Last month, students from four Career and Technical Centers competed at the Professional Drivers Championship in the “Future Truckers” division at Dysart’s Transportation in Hermon. Selected students from Region 3 (Lincoln area), Region 9 (Rumford area), Tri-County Technical Center (Dexter area), and Westbrook Regional Vocational Center (Westbrook area) competed at this event. The students were complimented and encouraged by fellow competitors, company owners, commercial inspectors, law enforcement officers, as well as spectators and sponsors.
Competitors participated in both a written and a driven test during the day-long event. Student drivers Cody Sylvester, Dylan Thibodeau, Justin Lary, and Jeffry Whitney represented Tri-County Technical Center at this event. Cody Sylvester took 1st place in the Straight Truck division. Justin Lary won 1st place in the 5-Axle Tractor-Trailer division while Dylan Thibodeau took 2nd place in the 5-Axle Tractor-Trailer. Although Jeffry Whitney did not place in his event, his score allowed Tri-County to win the Team Award.
All participating students were judged not only on their testing and driving skills, but also on their professionalism.
Tri-County Technical Center program instructor Vicki Kimball said students spend a good part of their instructional time operating tractor-trailers through a combination of on-the-range practice and road time. “Those who successfully complete the program will possess entry-level skills as required by the trucking industry and are able to utilize the schools’ truck and trailer to test for licensing. Students must hold a valid Maine Driver’s License and/or Instruction Permit, must be 17, and must agree to Federal D.O.T. Regulations regarding random drug testing for Commercial Drivers,” Kimball said.
The Commercial Truck Driving Program qualifies students to be tested by the State of Maine Department of Motor Vehicles for a CDL Class A and/or CDL Class B Commercial Driver’s Permit and a CDL Class A and/or a CDL Class B Commercial Driver’s License, if the requirements of mandated hours are met.
Instruction is based on State Laws, Industry Regulations, and Equipment Maintenance required for licensing. State of Maine standards for classroom and driving instruction are adhered to during the course. Kimball says the employment success rate for students completing the course of study is very high.
Visit here to learn more about this program and others at some of Maine’s Career and Technical Education Centers.