It’s no secret that becoming a truck driver, especially in Canada, can be quite a lucrative career. But one doesn’t simply become a truck driver overnight: it requires the proper truck driver training at the right trucking school. However, for those who are dedicated to starting their career off on the right foot, there are a lot of options for you and one of them is 5th Wheel Training.
We’ve collected some of the most important things you need to know here, so read on!
What Exactly is an “AZ” or Truck Driving License?
Before diving into the details, you might be wondering what’s so different about a truck driving license when compared to a traditional driver’s license. Well, first of all, with an AZ or commercial driver’s license you’ll be able to drive commercial vehicles, along with everyday vehicles.
However, there are some minimum requirements for attending trucking school and obtaining your truck driver’s license, such as:
- Passing a road test behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer.
- Being 18 or older.
- Having your equivalent of the “G” driver’s license.
- Passing a vision and medical fitness test.
- Mandatory training from an approved truck driver training school.
Obtaining Your “G” License or Equivalent
Also known as a Class 5 license in other areas, this license enables drivers to drive on the roads in Canada at all times without any restrictions and is considered the country’s standard driver’s license. After you’ve obtained this license, you’ll need to then obtain a license that allows you to operate vehicles with air brakes, so read on to learn more.
Obtaining the “Z” Driver’s License Endorsement
There are two ways that one can obtain the “Z” endorsement on their driver’s license that allows them to drive vehicles with air brakes. The first is to study for and pass a test that demonstrates your theoretical and practical knowledge of how air brakes are used. This encompasses both a written test as well as a driving test.
After completing the written test demonstrating your knowledge of air breaks, you’ll then need to pass a seven-step practical test that you’ll need to book a time for in the same way you did for your “G” driver’s license test.
Taking a Course from a Certified School
Since driving a vehicle with air brakes can be remarkably different than a traditional vehicle, many choose to enroll in a truck driver training course that will give them all the tools they need to drive a vehicle with air brakes. There are many throughout the province of Ontario and Canada to choose from.
Passing Your Medical Fitness & Vision Test
As previously mentioned, you’ll also need to pass a medical fitness test certifying that you’re healthy enough to drive, as well as a vision test. You can receive a medical fitness test from any walk-in clinic in your area, just mention that you’re there to obtain a report for a truck driver license. The vision test that’s required needs to be completed at the Driving Test Center the day you obtain your license.
The “A” License Knowledge Test/Tractor-Trailer Knowledge Test
The reason why a truck driving license is also referred to as an “AZ” driver’s license is because you need to pass both this portion, as well as the one mentioned above to become a truck driver in Canada. For your “A” license test, you’ll need to demonstrate that you have a working knowledge of driving a tractor-trailer truck.
You’ll need at least an 80% to pass the test.
Attending a Licensed Truck Driver Training School
Many truck driver training schools add all of this testing into their curriculum to help drivers prepare for obtaining their AZ license. Additionally, there are some schools that require you to obtain your AZ license upfront. However, regardless of whether you do so or not, you’ll still be required to receive a certain number of hands-on truck driver training from a licensed truck driving school in Canada.
One of the benefits of attending a truck driver training school is that you’ll receive the most up-to-date, practical knowledge about the trucking industry, as well as training from experienced professionals. Most truck driving schools employ truck drivers themselves with direct, on-the-road experience that can offer invaluable advice and insight.
Additionally, many of today’s top truck driving schools in Canada will not only give you all of the necessary tools you need to feel confident behind the wheel, but they’ll also help you find a job as well. The trucking industry is always in search of new drivers, and many of today’s leading schools will have an outreach program to try and place you in a position once you’ve graduated.