At its recent certification commission meeting, the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI) granted initial recognition of standards compliance to its first overseas program: the Tractor Trailer Training Program (3T), 435th Construction and Training Squadron, located at the Ramstein Air Force Base in Ramstein, Germany.
The Ramstein Air Force Base is the third U.S. Air Force truck driver training site to attain PTDI course certification. Ramstein’s sister base, Dobbins Air Reserve Base, near Atlanta, Georgia, received certification of its course in January 2015.
Training organizations such as the 3T Program at Ramstein see their role in truck safety as truly important and voluntarily submit their programs to PTDI for review against standards. PTDI works to advance commercial motor vehicle driver training, proficiency, safety, and professionalism by promoting quality commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver training courses and by verifying and publicly attesting to their quality.
“Back in 1999, none of the 250 motor carrier safety personnel, drivers, or educators who developed the essential elements that a CMV driver training course should contain had any clue that their efforts would have such far-reaching influence,” said Chuck Wirth of the American Institute of Trucking (AIT), Phoenix, Arizona.
Those stakeholders identified the skill and knowledge base as well as performance criteria that are critical for entry-level drivers to possess, addressing issues ranging from managing life on the road to backing up a CMV in traffic. The resulting reassessed PTDI standards, which were again reviewed in 2011, form a baseline from which to develop curriculum, instructional materials, exercises, and assessment routines in training and a way of measuring performance.
In addition to the initial certification of the 3T Program at Ramstein, the PTDI commission granted renewal of program certifications offered at All-State Career, Baltimore, Maryland; American Institute of Trucking (AIT), Phoenix, Arizona; Baker College of Flint, Center for Transportation Technology, Flint, Michigan; Lehigh Career & Technology Institute, Schnecksville, Pennsylvania; and Swift Driving Academy, Lewiston, Idaho.
Schools with PTDI-certified courses use various delivery methods beyond the classroom—such as independent study, web-based training, externships, and behind-the-wheel training—but they all have the same desired outcome: to impart the basic skills needed to operate a CMV.