Professional Truck Driver Training

TRU has trained commercial drivers for over 26 years. We have the staff and expertise to offer driver training programs for students and trucking companies looking for drivers.

Kamloops has a blend of mountain passes in close proximity, a flat quiet industrial park to start lessons and major highways passing though the community. Kamloops does not have the high traffic volume experienced in other areas of the province, and has easy access to many mountain passes. This means students receive more driving time in a balanced blend of urban, rural and highway driving unmatched anywhere in British Columbia.

We offer only one-to-one training. While training drivers for the Canadian Armed Forces, Columbia was asked to evaluate the merits of having more than one student in the cab. The study showed that such placement is detrimental to learning and the one student to one instructor ratio was initiated. We also believe in training students through practical experience, not in a classroom environment. Trucking companies have indicated they would prefer to hire students who have had more “behind the wheel” time.

Our students are in great demand. Trucking companies from BC and Alberta call, wanting to hire our student drivers. We offer lifetime job placement assistance for students that complete our Greenhorn and Canadian Driver programs. Students are given the opportunity to contact long-haul and oilfield trucking companies that conduct a pre-employment interview before starting the course. This allows students to inquire about the working conditions and gives you peace of mind that employment is assured upon completion of the Class 1 program.

When choosing a school, compare the equipment, location and our commitment to professionalism and you will see that TRU/Columbia and Kamloops offer the very best in driver training.

Contact

Please contact us to set up an appointment or get more information on our programs.

Phone: 250-828-5104
Toll Free: 1-888-828-6199
Fax: 250-828-5492
E-mail: Ray Trenholm rtrenholm@tru.ca

Learn about the looming shortage of truck drivers

A study commissioned by the Canadian Trucking Alliance shows the industry will be short thousands of drivers by 2024.

CBC's The Current

Courses

 Air Brake Course

This course has been designed to prepare students for the ICBC written examination for an air brake endorsement to operate air brake equipped highway vehicles. Emphasis is placed on safe operating procedures, and ongoing maintenance for air brake systems. This course includes the airbrake pre-trip exam and the use of the truck for this test. Upon successful completion of this course, students have 90 days to write their air brake endorsement exam at the ICBC Driver Services Centre.

Please note: ICBC has the right to review certified records and to retest certified students at their discretion.

Prerequisites

To enter this course, students must have a valid BC driver’s licence.

Fees

  • Theory only - $109
  • Theory and pre-trip - $189

Cash, cheque, money order, VISA, American Express or MasterCard is accepted. Registration is not complete, and you are not considered admitted, until all fees are paid.

Dates and times

All air brake courses run Saturday and Sunday on the following dates:

2019 Training Dates
  • November 16 - 17
  • November 30 - December 1
  • December 14 - 15

To take an Air Brake practice test, visit BC Practice Driving Test

Location

Thompson Rivers University - Trades and Technology Centre
805 TRU Way, Kamloops, BC
Enter through Westgate entrance to university.

Contact

Ray Trenholm
Email: rtrenholm@tru.ca
Phone: 250-828-5104
Toll Free: 1-888-828-6199
Fax: 250-828-5492

 Class 1 Greenhorn Truck Driver

This 140-hour course is designed for the student who intends to become a commercial truck driver and requires the confidence and skills needed to apply for entry level driving positions. This course is more suited for those applying for in-town driving jobs. You'll experience a mix of urban and rural driving and receive the training you need to continue to safely improve your driving skills. A licensed instructor individualizes training using hands-on practice and demonstrations. Practical training is scheduled in three and four-hour formats. This training program includes the use of the truck and trailer unit for a pre-arranged ICBC road test. Students need to have a good operational understanding of non-synchronized transmissions to do well on this course.

Prerequisites

To enter this course you must be 19 years of age or older and produce a valid Class 1 learner's permit with an air brakes endorsement.

Pricing

For prices and scheduling information, please contact us.

