By: Heidi O.
With all the trucks we see turned on their side in not only hazardous conditions, but also dry conditions, it was time to find something to make sure we knew how to handle the truck in the event of a road hazard.
Recently, my husband was honored to attend a Skid Pad Training Course offered by Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Fox Valley Technical College has been involved in this training for over 45 years. To help companies and businesses make better decisions, their 8-hour workshop is designed to provide drivers the opportunities to test their skills in emergency operations in a controlled, managed environment.
The workshop was a minimum of classroom instruction with most of the time being spent out on the course learning how to handle different hazards in different vehicles (semi-trucks with and without trailers and also cars).
The day we attended, it was raining so the school did not have to do much to keep water on the course; however, they do keep the course very wet so that it emulates the conditions you could encounter in the heavy rain. In the winter months, the school uses the snow to its advantage.
The 8-hour workshop that the Technical College offers to businesses is $180 per person. They do not at this time offer the course to individuals.
The College also offers a CDL Straight Truck Certificate Course and a Semi-Truck Driving Technical Diploma course.
I spoke with one of the College’s instructors, Tim, who has been with them for 6 years and he advised me that the course is taught to show the differences between having an ABS System versus not having an ABS system. The day we were there the “traffic” light were out so he had to call out all instructions to the drivers so he was explaining that there is also a difference between Visual and Steering and Hearing and Steering.
I also had the pleasure of meeting a recent graduate, John, who said “This school is the best! They teach you how to handle all situations and teach things most schools don’t.” He was receiving his Diploma and then going over to have his CDL made at the Motor Vehicle Bureau. The College gave him not only the training, but was also able to give him the test to obtain his CDL.
One of the other people I met, Dan, is a current student still and is liking the courses so far and is hoping for the best so that he can obtain a CDL and be a truck driver also.
I would definitely recommend this course (or one like it) for all CDL holders so that they can experience different situations they may come across on the road one day and then they will know how to handle that situation.