Classic Driver Training

Kelowna Driver Training

My name is Clayton Carlson. I’ve always enjoyed driving and going places. My dad was older when I was born, and as I grew up my family and I would go for car rides and have picnics by a stump. Mom and dad weren’t into sports or many other activities, but did enjoy exploring the countryside by car. I would drive my brothers old car sitting on his knee so that I could see over the dash. As soon as I could get my licence I did. Bought a car and then I was off.

After I turned nineteen my older brother helped me get my class one licence. Of corse no one would hire me. I was just a dum kid with a new licence, didn’t know a thing. Luckily, or maybe not, I was to stupid to be scared. Since no one would hire me as a driver I managed to buy an old cabover truck and went to work. It was easier to get a job if you were willing to wreck your own equipment.

I learned lots the first couple of years. After always repairing my own cars I just mover up to repairing my own truck. I thought it better to do it twice than pay shop rate and maybe get it done right the first time. Nothing worse than paying good money for a bad job. I didn’t mind getting dirty and if it was wrong, fixing it the second time was usually quicker.

I’ve herd it said that when you first get your truck licence you have ninety five percent luck and five percent skill. Then every year after that you loose five percent of your luck, but gain five percent more skill. I think that’s pretty close to being accurate. I have done a lot of things wrong and been lucky, and some times not so lucky.

I was an owner operated for about thirteen years. Highway trucks, log trucks, mover modular homes. It was while moving mobile homes that my luck and skill came up short. I was injured in an accident and after I was able to walk again I retrained as a commercial transport mechanic. After about eight years of mechanicing I took a driver training instructor corse. The work for that got spotty so I went back to pulling wrenches. I still enjoyed training so I bought an older truck and over the years slowly fixed it up for driver training as a side business. When it gets to busy for me to do alone I will need to hire an instructor.

My skill set is good for being a driver training instructor because I know why things work, and I can show you how to do it. That is the basis for my driver training school mantra. Teach them why, and show them how. I have found that if you know why things work the way they do, then it is easier to make things work the most efficient way possible. Being the most efficient is the least costly way to operate. From the best way to shift the transmission, to what order should be used when dropping the landing gear and setting the brakes on the trailer. There is an order that is best, and there is a valid reason why it’s best. You need someone to teach you why, and show you how.

A lot of the aspects of trucking involve personal preference, some things will work great the way one truck is specked out but be clumsy on a truck with different specks. You will always need to keep learning and adjusting with the changes. But if you understand the reason why you are doing a task a certain way, then when you do change your methods, you can keep the desired objective in tact.

I not only do driver training but I also put on maintenance courses. How to take care of a truck. Things to look for that might go wrong, general maintenance and repair. How to make routine adjustments as needed. Clutch adjustment for example, how and when should it be done. Jump starting a truck, is there a best way to hook up the cables and in what order? These things are nice to know how to do. They won’t get you a licence to drive, but knowing the equipment may help you get a job, or keep the one you find.

Being a licensed commercial transport mechanic, as well as a vehicle inspector with experience in the trade I am well qualified to fill the role of maintenance instructor. Again knowing why you are doing a task is more important than just doing it because someone told you to. Just because you were told to do it a certain way on a particular vehicle doesn’t mean that it will work that way on all vehicles. But if you understand the reason why you are doing something then as the equipment changes it is easier to keep the intent for doing the action.

For example you may be told that to grease the front suspension of a truck you should jack it up and take the weight off of it. For a solid front axel that would be best practise. But what if the truck you are working on has an independent suspension? Ball joints don’t need to have the weight taken off of them for greasing. Knowing why is important so that you can be as efficient as possible.

Most knowledge seems to be remembered best when it is gained through experience rather than only taught. Getting your hands dirty and actually crawling under a truck to see how it works, and possibly how to fix it can not only save you from unscrupulous repair bills, but will fill you with a confidence that those who can only drive won’t have. Even if you aren’t the one to be doing the repairs. When you are broken down on the side of the road it is good if you can describe over the phone to a repair person what is wrong, and possibly parts that they should bring.