Ray Trenholm

Phone: 250-828-5104
Toll Free: 1-888-828-6199
Fax: 250-828-5492
Email: rtrenholm@tru.ca

In person/mail

Old Main Building, Registrar's Office
Thompson Rivers University
805 TRU Way
Kamloops, BC V2C 0C8

 Class 1 Long/Short Haul

Canadian Driver

This course is designed for those students who want to change careers or are being retrained as a commercial truck driver. The course includes 20 hours of highway and mountain training where the student will learn to read road grades and fine-tune their shifting skills. Students will also be taught vehicle handling characteristics, collision avoidance, load security and weigh scale procedures. This three week, sixty hour Driver Training Program provides the training and information you will need to prepare for the Class 1 road test. A licensed instructor individualizes training using hands-on practice and demonstrations. Practical training is scheduled in four and eight-hour lessons using industry current tractor-trailer units. Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the confidence and skills required applying for in-town and highway driving positions.

Prerequisites

Participants entering this course must be 19 years of age or older and produce a valid Class 1 learner's permit with an air brakes endorsement.

Course outline

  • Vehicle Familiarization
  • Airbrake Refresher
  • Full Pre-trip Training (pre/post trip checks)
  • Proper Transmission Operations – utilizing double clutching
  • Training on the Splitter – half shifts
  • Engine Operation – peaks torque, operating ranges, shift points, fuel economy
  • Rural, Urban and Highway Driving Techniques
  • Collision Avoidance
  • Proper Cornering Techniques
  • Traffic and Highway Laws Refresher
  • Reading Road Grades
  • Fundamentals of Backing a Trailer
  • Proper Coupling and Uncoupling of Truck and a Trailer
  • Mountain Operating Procedures
  • Braking Techniques Engine Brake – ie Jakebrake
  • Pedestrian and Cyclist Awareness
  • Logbook Documentation
  • Pre-Hill Brake Checks
  • Weigh Scale Procedures
  • Brake Adjustment Training
  • Stopping Distances
  • Load Security
  • Tire Chain Installation

Pricing

For prices and scheduling information, please contact us.

Ray Trenholm

Phone: 250-828-5104
Toll Free: 1-888-828-6199
Fax: 250-828-5492
Email: rtrenholm@tru.ca

In person/mail

Old Main Building, Registrar's Office
Thompson Rivers University
805 TRU Way
Kamloops, BC V2C 0C8

 Class 1 Extended

This 40-hour course is designed for the student who intends to become a commercial truck driver and requires the confidence and skills needed to apply for entry level driving positions. This course is more suited for those applying for in-town driving jobs. You'll experience a mix of urban and rural driving and receive the training you need to continue to safely improve your driving skills. A licensed instructor individualizes training using hands-on practice and demonstrations. Practical training is scheduled in three and four-hour formats. This training program includes the use of the truck and trailer unit for a pre-arranged ICBC road test. Students need to have a good operational understanding of non-synchronized transmissions to do well on this course.

Prerequisites

To enter this course you must be 19 years of age or older and produce a valid Class 1 learner's permit with an air brakes endorsement.

Pricing

For prices and scheduling information, please contact us.

Ray Trenholm

Phone: 250-828-5104
Toll Free: 1-888-828-6199
Fax: 250-828-5492
Email: rtrenholm@tru.ca

In person/mail

Old Main Building, Registrar's Office
Thompson Rivers University
805 TRU Way
Kamloops, BC V2C 0C8

 Class 1 Regular Driver Training

This 32-hour course provides the training you need to prepare for a Class 1 road test. You'll experience mixed urban and rural driving, and receive the training you need to continue to safely improve your skills. A licensed instructor individualizes training using hands-on practice and demonstrations. Practical training is scheduled in 3-hour and 4-hour formats, using industry current tractor-trailer units. This training program provides the use of the tractor-trailer unit for the practical training, as well as for a pre-arranged ICBC road test. To be successful with this program, students should have previous experience shifting multi-speed non-synchronized transmissions.

Prerequisites

To enter this course you must be 19 years of age or older and produce a valid Class 1 learner's permit with an air brakes endorsement.

Pricing

For prices and scheduling information, please contact us.

