MNTC Now Offers Large Vehicle Training Classes and CDL Simulator

(NORMAN, Okla.) Jan. 4, 2021 — Moore Norman Technology Center now offers CDL prep classes and the opportunity to learn to drive large vehicles using an advanced, on-site simulator. MNTC Workforce & Economic Development Coordinator Traci Saor said the job outlook for large vehicle drivers in Oklahoma is good and expected to grow, making this a perfect time for MNTC to offer this type of training.
 
Beyond the traditional classroom setting, students at MNTC can train using a Virage Simulation, Multimodal: Truck Simulator VS600M. Purchased in the fall and located at MNTC’s South Penn Campus, the Truck Simulator VS600M allows students to train in an immersive pod and, according to the Virage Simulation website, “experience real truck parts and what it is like to drive almost any type of heavy vehicle with both automatic and manual transmissions that have realistic force feedback and vibrations on the shifter.”
 
Using the simulator as a part of a class, students can train for the CDL skills and school bus driver exams. The types of vehicle simulations available for in-class training on the VS600M are the semi/Tractor-trailer truck, school bus, dump truck and waste management truck.
 
MNTC’s VS600M simulation model is unique as it provides driving variables that can be changed to challenge students. Items that can be programmed are the weather, time of day, traffic load, road hazards, animals and pedestrians.
 
At this time, MNTC offers classes that fall into two categories: those that reduce turnover and operations costs and test prep classes. Some classes now available are the CDL Permit Test Prep, CDL Skills Training and School Bus Driver Training. For a list of classes and the start dates visit mntc.edu/Transportation. Saor said she can also customize driver training for organizations outside of the scheduled classes.
 
Saor said, “One of the greatest benefits of working with a local technology center for driver training is that we can put together a plan for employees that achieves the goals that the organization has set for getting people certified to drive and we can do it for a fraction of the typical cost.
“We can also do it within a timeline that the company sets and I’m excited to help groups in our district and in the metro area that look to develop a customized plan.”
 
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, “The economy depends on truck drivers to transport freight and keep supply chains moving. As the demand for goods increases, more truck drivers will be needed. Trucks transport most of the freight in the United States, so, as households and businesses increase their spending, the trucking industry should grow.”
 
The site also states that job prospects are projected to be good for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers who have proper training and a clean driving record. Labor statistics website onetonline.org lists a CDL driver’s median annual wage in Oklahoma at $45,680 with the typical basic-education requirement of a high school diploma.
 
As far as the benefits of using a simulator to train Saor said, “Students can become familiar with not only driving safety but then also have the opportunity to practice their driving skills related to a particular industry.
 
“For example, students can learn to use a retrieval arm on a waste management truck or learn shifting patterns for certain vehicles and overall vehicle operation for various trucks and heavy vehicle types.”
 
Both written and CDL driver exams are taken at a Department of Public Safety site. Information is available at oklahoma.gov/dps. For more information about the transportation classes or training now available visit mntc.edu/transportation or call MNTC at 405-801-5000.
 
Photo attached:  MNTC provides students the opportunity to learn to drive large vehicles using a Virage Simulation, Multimodal: Truck Simulator VS600M.