Instructor Training For Large Vehicles

Instructors Instruction

Material and representations will be presented in a generic fashion so you can adapt to suit your particular area or situation.

Most material will pertain to the job of Operator Training from an Instructor's point of view, although some will apply to the actual operator's job as well. In other words, this is Instructor's instruction and tips. Likewise a lot of the material applies to bus operation although much of it applies to truck operation with some adjustments in procedures.

Topics here are varied and will be of interest to large vehicle trainers and instructors. It is a compilation of tips, items of importance and methods from my experience as a trainer of heavy vehicles for many years.


Future additional driving topics will only be listed on the Instructor Index in the left column on this page.

Tips For Driver Instructors

There will be some tips for making your job as instructor / trainer easier, some techniques for getting up to date information, little snippits of information I gathered over the years. Some will seem sensible to you, others may not, but the thoughts may allow you to generate your own means of progression.

Operators also will find this interesting. Not only are there lots of tips and techniques, it also allows a potential operator to see many of the things the driving instructor is trying to get across and why they insist everyone gets it exactly right.

Driver training and operator training is what this section is all about. What is the difference? Are the terms interchangable? Here are the definitions.

Driver Training

Driver training generally refers to cars and other light vehicles. You drive a car. You drive a pickup truck. The average person out on the road is a driver.

Operator Training

When you are out on the road and see a bus, truck or tractor trailer, you are looking at operators. There is much more involved in regards to skill, safety and being defensive operating one of these large vehicles on our streets and roads.

Having spent 3/4 of my working life time training operators of large vehicles and equipment, I can honestly say I can train almost anyone to drive a truck or bus in about a half hour or so. But to train an individual to 'operate' such a vehicle in a safe comfortable manner, able to navigate all possible hazardous conditions under any circumstances all the time requires hours of training.

Because the term Driver is most commonly used by the general public, although the word Operator is the correct one, both will be used interchangably throughout this web site.

Bad Driving Instructors


Sadly there are many poor driving instructors out there today, both for small and large vehicles. Their instructional techniques are less than ideal, and their behind the wheel driving instruction is sloppy and often totally wrong. Some of the information here may help you be sure you don't fall in their category and become one of them. This is not just my opinion, it has been proven and reported by many agencies.

Therefore in this website we will be talking about training operator instructors.

  1. What does it take to become an operator instructor.
  2. What does it take to become a large vehicle instructor.
  3. Techniques for instructors to make the job easier.
  4. Special characteristis that make this training job different.

What Makes Driving A Large Vehicle Different?


The calamity value of driving a transit style bus is equivalent to a junior aircraft captain.
Calamity value in this instance is defined as the amount of things going on in a person's mind at one time.


Of course size makes a difference, anyone can see that. However, there are a lot of other things that add stress and frustration to the person behind the wheel of a bus or truck.

  1. Other small vehicle drivers have no idea of the space needed for a large vehicle to stop and cut you off instantly.
  2. Frustrated operatorSmall vehicle drivers rarely if ever judge the speed of an oncoming large vehicle correctly.
  3. The majority of average drivers today ignore traffic rules, and a professional operator has to read them in advance.
  4. Small vehicle drivers often try to 'beat' the larger vehicle to a space at the last minute.
  5. Car drivers cruise in blind spots where the large vehicle operator cannot see them. Bicycles do this too.
  6. Car drivers often pass at will to get by the larger one because they cannot see very well or feel it is traveling too slow.
  7. The large vehicle operator has to drive for everyone, including pedestrians.
  8. If driving a bus, the operator has to do this while dealing with other matters such as complaining passengers, radio calls, mobile supervisors, schedule adherence and so on, all while driving safely.








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