Ray Trenholm

Phone: 250-828-5104
Toll Free: 1-888-828-6199
Fax: 250-828-5492
Email: rtrenholm@tru.ca

In person/mail

Old Main Building, Registrar's Office
Thompson Rivers University
805 TRU Way
Kamloops, BC V2C 0C8

 Class 1 Mountain/Highway

This one-day course is your opportunity to operate an industry current tractor-trailer unit through mountain highway passes (your choice of three routes). Training topics include: load security, vehicle handling, pre-hill brake and vehicle inspection, pre/post vehicle inspections, electronic engine operation, advanced transmission operation, weigh-scale procedures, on-board trip computer operation, log-book training.

Prerequisites

To enter this course you must be 19 years of age or older and produce a valid Class 1 licence or Class 1 learner's permit with an air brakes endorsement.

Pricing

For prices and scheduling information, please contact us.

Ray Trenholm

Phone: 250-828-5104
Toll Free: 1-888-828-6199
Fax: 250-828-5492
Email: rtrenholm@tru.ca

In person/mail

Old Main Building, Registrar's Office
Thompson Rivers University
805 TRU Way
Kamloops, BC V2C 0C8

 B-Train Driver

This course is designed for individuals interested in a career driving B-Train vehicles. This twenty-day, 100 hour Driver Training Program provides the training and information needed to prepare for the Class 1 road test and prepare for a career driving B-Train vehicles in the trucking industry. Students experience a mix of 60 hours of urban and rural driving with mountain and highway training, Students also receive vehicle inspection training and airbrake training to prepare for the ICBC road test. A licensed instructor individualizes training using hands-on practice and demonstrations with the student learning the proper driving techniques through a series of tasks that each student will practice to develop their driving skills. Practical training is scheduled in four and eight hour lessons using industry current Tractor-Trailer combinations. Students will also receive 40 hours driving B-Train tankers and flat-deck trailers.

Prerequisites

Participants entering the program must be 19 years or age or older, physically fit, and hold a Class 1 licence or produce a valid Class 1 learner's permit with an air brakes endorsement. They must also pass the ICBC medical, and have a driver’s abstract with 6 points or less.

Students are required to complete 10 hours of home study to prepare for the Airbrakes and Class 1 written exams.

Pricing

For prices and scheduling information, please contact us.

Ray Trenholm

Phone: 250-828-5104
Toll Free: 1-888-828-6199
Fax: 250-828-5492
Email: rtrenholm@tru.ca

In person/mail

Old Main Building, Registrar's Office
Thompson Rivers University
805 TRU Way
Kamloops, BC V2C 0C8

 Class 1, 2 and 3 Upgrading

This course is designed to assist those who have a valid Class 1, 2 or 3 licence or learner’s permit, with an air-brakes endorsement, to upgrade their current driving skills. Instruction is one-on-one, and includes pre-trip training along with behind-the wheel training in each session. Training lessons are based on a fixed time length of 2-hour to 8-hour lesson blocks. Each training session can be modified to suit the students’ specific requirements. This hourly training can also be beneficial for those students who want to evaluate their current driving skills before deciding which training program is best suited for them.

Prerequisites

To enter this course, you must be 18 or older, produce a valid Class 1, 2 or 3 learners licence with the airbrake endorsement or valid class 1, 2 or 3 drivers licence with an air brakes endorsement.

Pricing

For prices and scheduling information, please contact us.

Ray Trenholm

Phone: 250-828-5104
Toll Free: 1-888-828-6199
Fax: 250-828-5492
Email: rtrenholm@tru.ca

In person/mail

Old Main Building, Registrar's Office
Thompson Rivers University
805 TRU Way
Kamloops, BC V2C 0C8

 Class 2 Bus Driver

This 16-hour course provides the training you need to prepare for a Class 2 road test. You'll experience mixed urban and rural driving, and receive the training you need to continue to safely improve your skills. A licensed instructor individualizes training using hands-on practice and demonstrations. Practical training is scheduled in three-hour lessons, using a 72 passenger airbrake equipped standard transmission bus. This training program provides the use of the school bus for the practical training, as well as for a pre-arranged ICBC road test.

Please note: If you train and test on an automatic transmission ICBC will restrict you to driving automatics only.

Prerequisites

To enter this course, you must be 19 or older, produce a valid Class 2 learner's permit with an air brakes endorsement.

Pricing

For prices and scheduling information, please contact us.

