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Important Terms about Truck Driving Instruction
If you're interesting in pursuing a career in truck driving, you're probably already interested in getting the right education and training. As you research truck driving schools to continue your education, you may encounter certain terms whose meaning may not be clear, so let's define some of them below.
Semi-trailer truck - A type of truck that consists of two separable units: a tractor where the driver sits, and a large trailer behind it. Popularly known as a "semi" or 18-wheeler.
Box truck - A type of truck with a large rectangular-shaped storage area. It is commonly associated with moving companies.
Dump truck - A roofless type used to transport granular materials such as dirt or gravel.
Flatbed truck - A type whose trailer consists of a long, level floor with no sides.
Defensive driving - Driving a vehicle in a manner to ensure safety, despite specific adverse conditions that may exist, is known as defensive driving. Professional truck drivers are typically instructed in these kinds of techniques.
CDL - Short for commercial driver's license. A commercial driver's license indicates the types of vehicles its bearer is authorized to drive, as well as the materials he or she can legally transport.
DOT - Short for the Department of Transportation, the government agency that oversees and provides regulation for various aspects of transportation industry.
Hazardous materials - Also called hazmat, this is the general term for dangerous substances, such as those that are flammable, explosive, or poisonous. Drivers responsible for transporting hazardous materials must receive specific instruction in this area and carry a special driver's license.
Truck driving instruction is an important service that helps commercial drivers learn and refine their skills. In addition, many drivers must take these education classes and courses before receiving licenses and certifications for the vehicles they wish to operate. Prospective drivers typically train and practice with certified instructors at accredited schools. Before being able to certify and license their students, teachers typically administer tests to measure students' aptitude and road preparedness. Once individuals pass and complete their vehicle operation exams, they are given their commercial driver's license, or CDL. In the United States, individuals with a CDL are typically considered transportation professionals in most jurisdictions.
These educational institutes typically provide instruction for a wide variety of commercial vehicles. For instance, tractor trailer and dump truck operation methods are regularly taught by teachers. Other common vehicles that often require instruction include flatbed and semi trucks. Along with specific vehicle instruction, schools often teach general skills as well. For instance, defense driving techniques are regularly taught at these institutions. Along with defense driving, students may learn general rules and regulations for operating commercial vehicles on highways and roads. More information about a school's programs and services can typically be found online. School websites regularly contain curriculum information, such as what specific trucks and commercial vehicles they offer courses for. In addition, websites provide important information such as location, contact details, hours of operation and many other facts. Overall, these institutions play a crucial role in ensuring truck drivers obtain proper knowledge in how to safely and efficiently operate a wide variety of commercial vehicles.