, will not affect the student’s training while in the program but could be drawback for hiring.
This information is provided to assist you in locating a testing facility. You are NOT required to use these facilities; however, you must choose a testing facility that is accordance with the Department of Transportation procedures and provide the proper DOT forms.
Patient Choice Ghent
957 E. West 21st Street
Norfolk, VA 23517
Bon Secours OccuMed
4300 Portsmouth Blvd, Suite 220
Chesapeake, VA 23321
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday
Walk-In or Appointment
Now Care I
6632 Indian River Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
Open: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday – Friday
9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday & Sunday
Walk In - No Appointment Needed
Sentara Obici Occupational Medicine
3920-A Bridge Road, #100
Suffolk, VA 23435
8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday - Friday
A Department of Transportation (DOT) substance abuse screening (drug test) is required in accordance with Federal Regulation 382.103. TCC requires drug testing must be done within the 30 days prior to the start of class. Please allow 2-3 days for results to come back from the lab.
Positive test results will cause you to lose your space in class and be dropped from the program without notice! A “negative/dilute” test result will cause you to retake the test at your expense.
If mitigating circumstances causes any of this paperwork to be delayed the student may not be allowed to start class. He or she will be withdrawn immediately if a problem is discovered after the class has begun. If the withdrawal occurs after the second day of class, only a partial refund will be forthcoming.
All required paperwork (including drug test results) must be turned in TWO WEEKS prior to the start of class. Failure to comply may result in forfeiture of your space in the class. It is your responsibility to contact the trucking office at 822-2428 to report any problems encountered while obtaining the required documents. This is an out-of-pocket expense (you have to pay), neither financial aid nor OppInc. One-Stop Workforce Center will not cover these expenses.
DO NOT OBTAIN ANY OF THE PAPERWORK UNTIL YOU HAVE REGISTERED AND ARE ON MY ROSTER!!
Tractor Trailer Driver Handbook/Workbook, Driver's Daily Log, Hazardous Materials, and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations is approximately $65. Textbooks are available on the Portsmouth campus at the Distribution Bookstore from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday. You can also purchase them at Barnes & Noble in the MacArthur Mall (Norfolk). Students are responsible for purchasing the textbooks before the first day of class. Used books may also be available.
“Cell phones, pagers, and other communication devices are prohibited from use in classrooms, laboratories, and libraries, unless authorized by the appropriate faculty or staff. They must not be answered during class, nor should students disrupt a class by leaving to respond to calls. Failure to comply with an official and proper order of a duly designated college official, or with any college policy or procedure, students may be subject to disciplinary action for on-campus or off-campus conduct. Federal, State, and local laws apply on campus. Disciplinary action may be initiated!”
“The unlawful possession, use, or distribution of drugs and alcohol by students and employees on college property or as part of any college activity is prohibited.” ~Student Handbook 2010-2011~
The Truck Driving Training Program is an intense, quick pace program! Safety and attentiveness is crucial during all aspects of the program. Once you are in class, whether in the classroom or on the range, any portable devices are prohibited!! The use of any portable devices is subject to immediate dismissal from class and/or from the program! Please refrain from using any portable devices!!
You should be able to read and understand the Department of Transportation (DOT) Manual. Although there are no special educational requirements for admission to the program, you must have an understanding of basic mathematics, reading, and writing skills.
The course includes DOT rules and regulations, defensive driving, maintenance, hazardous material, backing the tractor/trailer (9 exercises), and over-the-road and city driving. The 280 hours of instruction are broken down to 120 hours of classroom and personal instruction, and 160 hours of practical application.
During the first week of class, you will review the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Commercial Driver’s License manual. At the end of the week, DMV comes to the school to test students for their CDL learner’s permit.
