CFCC adds hazardous weather simulator to truck driver training program

Updated: Feb. 5, 2019 at 3:15 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Truck driving students can drive in sleet, snow, ice, and other treacherous conditions behind the wheel of a tractor trailer without leaving the classroom.

Cape Fear Community College recently added a Doron Precision Systems simulator to the truck driver training, law enforcement, and emergency response programs. The system helps students prepare for driving in hazardous conditions and on challenging terrain.

“Students can experience different scenarios, even accidents, to help them better prepare for the real thing,” said CFCC vocational and technical department chair Shawn Dixon.

The simulator cost CFCC $230,000 and the school is only the second college in the country with this technology.

“You ride around town and you always see ‘truck drivers wanted’ signs,” said CFCC President Jim Morton. “We have been responding to industry needs and demands so last year we doubled down and invested more into this program.”

Morton said the college added six new tractor trailers last year, and now has a fleet of 15 trucks and 20 trailers to prepare students to operate safely in their new careers.

Morton says the starting salary for truck drivers is around $50-60,000.

“This is really going to give us a leg up, and help our students when they graduate,” Morton said.

The truck driving training program at CFCC started in 1995. Students spend 96 hours in the classroom and 288 hours on the road before they earn their commercial drivers license. An average of 105 students graduate from the program each year.

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