When ever possible I like to teach two students at a time. This doubles the truck time for each student. As well as helping the student to not only practise driving, but to observe the driving actions. The more truck time that you have the better off you are. An individual driving lesson can’t contain all of the different scenarios that might occur while driving. The more time that you spend in the truck, the more you will be exposed to those new scenarios. The more exposure that you have, the more experience you will gain. This experience will make you a more knowledgeable driver, and will make you better that you would be without it.

Although this experience can be very valuable I don’t charge for it. However the one riding usually has to buy the refreshments for the others in the cab. Since the driving is on a rotation basis, I’m usually the one benefitting the most. The same holds true for learning the pre trip. Having private lessons may sound good, however in practise you can learn just as much by watching someone else do it. While silently looking for the mistakes that they make. It’s all memory, and getting the steps done in the most efficient way as possible. When you do it in a group of four or more, usually by the time the last person has completed their pre trip, the first person remembers it and is getting bored.

Group instruction when appropriate, being taught why things work the way they do, along with demonstrating how it should be done. In my opinion makes for the best, most experienced driver for the money spent. I have been criticized by other instructors for telling my students to much. They say that I should, keep it simple. Don’t teach the new trainees too much.

I think that probably half of what a person learns about a new skill at the start will be forgotten. You may have to keep reinforcing the points to get them to remember, but if you do they will get it. You never know what or how much a person will remember, so you may as well tell them all of the pertinent information they need in a timely manner.

I don’t like to dumb down my instruction to the lowest common denominator, or student. It may take more time at the start but will produce a far better driver. Overall I think that your better off spending time learning why things work at the start. Then it won’t be a mystery why it works later on as you do it. Making the entire process quicker. And you the best driver that you can be.

Training Rates Class One and Class Three

Driver Training Rates – Class 1 and Class 3

Class One—The rate of $115. Per Hour will be charged for the truck and trailer.
Class Three— The rate of $90. Per Hour will be charged for the truck.
Driver Course Outline

Most Driver Training Schools have packages that students purchase. Within each package there will be a course outline, a list of topics that are to be covered and a list of skills that the student will learn.

I think that as an instructor it is impossible for me to pre judge the ability of any one student. I can’t know for sure how long it will take you as a student to learn a particular skill. Or if you will fail your driving test the first time that you take it. So to sell a package of driving lessons promising that you, the student, will learn certain skills by the end of the course would be unethical.

However, I can tell you that the skills to pass your driving test will be taught first.

Once you have the license that you wanted to get, then other skills can be added onto that foundation. How long you would like to take training for, and how quickly you learn will determine how many skills that you gain. We can tell you what the average time has been to learn certain skills. In a well instructed course outcomes depend solely on the students ability to learn the skill being taught.

For example a typical eighty hour course for a class one license will give you your driving license, highway, brake check, steep hill, loading, and some in-class lessons. But if it takes you sixty hours to get your license then the rest of the training will have to be cut back. Or if you can get your license in eight hours then there would be more time to cover other aspects that might not be initially listed in the course outline. The point being, whatever the stated course content may be, it all depends on how quickly you learn each topic and skill. Starting with the most critical and then working to the less essential as you progress within the time that you have purchased.

At Classic Driver Training, I have a flat rate for the truck but I do allow for the rate to be split up when group sessions are practical. This can be very beneficial depending on the group dynamics and lesson content. It also depends on the number of students that need to learn that particular skill. Not all students will have the benefit of group instruction. Every effort is made to provide each student with as much truck time as possible. The more time spent around the truck the more experience gained by the students. The more experience you have the better an operator you will become. Through familiarity comes understanding.

Class One—The rate of $115. Per Hour will be charged for the truck and trailer.

Class Three— The rate of $90. Per Hour will be charged for the truck.

— If a student wishes to purchase a large bank of time at the start, a discount may be applied depending upon the course content that they choose to cover.

— All courses are customized be each student depending upon their ability and interests. We strive to make each course custom fit the students needs and budget.

