Expanded training introduced for semi-trailer drivers in Canada

Canadian province rolls out new 121.5 training program

student truck driver

Perhaps this is something we should consider in Australia? A Canadian province now demands 121.5 hours of training before issuing a Class 1 license.

A Class 1 license in the U.S. and Canada gives commercial vehicle drivers access to a semi-trailer, equivalent to a Heavy Combination license here.

But, unlike in Australia, where a HC license can be yours with as little as one day of training, in Saskatchewan a much more rigorous training system is now mandatory.

The province will soon require would-be semi-trailer drivers to undergo at least 121.5 hours of training.

It comes after sixteen people were killed and thirteen injured in a crash between a bus and a semi-trailer truck in the Canadian province in April.

Joe Hargrave, Minister of Saskatchewan Government Insurance, says the new mandatory training requirements will include a minimum of 47 classroom hours, 17.5 hours in the yard, and 57 hours behind the wheel.

“The training will focus on basic driving techniques, professional driving habits, vehicle inspections and airbag training.

“The enhanced curriculum will be reflected in the driver’s tests, training schools will receive instruction and training on the new curriculum and the people who deliver the training will be held to a higher standard.”

Mr Hargrave saying the more stringent licensing system is required due to the record numbers of trucks on the roads.

“We cannot forget that these are big, heavy vehicles.”

We welcome your feedback on this in the comments section below. Is Australia’s heavy vehicle licensing system working? Do we need more testing and training for would-be truck drivers? Or, is 121.5 hours just too much? Let us know what you think below.

Stay up to date with the latest Heavy Vehicle Road Safety News at heavyvehicles.com.au. 

About Joel Helmes 1836 Articles
Joel is the founder and CEO of Heavy Vehicles. With more than 20 years experience in the media, including more than 10 years heading up the car publication - Behind the Wheel, Joel is passionate about bringing a fresh perspective to the Australian road transport industry. Prior to his media career Joel worked for a number of years as a bus, truck and delivery driver.

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