Ray Trenholm

Phone: 250-828-5104
Toll Free: 1-888-828-6199
Fax: 250-828-5492
Email: rtrenholm@tru.ca

In person/mail

Old Main Building, Registrar's Office
Thompson Rivers University
805 TRU Way
Kamloops, BC V2C 0C8

 Class 3 Driver Training

This 30-hour course provides the training required to operate a three axle truck and prepare for the Class 3 ICBC road test. It is suited for those students who have little or no experience on a manual transmission or any exposure to commercial vehicles. You will experience mixed urban and rural driving, vehicle inspection and airbrake training on one of our 2007 Kenworth highway tractors, in 3 or 4-hour training sessions. This program provides the use of the truck for the practical training, as well as for a pre-arranged ICBC road test.

Prerequisites

To enter this course you must be 18 years of age or older, hold a valid Class 5 driver's licence, and produce a valid Class 3 learner's permit with an air brakes endorsement.

Pricing

For prices and scheduling information, please contact us.

Ray Trenholm

Phone: 250-828-5104
Toll Free: 1-888-828-6199
Fax: 250-828-5492
Email: rtrenholm@tru.ca

In person/mail

Old Main Building, Registrar's Office
Thompson Rivers University
805 TRU Way
Kamloops, BC V2C 0C8

 Super B-Train Upgrade

This course is designed to assist those who hold a valid Class 1 licence or learner’s permit, with an air-brakes endorsement, and want to upgrade their current driving skills on a B-Train style trailer. Students can choose from taking 2 hours to 8 hours refresher training or challenge the Fraser Canyon with a 10 hour run to Hope and return. Instruction is one-on-one, and includes vehicle inspection training log book training along with behind-the wheel training in each session. Training lessons are based on a time length of two-hour to 10-hour training blocks. Each training session is modified to suit the students’ specific requirements.

Prerequisites

To enter this course you must be 18 years of age or older, hold a valid Class 5 driver's licence, and produce a valid Class 3 learner's permit with an air brakes endorsement.

Pricing

For prices and scheduling information, please contact us.

Ray Trenholm

Phone: 250-828-5104
Toll Free: 1-888-828-6199
Fax: 250-828-5492
Email: rtrenholm@tru.ca

In person/mail

Old Main Building, Registrar's Office
Thompson Rivers University
805 TRU Way
Kamloops, BC V2C 0C8

 5th Wheel RV Trailers and Heavy Trailer Endorsement

The endorsement 20 for heavy trailers, and endorsement code 07 for 5th wheel trailers, are now required for trailers that weigh over 4600 kilograms (10,000 lbs). This course provides the training needed to prepare for the endorsement codes 20 and 07 ICBC road test. A licensed instructor delivers individualized training using hands-on practice and demonstrations. Students are taught vehicle inspection and skills required for safe operation of a vehicle while pulling a heavy trailer or 5th wheel trailer. This training program requires the student to supply their own vehicle and trailer that weighs a minimum of 4600 kilograms (10,000 lbs) for the training and the ICBC road test.

We book the ICBC road test for you as part of this course.

Prerequisites

To enter this course you must hold a Class 5 drivers license, for the endorsement 20, hold a valid Class 3 learner's licence and for the endorsement code 07, hold a valid 5th wheel learners licence.

To obtain the learners licence, apply to the ICBC licence office in your area and ask for the information to study for the learner’s exam.

Date and fee

Students must register and bring a paid tuition receipt to the School of Trades and Technology building, Room TT158, to book your training dates or register and book your training over the phone if paying your tuition with VISA, AMEX, and MasterCard. Times and dates are confirmed for each student upon receipt of payment. For prices and scheduling information, please contact us.

