Commercial Driving

Back to Commercial Driving

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 Hazardous Materials and Cargo Handling, Double and Triple Combinations, Tankers and Trip Planning.The course consists of classroom, labwork, 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 ans state statutes.

Understand the Control Systems of different tractor trailer trucks and Class 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, such as used in driving skills.

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.

Practice proper 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



Note pad



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 pretrip

4.On road Driving test


Course outline

Introduction and opening remarks

A.Safe operation regulations including

1.Maine Motor Vehicle law

2.Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations


B. Equipment Introductions

C. Commercial motor vehicle safety systems.

D. Safe vehicle control

1. Maine Motor Vehicle law

2. Basic control

3. Shifting

4. Backing

5. Visual search

6. Communication

7. Speed and space management

8. Driver fatigue

9. Night operation

10. Extreme driving conditions

11. Hazard perceptions

a. Emergency maneuvers

b. Skid control and recovery

12. Relationship of vehicle control to cargo

13.Vehicle inspections

14. Hazardous material knowledge

15. Air brake knowledge

16. First Aid

17. Accident procedures

18. Defensive driving procedures

19. Enforcement agencies and procedures

20. Drugs, alcohol, and driver fitness


E. Behind the wheel Instruction. All Behind the Wheel Instruction must occur under direct supervision of the Driving Instructor, and must include the following topics:

1. Basic Safe Control

A. Ability to start

B. Ability to stop

C. Ability to move the vehicle forward and backward

2. Basic Vehicle Inspections and Operations of all Air Brakes

3. Safe Driving

A. Visual search

B. Use of signals

C. Speed control for weather, traffic, and cargo control.

D. Ability to choose a safe gap and correctly position the vehicle when changing lanes and turning.



This course is held at Lincoln Facility .