What Should I Expect from Truck Driving Lessons?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 02 October 2018
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An individual who wants to pursue a career in the trucking industry is usually required to obtain specialized licensure and training. Practical truck driving lessons from private schools or trucking company training programs are essential in preparing new drivers for the job. A person can expect to spend several hours behind the wheel of a large truck, learning firsthand about safe operating procedures from experienced truckers. Most driving programs include instruction on defensive driving, navigation, delivery procedures, and basic maintenance jobs.

Operating a tractor-trailer is very different than driving a small passenger vehicle. Most trucks feature manual transmissions and specialized braking systems that are controlled in manner unique to large vehicles. A new truck driver usually spends many hours learning about new systems in classroom training and practical truck driving lessons. An individual who enrolls in a training program can expect to study brakes and transmissions in detail, learning the mechanics behind their operation.


A truck driving student learns from an experienced instructor how to turn on the engine, shift gears, make turns, and drive in reverse. The new driver will learn about the unique methods of observing his or her surroundings using specialized mirrors. Since large vehicles require more time to come to a stop and more room to make turns, new truckers spend a considerable amount of time driving on closed courses to perfect their techniques. Once the student shows competence for operating the vehicle in a controlled setting, he or she is allowed to drive on public roads under the supervision of the instructor.

During practical truck driving lessons, the instructor provides detailed information about defensive driving strategies. The new trucker learns the importance of being especially aware of surroundings and identifying potential hazards, such as slow moving vehicles, tight corners, and erratic drivers. A prospective driver also learns how to park his or her vehicle at a destination and safely unload cargo.

Navigation techniques are usually explained in detail during truck driving lessons. Drivers learn how to operate communications equipment and global positioning devices to find their way to destinations. Truck driving lessons also include classes on how to maintain and repair vehicles. The new driver learns how to safely exit roadways, refuel vehicles, change tires, and make basic engine repairs.

An accredited training program can last anywhere from three weeks to three months. After the successful completion of a program, an individual is fully prepared the practical and written exams required to receive a commercial driver's license. The practical licensing exam involves operating a truck in public, and covers many of the skills learned in training programs. Once a new driver receives a license, he or she can begin a rewarding career in the trucking industry.



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