Ray Trenholm

Phone: 250-828-5104
Toll Free: 1-888-828-6199
Fax: 250-828-5492
Email: rtrenholm@tru.ca

In person/mail

Old Main Building, Registrar's Office
Thompson Rivers University
805 TRU Way
Kamloops, BC V2C 0C8

Driver Training Information

  • ICBC Driving School Licence number DTC # 0260.
  • All driver training courses are continuous intake.
  • Driving lessons are 3, 4 and 8 hours (morning, afternoon or evening starts times).
  • Training is 20-28 hours per week.
  • We can train 6 days a week to accommodate out of town students.
  • Course lengths range from one week to five weeks.
  • Dorm rooms, hotels and motels in Kamloops give our out of town students reduced rates.
  • Air Brake courses are held every 2 to 3 weeks in Kamloops. (See air brake schedule)
  • Students are required to complete the Air Brakes course and write the Air Brakes and Class 1 learner’s tests before beginning the training.
  • Fees to write the tests are $15.00 each when written separately or $15.00 for both when you write the two tests together.
  • Road test fees are $60.00 for Class 1 and $50.00 for Class 3 and Class 2.
  • The license fee is $17.00.
  • Medical processing fee is $28.00.
  • ICBC road tests are scheduled by TRU and include the use of equipment.
  • Students are given an acceptance letter for the program to assist with funding requests.
  • The acceptance letter will show start date, completion date and cost of the course.
  • TRU does not require a PCTIA number as we are a public university.
  • Employers recognize our training programs and we have job placement assistance for students.
  • TRU does not charge HST on any of our training courses.
  • 99% of students who take our training courses are employed.
  • We train over 100 students per year.

Fleet Services

We offer a wide selection of driver training services for trucking and government agencies.

  • Pre-employment driver assessments
  • Yearly employment assessments
  • Air Brake refresher courses
  • Pre-trip refresher and training courses
  • Tire chain installation courses
  • Winter driving courses
  • Off road driving courses
  • 4 wheel drive use
  • Trailer operations and use
  • Proper downhill driving techniques
  • Driving for fuel economy
  • We will travel to your location
  • We can train using your own vehicles
  • Brake adjustment training
  • Collision avoidance training

If you don't see a course you require, contact us and we will customize a program for your company.

Training Equipment

Highway tractors

  • Kenworth T800: 18 speed Eaton Fuller transmission 550 hp Cummins ISX EGR / DEF
  • Kenworth T800: 18 speed Eaton Fuller transmission 550 hp Cummins ISX EGR / DEF
  • Kenworth T800: 18 speed Eaton Fuller transmission 400 hp Cummins ISM EGR
  • Kenworth T800: 18 speed Eaton Fuller transmission 475-500 hp Cummins ISX EGR
  • Western Star:13 speed Eaton Fuller transmission, 400 hp Cummins M11
  • International/Thomas: 72 passenger School Bus, 5 speed manual transmission equipped with airbrakes

Trailers

  • 48 foot Loadking flatdeck tandem axle trailer load to 75% payload
  • 45 foot Ram Dryvan tandem axle trailer load to 75% payload
  • 48 foot Fruehauf Dryvan tandem axle trailer loaded to 40% payload
  • 48 foot Fruehauf Dryvan tandem axle air-ride trailer loaded to 70% payload
  • 48 foot Utility Dryvan tandem axle air-ride trailer loaded to 70% payload
  • Super B tankers, flatdecks and 53’ trailers are available for training

Equipment options

  • Dual air-ride seats with arm rests
  • Fleet equipped with both manual and automatic slack adjusters
  • Air conditioned trucks
  • All trucks are tandem axle with air-ride suspension

Job Opportunities

Bus drivers required

First Canada

Highway drivers required

bison

Logging truck drivers required

Positions available now!

Train for a career as a logging truck driver. There is an immediate need for logging truck drivers in northern BC and Alberta. If you are looking for a new career, give us a call to discuss employment opportunities.


  • Driver Shortage Canada
  • WorkBC
  • WowJobs Job search website
  • Assess your essential skills at the ITA website
    Click on "CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED!", register, complete the short survey, then locate "Professional Truck Driver" in the list of trades, and click on the red or yellow button.

We offer lifetime job placement assistance for students who complete the Greenhorn Driver program. Call us to discuss job opportunities.

 CTA study predicts driver shortage to be worse than previously thought

A new study by the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) reveals that the driver shortage in the Canadian for-hire trucking industry is escalating quicker than previously believed.

Updating the CTA’s 2011 report, which predicted a 33,000 shortfall by 2020, the new study — ‘Understanding the Truck Driver Supply and Demand Gap’ — says there will be a shortage of 34,000 drivers by 2024, reflecting an increase in demand of 25,000 and a decrease in supply of 9,000.

