TCTC log truck driver training program takes next step

Driver shortage drives new log truck training program at TCTC.

By Chris Fife, Weyerhaeuser

As Mainebiz recently reported, there is a serious shortage of truck drivers. Do you know someone with log trucking expertise and a desire to help the next generation of drivers get a start? Tri-County Technical Center (TCTC) in Dexter has a job for them.

Thanks to the generous support of MFPC members, including Pallet One, Pleasant River Lumber and Seven Islands, and a $20,000 grant from the Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund, TCTC is moving ahead with the plan to add log truck and loader training  to its Commercial Driver’s License program (CDL training proposal). However, about $3,500 in donations are still needed. TCTC also is planning to hire a Logging Training-Behind-the-Wheel Instructor, said CDL instructor Vickki Kimball said. (Logging Instructor job posting.)

TCTC will build on its highly successful CDL Training Program adding log truck driving and loading skills. The program will start in November with a maximum of 10 students who will work with the trainer to learn woods trucking and loading of timber for transport. Safety in all aspects of this training is paramount. Students will learn and will strictly adhere to safe practices and OSHA regulations. The program is also looking to incorporate Certified Logging Professional training. The plan will create a true career pathway.

Norman Beckwith made a long successful career trucking for Comstock Woodlands. With more than 40 years of trucking under his belt, he knows a few things about how to get logs from the woods to the mill and he has more than a few stories to share. As part of the roll out of the log truck driver training, Norm visited the CDL classes and talked with the students about the challenges and joys of driving log trucks. This is a key part of selecting students for the program. After hearing from Norm, students expressed excitement about the opportunity to drive for the forest industry.

If you would like to support the program you can send a donation directly to Maine School Administrative District 46, where the Tri County Technical Center (TCTC) is located. Checks should be made out to MSAD #46 C/O TCTC and mailed to Maine School Administrative District 46, 175 Fern Road, Suite 1, Dexter, ME 04930. The Tax Id # is 01-0275044.