The purpose of this course is to introduce the trainee to the basic skill of operating a commercial highway truck used in off-road construction or mine site applications. The course is not designed to be an over-the-road commercial driving course; nevertheless the fundamentals of basic truck operation are applicable to most scenarios and the course could easily be used as an effective primer for on-road truck operation.
- Lesson 1 teaches trainees how to perform a pre-use inspection and to identify the major components found on the highway tractor, with detailed explanations of the checks to perform for each major component.
- Lesson 2 covers the typical controls, buttons, and toggle switches found inside the truck's cab.
- Lesson 3 explains what do before, during, and after starting up the truck. It includes pre-start checks and the engine start-up sequences for both warm and cold weather situations. It also explains the post start-up check process.
- Lesson 4 explores the operation of the truck. It covers driving basics, including proper shifting and tips on how to shift smoothly, double-clutching, controlling travel speeds using the service pedal, and how and when to apply the engine brakes.
- Lesson 5 covers the truck's air brake system. Heavy loads on commercial vehicles require more braking force than a hydraulic braking system can provide. These systems are ingenious pieces of engineering, but for trainees they can be a challenge to understand. This lesson contains diagrams and graphics that help to demystify what each braking system does and how it does its job. It also describes how to check and perform quick, minor adjustments on the brakes for maintenance.
- Lesson 6 outlines a simple checklist for shutting down the truck, safe locations to park it when not in use and the steps for proper engine cool down.