The study adds that the shortage could rise to 48,000 due to what it called ‘plausible combinations of different trends that could affect industry demand, labor productivity and occupational attractiveness.’

Driver demand is expected to increase most in Ontario, followed by British Columbia, with the greatest gap between demand and supply in Ontario and Quebec.

CTA president and CEO David Bradley said the study should be a wake-up call and reminder to everyone — carriers, shippers and governments — that while the current lackluster economic activity may be taking some of the edge off the driver shortage in the immediate-term, the underlying trend points to a long-term chronic shortage of truck drivers.

“When you consider that almost everything that people consume on a daily basis, or that serve as inputs into the production process, is shipped by truck, the economic implications of a driver shortage are potentially immerse.”

The study also points out what it called a ‘demographic cliff,’ with nearly 169,000 drivers employed in the for-hire sector in 2014 and the average age continuing to increase more rapidly than the Canadian labor force in general.

By 2024, the study predicts the average truck driver age to be over 49, up from 47 in 2014 and 44 in 2006. Approximately 17,000 drivers are between the age of 60 and 65.

“As the ratio of younger to older workers continues to increase for the labor force as a whole, it is clear that the trucking industry will have to reverse this trend, and fast“, said the study’s authors.

Between 2006 and 2011, drivers between the age of 25 and 34 dropped from 18 percent to below 15 percent, while those between 55 and 64 increased from 17 percent to 22 percent. Immigrants make up 20 percent of truck drivers, also smaller than the Canadian workforce as a whole.

Men continue to make up the vast proportion of drivers at 97 percent, compared to 52 percent of all employees in Canada.

“The trucking industry and the companies that make up the trucking industry are not the only stakeholders that have an interest in maintaining the sustainability of the long-haul trucking model,” the study said. “The industry’s customers (shippers) and their customers’ customers (the general public) will also be directly affected, negatively or positively by the trucking industry’s ability to rise to the challenge.”

— from trucknews.com

Licensing

Procedures for obtaining Class 1, 2, and 3 with air brakes

  1. Contact ICBC in person and get pre-screened to see if you are eligible to upgrade your driver's license. Pick up a drivers abstract and ask about any medical concerns at this time.
  2. Attend the TRU air brake course; the certified airbrake course is 20 hours in length. The non-certified airbrake course is 16 hours.
  3. Write the air brake exam at the ICBC Driver Services office within 90 days of completing the course. Cost of writing test is $15. Write the Class 1, 2 or 3 Learner’s Exam at the ICBC Driver Services office. Cost of writing the exam is $15. Note: If you write both exams at the same time you will only be charged $15.
  4. Now you are ready to begin the driver training program at TRU/Columbia. Upon completion of the driver training program, you will complete a two-hour road test which will be pre-booked for you. Cost of:
    • Class 1: $60
    • Class 2: $50
    • Class 3: $50
  5. When you successfully pass the road test you will be issued a new driver’s license. The cost for a duplicate is $17. A five year renewal is $75. A medical processing fee of $28 is charged for the medical form. You will also be issued a medical form, which you can take to the TRU Health Services to complete a physical if you are in the Kamloops area, or to your family physician. Cost of the physical is $100 at TRU. Return the medical form to the ICBC office so ICBC can mail you your new license.
Practice exams are available at the following:

Please note: It is highly recommended that you take the air brake course before you start any training course. You must successfully write and complete your air brake test and learner’s license test before you begin your training.

Financing

Financing is available through TD Canada Trust and other banking institutions. The driver training courses are not long enough to be eligible for provincial and federal loans. Many students finance their training through TD Canada Trust.

TRU does not charge taxes on any of its courses. Tuition fees are tax deductible.

Employment Insurance

If you are receiving Employment Insurance benefits, or if you have been on Employment Insurance in the last three years, you may qualify for training funds. Contact your local Employment Office.

If you are trying to obtain funding through Employment Insurance, contact us and we will help you with your back-to-work action plan.

