Log haul truck training coming to GPRC

By Jocelyn Turner, Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 3:09:54 MDT PM

 GPRC truck

If you’re looking for a job or just looking for a career with steady full-time hours, Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC) may have the answer for you.

In partnership with Alberta Human Services, Woodland Operations Learning Foundation (WOLF), Ainsworth Engineered Canada LP, Grande Prairie Log Haul Trucking Driver Alliance and Weyerhaeuser Canada, the college will be hosting free courses to help unemployed or underemployed residents get into the truck driving field for the forest industry and will be providing training and scheduling in order to complete the required material.

“The truck driving companies and the forestry companies have a shortage of Class 1 truck drivers,” explained Karen Scribner, learning co-ordinator with WOLF. “So it’s essential to have sufficient truck drivers to get the log products to the mill.”

The course will have two components, a classroom portion and a hands-on training portion. Each student will be taught the various skills pertinent to the job and safety while on the job. The hands on portion will require students to complete some hours of driving the log haul truck. The driving portion will be completed in designated areas, off highway.

“They’ll have first aid, and there will also be some online courses they will take in terms of alcohol and drug awareness,” explained Chad Boone, manager for continuing education with GPRC. “Back safety, lifting and things of that nature. The effects of stress on driving and trip inspection, so there’s quite a bit of training involved there.”

The students will also learn about air brake cues, general oil field driver improvement, log books training, load securing and WHMIS.

Boone explained that the training is important, as the drivers will find themselves in various locations such as on going forestry operations on a private property to a location being cleared by an oil field operation.

The skills learned during the course can be taken to other jobs as well, Boone added.

“It allowed the log haul companies to get these students, train these students and hopefully retain these students but you know, if these students decide or the company decides it’s not a great fit, the students can basically go anywhere.”

The course, funded by Alberta Human Services, has been held at the college before and Scribner said was well received. Most students who attend the program, which will last four to five weeks in order to complete all of the required training, could end up with a job as a log hauler in the forest industry.

“We have eight spots between the sessions,” Scribner explained about the two groups, one beginning on Aug. 15 and the other on Aug. 29. “There isn’t a deadline but we will fill them as quickly as we can.”

Those interested in take the course must have their Class 5 Alberta licence with the GDL removed.

To find out more information about the courses or to register, contact Karen Scribner at 780-512-0770 or Karen.VistaHR@gmail.com. Students can also register by calling the college’s continuing education department at 780-539-2975.

Jocelyn.turner@sunmedia.ca