A career as a truck driver can be both exciting and fulfilling. You get to explore beautiful British Columbia and live life on the open road – while getting paid to do it. What you need to get first though is a Class 1 Licence.
What does a Class 1 Licence allow you to drive?
In BC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is the issuing body responsible for driver licensing as well as mandatory public car insurance. It issues drivers’ licences according to a number system. A Class 1 licence allows you to drive all types of commercial vehicles including:
- Semi-trailer trucks
- All other class 1-5 motor vehicles or combination of vehicles
How do you get your Class 1 Licence?
One of the first prerequisites for a Class 1 licence in BC is that you need to be at least 19 years of age and hold a Class 5 or 6 driver’s licence i.e., a regular car or motorcycle licence.
Other requirements include:
- Fewer than four penalty point incidents in the past 2 years on your driving record.
- That you are in good health without any serious medical conditions.
Step One: Study
The first step is to study. The ICBC provides a study guide: Driving Commercial Vehicles to help you get all the theoretical knowledge you need before getting behind the wheel.
Step Two: Get Your Learner’s Licence
Put your knowledge to the test. Book a knowledge test with your local licensing office. You need to answer 28 of the 35 multiple-choice questions correctly. If you pass, you will be issued your Class 1 learner’s licence. Your Class 1 learner’s licence is valid for a year so it’s time to get practicing.
Step Three: Enroll in a MELT course
As of October 2021, a driver who wants a new Class 1 driver’s licence must complete the Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) from an approved driver training school. The course is 140 hours and includes air brake training.
Step Four: Practice Your Driving Skills
Simply having theoretical knowledge isn’t enough. You got to get some real practice on the road. It can be a good idea to enroll in a truck driving school that will help you prepare for your on-road test. Many offer mentorship programs that can help you get plenty of “wheel time” which in turn will help you get a better job. You can also practice with a friend who owns a truck, but they need to hold a Class 1 licence and must be present in the truck with you as you learn. No one else can be present in the truck during this time.
Step Five: The Road Test
You need to book your road test at your local driver licensing office. This is divided into different sections:
- a pre-trip inspection test
- a pre-trip air brake test, if applicable, and
- the road test
Once you have successfully completed all three, including a written report for the pre-trip inspection test and paid all necessary fees, you will receive a driver medical examination form to have completed by a doctor.
When you’re fully licenced with your BC Class 1 licence, all you need to do is look for a trucking company you’d like to work with. Agri Trans Services Inc is one of the leading bulk agricultural transport companies in Canada who is always on the lookout for committed drivers and offers great benefits packages and pay for the right individuals. Currently, we are hiring Class 1 truck drivers in BC and Alberta, please apply within.