RRSP – Lifelong Learning Plan

The Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) allows you to withdraw amounts from RRSPs to finance training or education for you or your spouse or common-law partner. As a designated post-secondary institution, we are recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency. The RRSP Lifelong Learning Plan allows an individual to:

  • Withdraw tax-free up to $10,000 per year to a total of $20,000
  • The withdrawal must be from the student’s personal RRSP or his or her spouse’s or common law partner's RRSP. The rules do not allow a withdrawal from a parent's RRSP.
  • The funds must be repaid within 10 years.
Canada Revenue Agency Lifelong Learning Plan

Testimonials

At age 53, after a couple of decades working in the building trades I decided that it was time for a career change. After some careful consideration, I settled upon the idea of driving for a living, which led me to the Thompson Rivers University website and their Class 1 Greenhorn Driver program. This spring I was fortunate enough to achieve that goal and completed the comprehensive five-week program, ultimately passing my Class 1 license. I cannot speak highly enough of Ray and his team. I would like to especially commend my two instructors, Awna, who taught the airbrakes course and introduced me to driving the beautiful Kenworth T800 during the first week and particularly Wayne who coached me throughout the remaining four weeks, all the while displaying endless patience and good humour as I slowly mastered the 18-speed transmission and negotiated assorted corners and grades. With my licence in hand, I moved back home to the Sunshine Coast of BC and started my new career, initially as a relief driver for a local freight company. I have now just been hired as a driver by the Sunshine Coast Regional District. The transportation supervisor for the SCRD described Thompson Rivers/Columbia Transport training as “the Yale of driving schools” and I have no doubt that this reputation was instrumental in helping me get my new job.

Matthew Evans

Matthew Evans


I would like to thank Ray Trenholm and Mike McPhee from TRU Columbia Transport Training. I enrolled for the 73 hour Class 1 course and I am so happy I made the decision to do my training there. Kamloops is such a perfect area to do this type of training as it offers so many different areas around and within the city, to challenge a student with some experience, or help a student that has no experience. I spent all my training time with Mike McPhee and cant say enough about how great of instructor he is. He used all the areas within and around Kamloops to help me improve my driving skills each day we went out, which all lead to a successful road test with ICBC at the end of my course. He did a great job preparing me for that day. Thank you also to Ray Trenholm for staying on top of the application process and helping make that happen. I would highly recommend this school to anyone who is thinking about pursuing a career in the trucking industry. The school has great equipment to train on, excellent instructors, and Kamloops is the best area to truly challenge you to become a "Professional" truck driver. Also special thanks to “007” the 2013 W900 Kenworth I had the pleasure of doing my training and road test with.

Robert Pelland

Robert Pelland


Just a note of appreciation for Ray and his team.  Thank you for your time, patience and knowledge.  TRU and Commercial Transport Training has taught me that being a truck driver is not just about driving a Big “Rig”, it is the challenge of being a professional, anticipating the moves of other drivers, being prepared for the unexpected and the responsibility, especially when it comes to safety of the public and myself.  I feel confident that I will succeed with this training and would highly recommend the Greenhorn course to anyone that wants a head starting in the trucking field…

Mike Knudsen

Mike Knudsen


The Thompson Rivers University driving program delivered by Columbia Transport Training did not only meet the outlined curriculum but in so many ways exceeded it. The skills that were taught and the manner in which that happened will ensure they are retained as part of a new skill set for years to come. The instructors without exception were able to communicate their vast and varied knowledge base into our training. Not only the skills necessary to obtain a license but the real world skills necessary to become a successful driving professional. I spent most of my time with Mike McPhee and found him to be an exceptional instructor as well as an outstanding individual. It was a great experience and I would certainly strongly recommend your institution to others who were interested in a career as a professional driver. I would also like to thank you for accepting me into the program and for your continued support and guidance throughout it.

Kevin Mitchell

Kevin Mitchell


I’d like to thank Ray Trenholm and Thompson Rivers University for the excellent 104 greenhorn driver course that I just complete. After being in Sales Management for 20 years , I decided to make a drastic career change – with not truck driving experience, I knew I would need some top notch education. The Greenhorn course provided that and more. At first I thought 104 hours might be overkill but I was wrong. It was only after 80 hours, did I feel confident in most driving conditions. The last 24 hours were mostly mountain driving eight hours per day which really solidified everything I learned. I highly recommend calling Ray and finding out more about the course.

