MOSES LAKE — The Big Bend Community College Commercial Truck Driving Program (CDL) recently added six trucks, one over the road, or sleeper cab truck, and five day cab trucks, to its fleet.
The program now has a total of 13 trucks and nine trailers for students to train with. The fleet is a mix of sleeper and day cab trucks, with 9, 10 or 13 speed transmissions, and different flatbed, dry van and tanker trailers.
“It is important to train students with different sizes and types of equipment,” said BBCC CDL instructor Guillermo Garza. “Once my students get their CDL Class A license, they should have enough knowledge to drive and handle the many truck and trailer set-ups they may encounter at their new driving job.”
The Big Bend CDL program combines both classroom study and behind-the-wheel driving experience to prepare students for the state CDL written and driving (skills) test and entry-level job opportunities in the trucking industry.
Since 2004, Big Bend’s CDL program has boasted a 97 percent or better success rate. Over the last 15 years, 63 classes have been offered and the more than 400 students who have completed the CDL course have also successfully passed the state CDL exam.
“Rather than just tutoring them on how to pass the state test, I strongly believe in giving my students the training and skills necessary to handle various types of trucks and trailers on different kinds of road and weather conditions that they may encounter during their driving career,” said Garza. “Although weather and road conditions vary throughout the year and CDL courses, my goal is for them to be knowledgeable enough to know what to look out for and how to handle their equipment in order to keep themselves and all other road users safe.”
The five-week course covers a variety of professional topics, including defensive driving techniques, brake adjustment, equipment inspection, hazardous material transportation, DOT log books, trip planning and other job-related topics.
The program is offering two start dates during Spring Quarter- April 1 and May 13. Classes are Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Class space is limited and early registration is strongly recommended.