Throughout the next seven weeks, each student receives three evaluations: a 9-day evaluation, a mid-term evaluation, and a final evaluation. In order for you to receive a certificate, you must receive a passing grade in the following courses:
TRK 101 – DOT Safety Rules and Regulations (2 credits)
TRK 102 – Preventive Maintenance for Truck Drivers (1 credit)
TRK 103 – Tractor Trailer Driving (9 credits)
TRK 110 – Survey of the Trucking Industry (3 credits)
SDV 106 – Preparation for Employment (1 credit)
If a student DOES NOT pass any portion of the program, he or she may return to retake the class. However, upon returning they must pay, for the class(es) they are repeating and will have to submit a DOT drug test not more than 30 days old before classes begin.
During tough economic times with high unemployment, Americans should be jumping at any chance to work, but trucking companies are struggling to hire drivers.
There are as many as 200,000 job openings nationwide for long haul truckers, according to David Heller, director of safety and policy for the truckload Curriers Association.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment for truck drivers will increase by 9 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment opportunities for truck drivers largely depend on the state of the economy, so drivers will find better prospects with industries that are generally recession-proof, such as grocery stores. There will be steep competition for job openings that offer the highest wages and most flexible schedules.
The outlook for the trucking industry is excellent. There is a shortage of drivers in general and long distance drivers in particular.
The biggest hurdle for the unemployed is getting a commercial driver’s license. The training course to learn those skills can take up to eight weeks to complete and cost about $6,000.
Trucking companies tend to put a lot of emphasis on recruiting military veterans, since they have GI Bill funding available to them that will pay for trucking school.
Some employers provide training for drivers who have already received their CDL. This usually consists of riding alongside experienced truckers and brief classroom instruction, which provides drivers with information on general driving duties, operating and loading the truck, company policies and the proper way to fill out delivery forms and company records. They may also receive additional training in driving certain types of vehicles and handling hazardous materials.
With proper training and a valid CDL Class A license, job security in the future is virtually assured. Individual trucking companies that go bankrupt stem from bad management, not lack of business.
IS TRUCK DRIVING FOR YOU?
Job turnover is high for truckers. At the same time, as the economy stages a gradual recovery, more new positions are becoming available.
No one should enter the trucking industry without being prepared to sacrifice some home time. Even local drivers may put in over 10 hours a day.
Most good paying local and short haul companies prefer at least a year=s experience OTR, thus demonstrating reliability and skill of prospective drivers. The OTR industry will give an out-of-school new driver a training period with an experienced Driver Trainer to get them started (period of four weeks or more). Local and short haul usually do not have this extra training.
While solo driving companies (one driver in the truck versus a team operation) often allow a rider in the truck, smaller children are normally not allowed to ride.
The trucking industry offers above average incomes and good benefits to qualified drivers. Truck driving could be for you:
*if you like to travel
*if you like to meet new people
*if you like to earn a good income
Trucking can be good work, and even highly lucrative, but it will never be an easy choice. Truckers can gross up to $300,000 per year. After paying for fuel, insurance, truck payments and maintenance he can clear as much as $150,000 in take-home pay, as long as they spend most of their time on the highway, living in their customized sleeper.
A rule of thumb: If you and your family cannot invest one year of your life with an OTR company, trucking may not be for you.
TYPES OF TRUCKING
There are three types of trucking:
A common type of trucking is local truck driving. Local truck drivers are an important part of individual communities, as they assist in keeping the economy strong. These truck drivers deliver, pickup and occasionally sell items in one localized area. Some local truck drivers may obtain special licenses and certifications to qualify for transporting specialized vehicles, hazardous materials and oversized loads, which increases a driver's earning potential. Local trucking jobs are ideal for a driver who may not want to be away from family for long periods of time or a driver who prefers to work in an area of familiarity.
Involves loading and unloading at local businesses. Pay is usually hourly and drivers are home every night. Long days are typical (8-10 hours). An example of a local driver is a tanker service that delivers gasoline. Local drivers may only need a Class B CDL to drive such vehicles as UPS delivery trucks or dump trucks.
