Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Class 1 Greenhorn Driver

This course is designed for those individuals who, after a number of years in one job, are changing careers and have no previous experience operating commercial trucks and/or manual transmissions.

Students experience a mix of 104 hours of urban and rural driving including mountain and highway training, pre-trip inspections, logbooks, load security, tire chains and collision avoidance training.

A licensed driving instructor will customize individual training, using hands-on practice and demonstrations. Students will be taught skills required to drive, pre-trip inspections of a commercial vehicle and prepare for the ICBC Class 1 Road Test. Practical training is scheduled in 4 and 8-hour lessons using industry current tractor-trailer units.

During the course, students will experience driving in the Fraser Canyon, Highland Valley to Ashcroft, Revelstoke, and the Coquihalla Highway, which offers some of the most challenging Class 1 terrain in B.C.

This course gives each student 104 hours of driving miles, therefore allowing them the opportunity to learn at their own pace while building the confidence to drive commercial vehicles. Over and above the 104 driving hours, students will also receive an additional 30 hours of observing vehicle pre-trips and yard operations throughout the program.


To enter this program must be 19 years of age or older and hold a valid Class 1 learners licence with an air brake endorsement. 

Class 1 course outline

  • Vehicle familiarization
  • Airbrake refresher and troubleshooting training
  • Vehicle pre-trip training (pre/post trip checks)
  • Proper transmission operations – utilizing double clutching
  • Progressive shifting
  • Training on the splitter – half shifts
  • Engine operation – peaks torque, operating ranges, shift points, fuel economy
  • Trailer familiarization, vans, flat decks, and tankers
  • Rural, urban and highway driving techniques
  • Collision avoidance
  • Proper cornering techniques
  • Traffic and highway laws refresher
  • Fundamentals of backing a trailer
  • Proper coupling and uncoupling of truck and a trailer
  • Mountain driving operating procedures
  • Skip shifting
  • Zero torque shifting
  • Downhill braking techniques
  • Engine brake use – i.e. Jake brake
  • Pedestrian and cyclist awareness
  • Pre-trip and logbook documentation
  • Pre-hill brake check procedures
  • Weigh scale procedures
  • Brake adjustment training
  • Stopping distances
  • Load security
  • Tire chain installation
  • Sliding 5th wheels
  • Sliding trailer suspensions
  • Air ride trailer suspensions
  • Customer relations
  • Students observe vehicle pre-trips and yard operations (30 hours – no charge)

Program highlight: One-to-one student-to-instructor ratio

  • Centralized training location allows for access to all major highways
  • Modern training equipment
  • More miles driven and less time sitting in traffic and classrooms
  • Mountain driving time
  • Students receive a training certificate from Thompson Rivers University
  • Lifetime job placement assistance
  • Access to the Career Education and Employment department


For prices and scheduling information, please contact us.

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