Brandon Williams

Brandon Williams


I would like to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to attend the commercial Driver Training course. It was an experience that has changed my life for the better in many ways. This was in fact one of the most challenging courses I have ever taken. I have to say before I took it, I was pretty cocky and figured I would pick it up no problem. Boy was I wrong. This course and my instructor were excellent. Everyone was friendly, extremely patient, supportive, knowledgeable, encouraging and went the extra mile to help me anyway the could to accomplish what I need to. I now not only have a Class one Drivers licence, the ability to go earn a good living and support my family, I also have the confidence in my abilities as well as the skills to handle situations when they go wrong. I definitely recommend taking this course at TRU to both women and men that are interested in getting their Class One or upgrading their license.

Rayella Parr

Rayella Parr


Just a quick note to pass along my thanks for a truly terrific course. I must admit, I began with more than a little anxiety about starting something like this at my age. My fears were quickly put to rest however, with the calm professional attitude of the instructors. I never felt any undue pressure and was able to learn all I needed to know in the allotted time. I would highly recommend this particular course to anyone looking to get into the truck driving industry.

Richard Fifer


From the moment I applied for the program to the moment I received my Class 1 Driver's License, Columbia Transport Training provided a positive, enjoyable, professional learning experience. My first contact was with Ray Trenholm - Manager of Driver Training at TRU. Ray guided me through some of the preliminary requirements and paper work necessary to put me in position for the program. All submissions were made electronically culminating in acquiring my Class 1 Learner's License, Air Brake endorsement, current medical and drug screening. After a personal interview, I received my start date an d the instruction began. Although I anticipated some preliminary classroom or simulator instruction, I was not disappointed when Ray presented me with a short list of materials I would need for my first day of instruction and told me, "your classroom is an 18 speed Kenworth" . . . One-on-one instruction is the hallmark of this program. I was very fortunate to have Wayne Field (25 plus years trucking experience) as my primary instructor. In a very short time, he introduced me to the responsibilities and skills necessary to becoming a professional driver. Always challenging, Wayne and the other instructors work through the mechanics of driving a tractor (truck)/trailer combination in a relatively short order. Then the hard part begins, turning a "Green Horn student " into an AWARE driver. Thanks Ray for a wonderful experience. I endorse and without reservation, recommend this program as an excellent jumping off point for a professional driving career.

Barry Clarke

Barry Clarke

Government-sponsored Professional Truck Driver Programs

We are not taking applications at this time

This government-sponsored program is tuition-free

Thompson Rivers University, School of Trades and Technology, in partnership with Columbia Transport Training Ltd., is pleased to offer Class 1 Truck Driver Training.

The BC trucking industry is currently facing shortages of truck drivers. This program has been developed in collaboration with trucking companies and industry stakeholders.

The Class 1 Truck Driver Training program is delivered at the TRU Kamloops campus.

Prerequisites

  • Meet eligibility requirements set out on the LMA Eligibility Form
  • Complete an Application
  • Have a valid BC Class 5
  • Have a personal interview with instructors and program caseworker

Funding is provided through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement. This initiative is geared towards people who are unemployed or under-employed and who are NOT currently receiving Employment Insurance.

The Class 1 Truck Driver Training program includes:

  • Airbrakes
  • Class 1 Driver Training — five weeks — 104 hours in-vehicle training
  • Road test at ICBC

Upon completion of the program, you will be an entry-level truck driver with behind the wheel experience, and ready for employment.

Class dates

Continuous intake

Application procedure

  1. You must meet the eligibility requirements set out in the LMA eligibility Form.
  2. Email, fax, phone or mail the following items to the contact person noted below:
    • Completed LMA Eligibility Form
    • Cover letter indicating why the applicant wants to take the program
    • Current resume
    • Completed TRU Application, and if possible, a letter from a potential employer indicating a commitment for employment (applicants with this letter will receive priority consideration)
    • Pre-screening application
    • Driver's abstract

Contact

Ray Trenholm — Driver Training
TRU School of Trades and Technology
805 TRU Way
Kamloops, BC V2C 0C8

Email: rtrenholm@tru.ca
Phone: 250-828-5104 or 250-371-5817
Fax: 250-828-5492