Commercial Driving

Back to

Course Description

This one-year course is designed to cover all aspects of Class A tractor and trailer commercial vehicle safety, maintenance and operation. The course will include air brake training and state of Maine requirements are adhered to throughout the course. Relevant Federal Motor Carrier Regulations (FMCSR) and Maine Motor Vehicle Statutes (title 29-A) are covered. Additional instruction is provided in the areas of  Cargo Handling, Double and Triple Combinations, Tankers and Trip Planning.The course consists of classroom, lab-work, behind the wheel, Range and road driving. Successful completion will enable each student to obtain an entry level position in operating a commercial motor vehicle in Maine. Federal regulations require each student to submit to drug testing prior to training with vehicles.   

Scope: Topic Hours

Classroom:            78

Lab                      25.5

Behind the wheel:  44

Total                  147.5

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

Inspect Vehicles for complying with the federal and state statutes.

Understand the Control Systems of tractor trailer trucks or Class A/B Trucks.

Understand the Basic Vehicle systems and how they work to make vehicle inspections more easily understood.

Understand the Basic Control of  Class A CDL Vehicle Backing Driving ahead, right and left turns, starting and stopping.

Fundamentals of  Visual Search Methods.

Practice Speed and Space Managment while driving on the road, both in cities and on the road.

Effectively execute Emergency Maneuvers needed to assist driving skills in severe weather, or difficult traffic conditions.

Accident Procedures, how to facilitate the authorities and to attend to injured, and how to deal with minor infractions.

Properly document Hours of service and Log book.

Certificates/Licensing Opportunities:

1.  Class A CDL

2.   Endorsements include Doubles and Triples, Tanker. (Hazardous materials, Bus, School bus requirements are age 21, but can be learned at 18)

Dual Enrollment Opportunities:

1.  Kennebec Valley Technical College Linesman Program

2.   EMCC Diesel Engine Rebuilding Program


Professional Truck Drivers Institute of America

Trucking Tractor Trailer Handbook/Workbook, Thompson Delmar publishing- Third edition- 2006

State of Maine Commercial Drivers Manual, Dept Sec of State of Maine 2009 edition

Federal Motor Carriers Safety Manual, 7-0RS-A J.J.  Keller 2007 edition







Proper Winter Attire

Student objectives 

Students Successfully completing the course work will be able to:

A. Define and demonstrate safety practices and procedures with relations to all aspects of CDL Driving

B. Successfully complete the State of Maine CDL Testing.


Students will be graded on Understanding, Skill, Attitude, and Participation.

Attendance is critical. Tardiness and/or lost time will result in failure to complete the program for a student.


Students must pass the following for state testing:

  1. Written examination of an 80% or better score.
  2. Range maneuvering testing including, Straight line backing, Forward off set, Reverse offset, Alley Dock
  3. Walk around pre-trip
  4. On road Driving test


Course outline

Part I: Basic Operation

  • Orientation
  • General Knowledge
  • Air Brakes
  • Combinations
  • Control Systems
  • Vehicle Systems
  • Vehicle Inspections
  • Basic Controls
  • Shifting
  • Backing
  • Coupling, Uncoupling

Part II: Safe Operating Practices

  • Visual search
  • Communication
  • Speed management
  • Space management
  • Night driving
  • Extreme driving conditions
  • Hazard perception
  • Railroad crossing

Part III: Advanced Operating Practices

  • Emergency maneuvers
  • Skid control

Part IV: Vehicle Maintenance

  • Preventative maintenance & servicing
  • Diagnosing & reporting malfunctions

Part V: Non Vehicle Activities

  • Special rigs
  • Handling Cargo & Securing
  • Cargo documentation
  • Hours of Service
  • Trip planning/map reading
  • Accident procedures
  • Personal Health & Safety
  • Public Employer Relations
  • CSA



This course is held at Lincoln Facility .