— Flexibility is maintained throughout the entire program in an effort to make each course fulfill the needs of the student.

Driver Training Tips for driving safely in Kelowna

Be watchful of signs on the highways. The rules for driving are pretty much the same throughout North America. Although you can find minor regional differences depending where you are. For instance, while I was driving through Pennsylvania I noticed that when coming to the end of a passing lane going up a hill on the highway, it is the left, fast lane that has to merge back into the right, slow lane. I thought it odd that they would have it backwards. The rules every where else that I have driven, seem to make the right hand, or slow lane, merge to the left at the end of the passing lane section, into the faster traffic flow of the left lane.

After miles of consideration, I grew to appreciate their change. Expecting slow moving vehicles to blend smoothly into a traffic flow they can not keep up with, is not realistic. It only leads to driver tension and accidents, as the faster left lane drivers, will perceive themselves to be cut off by the slower right lane ones. After all, the left lane has the right of way because it isn’t their lane that is coming to an end. They are not, in some cases, even aware that the slow lane is being asked to merge left into their lane. By changing the rules and having the faster left lane merge into the slower right lane, the onus to blend into the flow of traffic is put onto the driver that has the greatest possibility of making the transition work smoothly. The faster vehicles can slow down to enter into the traffic flow, but a slow moving vehicle, such as a loaded transport truck, has little to no ability to speed up when entering a faster traffic flow. The safest thing to do is be aware of your surroundings and watch out for signs displaying any local variation to the normal driving rules.

Use your mirrors effectively. Most drivers of passenger vehicles don’t make the most of their mirrors when backing up, especially when trying to parallel park. Looking out the side or rear window of a car or suv leaves you with huge blind spots close to your vehicle. These blind spots leave you taking your best guess when attempting to parallel park close to the curb without hitting it. By adjusting the passenger side mirror down, so you can see your rear tire and the approaching curb you will be able to see how close you are to where you want to be. Learning to make the most of all the tools at your disposal is a key to safe and efficient driving.
Right of way can not be taken, it must be given. The rules of the road may say that you have the right of way and that others have to wait for you, you may be in the right, but you may end up dead right, if the other traffic can’t wait for you. I remember waiting at a green light once. I was entering onto a four lane highway at the bottom of a steep hill. The cars behind me were impatiently honking their horns trying get me to go, but I stubbornly stayed put, not budging and blocking the road. Five seconds more went by before the loaded logging truck that I had seen coming down the hill with its brakes billowing smoke, blew through the intersection and the red light. The honking stopped and I proceeded safely into the intersection and onto the highway. Had I taken my right of way, I could have been dead right.
The last tip that may save your life involves turning left at an intersection. It is a good idea to plan your wrought so you do not have to make a left turn across traffic. At times it can not be avoided, so when you do, make sure you legally enter the intersection on a green light. If you have not crossed the stop line on the green light then you should not enter and wait for the next one. However once you have crossed the stop line and are in the intersection legally, the cross traffic is obliged to wait for you to clear the intersection before they proceed when their light turns green. If possible, pull out to at least the middle of the intersection and leave no doubt in your fellow motorists minds that you will be proceeding before they get to go. Perhaps you have seen traffic driving around a car where the timid driver left themselves stranded, straddling the across the crosswalk. The drivers going around the hapless car are actually breaking the rules of the road, if the stranded car is not disabled.
Once you have taken a commanding position in the intersection, wait for a safe brake in the on coming traffic before you proceed to complete your left turn. If such a brake in traffic should not materialize, you should not feel any pressure to clear the intersection regardless of the traffic light changes. You can not proceed left across the flow of oncoming traffic until you are sure that it is safe to do so. Be aware that oncoming drivers may run their yellow or red light. Your main responsibility is to safely complete your left turn and clear the intersection safely. If you need to wait for the oncoming traffic to stop and your light is red, it does not matter as you had entered the intersection legally and the cross traffic needs to wait for the intersection to clear before they enter.

I hope these tips will help you enjoy safe motoring in the future.