2. Over-the-Road (OTR)
In the trucking industry, almost every new driver begins their career as an OTR (over-the-road) truck driver. You won’t have the typical ‘9 to 5’ job, and you won’t get paid by the hour. You’ll work on your own schedule and get paid by the mile, which is much better for you!
Your first year as an over-the-road driver is very important to your new professional truck driving career. You’ll learn a lot about the trucking industry and become skilled at all aspects of truck driving. Most importantly, you’ll be getting the experience you need to build your career as a professional truck driver.
As a new OTR truck driver, you’ll be driving to different places every day. This is called an irregular route, and it means you’ll go anywhere and everywhere. You’ll see the country, enjoy the freedom of the open road, and get a lot of time behind the wheel, which means you’ll makemore money! And remember, you are important to your employer, so they’ll work with you to get you time off when you need it.
When drivers get on the road, they find that long-haul lifestyle isn’t easy, living for weeks at a time in the cramped confines of the back of the truck.
The OTR industry will usually give a driver one full day off for every week (seven days) away from home. This makes trucking a lifestyle, not just a career change.
3. Short Haul
Short haul drivers normally drive trips of 100 miles or less and have a regular route and schedule daily. They drive from their home base and usually have several deliveries within a single trip, after which they return to their base.
A normal short haul driver's shift is between 8 to 10 hours. Although most trucks have ergonomically designed cabs, good ventilation, and climate control, driving for long hours, lifting, loading and unloading, and walking can be physically demanding. Drivers are exposed to outside weather conditions, along with the noise and fumes of other vehicles when they step out to deliver the merchandise to the client. One benefit enjoyed by short haul drivers, however, is that they get to return to their home at day's end.
A short haul truck driver transports combined freight from several customers in a single truckload. An example of short haul truck driving is a package delivery service. Generally, short haul truck driver's routes run between terminals, allowing them to be away from home for a short period of time, generally no more than one to two days. A driver with long haul experience is an ideal candidate for short haul driving. Compared to other types of truck driving, short haul driving jobs typically offer higher pay along with better health benefits
Different companies will have varying policies in all of these areas, but here are some general qualifications:
- AGE - A truck driver must be physically able to drive the vehicle for which he seeks licensure, be at least 21 years of age and be proficient in the English language.
- CDL CLASS A - You have to have a state issued license for your rig. If you’re packing a light truck or a carrier van, a regular driver’s license will be sufficient in most states. However, drivers of long bed rigs and heavier trucks must have a commercial driver’s license. Furthermore, a commercial license is also required for drivers who are transporting hazardous materials, regardless of the type or size of truck being used. Required with some endorsements (hazardous materials, doubles or tanker for example) and training from a recognized trucking school. When applying for a commercial license, the driver must demonstrate his ability to handle a truck for commercial purposes, and must have a good driving history.
- DOT PHYSICAL - Must pass a standard Department of Transportation physical and a drug screen (illegal drug use is an immediate disqualification). A history of heart trouble, mental illness or back injury often will be additional drawbacks to hiring. Drivers must generally have 20/20 vision, or 20/40 with correctional lenses. They must have good reflexes and hearing, must not be colorblind, and must not be physically impaired in any manner that will be a detriment to their operating a trucking rig. Ideally, they must also be perfectly healthy!
DRIVING RECORD FROM THE EMPLOYER’S VIEWPOINT
A good driving record with no more than three moving violations (speeding, running stop signs, etc.) and/or accidents in the past three (3) years is a median qualification, but there is greater latitude in this area from company to company--some stricter, some more lenient. A DUI/DWI on the driving record in the past five (5) years is normally a disqualification . . . many companies go back ten (10) years. Reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, and fleeing a police officer are also strong negatives with regard to employment.
Due to high driver turnover, particularly in the OTR industry, a stable work history is needed. Long periods at one job and military service are strongly desired by major companies. Job hopping without a good explanation is usually a disqualification. Trucking companies must call and verify former employers at least three (3) years back so accurate information is vital.
Click here for the 2013 TRUCKING PROGRAM CLASS SCHEDULE.
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