AZ Driving School

Are you Qualified to upgrade your License

Many people today do not even know they need to meet certain qualifications to upgrade their license. These qualifications are not anything new, simply required.

First, the MTO (Ministry of Transportation Ontario) requires you to pass a medical exam. This medical exam will cost you up to (depends on your Doctors charge) approximately $100.00. If you do not meet the ministry standards of this Medical, you will not be able to pursue your upgrade license. This medical will be required every few years to prove that you are a healthy operator.


Estimated Costs

  • $100 - Medical
  • $ 15 - High School Transcript
  • $ 85 - Written A (knowledge & signs)
  • $ 10 - Drivers Abstract
  • $ 25 - Criminal Record Check
  • $ 7,000 to 10,000 - Driving School

Secondly, you will need to attend a driving school. Although you may know how to drive a truck, it is highly recommended by many trucking companies in the industry to attend a school. Today, some companies are giving drivers an incentive rebate to help repay the cost of the training school. I have heard recently of one company that will give back up to $5000 over the first year of employment. However, you may wish to contact companies to know who does and how much. Not every company will do this. You are placing your life in your skills at driving a big rig so make sure you know it all. From defensive driving to skid school you should be experienced behind the wheel and have heard all of the instructions for safe driving and understand the reasons behind daily safety circle checks ect. Driving schools require you to have a grade 10 - 12 education or equivalent. A clear drivers abstract. (some schools allow up to 4 points, I personally happened to have 3 points when I applied) a criminal record check from your local Police station. A legal class G license and your written A and road signs pass.

You must pass your (in Ontario) 'A' written test (knowledge and signs) at the MTO. There is an air brakes endorsement test as well, however, if you are planning on attending a Driving School (which I recommend) then you only need the A written tests pass and keep the receipt copies. The schools will get you air brake endorsed. If you are not going to a school then you will be required to have your 'Z' (air brake endorsement) on your license prior to doing your final MTO road test which will include air brake test, circle test, driving test. Because of the highly regarded importance of knowledge and skill a truck driver requires this test is very strictly scored.


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Keep it Safe on our roads

I recently spoke to a friend who has been driving for about 15 years who after asking about how to stay safe he replied "leave space" and be "courteous". Those words have been sinking into me over the past few weeks and he is absolutely right. When I see others trying to change lanes I help make room. I leave more space between my vehicle and others. Only a few days ago, my daughter and I drove into Toronto via the 403 and we left even more room between us and the vehicle ahead and the drive was much more enjoyable. Even where traffic jams slowed us down, the jam seemed to clear up much faster. A truck next to us matched our speed and we traveled along with a large gap in front of us and we flowed right through the slower tighter sections of the 403 ( eg. where highway 6 heads north )

Safety on the road is so very important. If you get time ( and I suggest you make the time ) watch some videos about Truck driving accidents on You-Tube. There are shows on television about trucking that you may want to view as well. You need to understand that even an empty truck could lose its braking capability and if it does you need to understand how to react.

From road conditions to leaving enough room and courtesy on the road, a driver will experience it all. Over time, good safe drivers learn how to avoid potential hazards and keep our roads safe. Yes, I understand that it is not just truck drivers that need to learn these practices. Cars, vans, trucks, motorcycles and the list goes on where we see every day drivers that are outrageous on the roads. Way too fast for conditions. Substance abuse or distracted by the phone or food. We see it every day and each of us needs to learn how to be much more critical of ourselves while driving.

Education is the key

Like many different opportunities in this world, education is the difference between moving on and moving up. The trucking industry has many programs in the workplace which follow up and continue the education of truck drivers. From safety, hours of work, inspections, WHIMS, log books, national changes updates, to driver comfort. Trucks are becoming more and more high tech so the drivers will be more comfortable. Not just the air ride seat, but refrigerators, a/c, air filter systems in the cab, sleepers, microwaves.

Many companies offer mentoring to new drivers to the company. Depending on the driving experience and the daily review of the mentor depends on how long a new driver might have someone riding along with them to encourage and oversee day to day driver knowledge and expertise. Think of it this way, you the driver are in a very expensive Rig owned by a company that wants it used safely and efficiently by quality drivers. It is in their best interest to watch over new drivers to get the best behind the wheel.

Air Brakes Practical Testing Video

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Comments 2 comments

jabelufiroz profile image

jabelufiroz 3 years ago from India

Useful article on truck driving. Voted up.


James 0608 profile image

James 0608 3 years ago from Southern Ontario Author

Thank you, have a great day.

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