Are you interested in trucking, understand the type of licence you require and have proper financing for your classes? Well, you only need to choose the appropriate heavy vehicle training school to achieve your dream. Going through the entire process can be tricky sometimes when you're still naïve on basics. Here are five factors to consider before enrolling in a heavy vehicle operator class:
1. Vehicle Operator's Licence
Not all training institutions in Australia cover all five licence classes for heavy vehicles, i.e., LR, MR, HR, HC and MC. The majority of heavy truck drivers use the HC (Heavy Combination) type in their fleet. And this is the reason why most training institutions provide classes for an HC licence and not the other four. Therefore, it's vital to confirm whether the school offers the type of licence you require.
2. Type of Truck
Inquire whether the truck used for training matches with the specific licence you need. It will be worthless training in an MR truck when you require an MC licence. Besides, inquire about the type of gearbox the vehicles have. Do they have automatic, synchromesh manual, crash box, road ranger or constant mesh?
Driving a truck with a road ranger gearbox is diverse and challenging. On the other hand, vehicles with synchromesh gearboxes are the same as manual cars. Most trucks will feature either synchromesh or automatic gearboxes. Synchromesh gearbox tests come with a B restriction that allows you to drive both automatic and manual trucks, unlike an A restriction that allows only automatic trucks.
3. Operator Training
During heavy vehicle operator classes, your instructor sits close to you while you drive a truck loaded up to 75% weight. Consider the amount of time you'll receive for one-on-one training with your instructor. Will your training involve one instructor or multiple? Furthermore, inquire whether the school provides a theoretical booklet that covers hazard awareness in the lessons.
Confirm whether the institution conducts in-house assessments or if you'll need to outsource an external assessor at an extra fee. In some training schools, instructors no longer assess their students to aid in preventing conflicts of interest. Hence, your school may liaise with independent assessors to conduct the exercise.
5. Training Fees
Finally, training fees are not the same for all training institutions and may vary according to individual licence class. Some may charge an hourly rate while others offer fixed payments. Some schools that offer both training and assessment may include an evaluation fee in the total cost. Therefore, ensure you inquire about this before enrolling for your heavy vehicle operator classes.