FLINT TWP. — Baker College’s Flint campus has received recertification from the Professional Truck Driving Institute (PTDI) for its entry-level truck driver training program. The certification is valid for five years, until 2021.
The training program is offered at Baker College’s Center for Transportation Technology (CTT), 1717 S. Dort Highway, Flint, 48503.
“PTDI recertification ensures that our students continue to receive training that is current, complete and applicable to the industry,” said Phillip Whitmer, Baker College of Flint dean of transportation technology. “They are a step ahead of the competition because many carriers prefer graduates from a PTDI-certified program. Plus, due to the high demand for truck drivers, most graduates receive offers from multiple employers and can select the employer that’s right for them.”
Whitmer noted that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed new regulations that increase training requirements. He said they attest to the value of PTDI certification, which already requires training beyond what is proposed.
“PTDI-certified programs across the country are applauding the proposed regulations as a necessary step toward safety in the industry,” Whitmer said. “We want safe roads for our graduates and the public. It’s frightening that some programs spend two to four weeks training new truck drivers before they get behind the wheel professionally on our country’s roads and highways.”
The Baker College 20-week program allows for each student to complete a minimum 30 hours of lab time and 58 hours of one-student/one-tractor/ one-instructor driving on the range and over the road. Students learn the finer points of the road and safe operating techniques from instructors who are drivers with national carriers. The program also includes:
• More than 250 instructional hours.
• Driving simulation.
• Driving semi-tractors with a loaded 53-foot trailer
• Doubles training.
• Load securement.
• Strategies for fatigue management.
• First aid and CPR.
The Baker College program prepares students for the Michigan Commercial Driver Licensing Class A exam and the knowledge tests for air brakes, as well as all the endorsements, including hazardous materials, double and triple trailers, and tank vehicles. Graduates are qualified for entry-level positions as local or long-distance drivers of commercial motor vehicles.
With the recertification, Baker College continues to be the only PTDI-certified provider of entry-level truck driver training in Michigan, with programs in Flint and in Missaukee County near Lake City.
PTDI is a national organization that is an advocate of truck-driver training standards, driver professionalism and safety. The nonprofit works with carriers, truck driver training schools, the insurance industry and government to make safety the top priority industry wide.