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Grant brings onboard technology to truck driving program

Spring 2013 | Archives

CDL trucks A grant from the U.S. Department of Labor will help MCC CDL truck driving students be better prepared to enter the workforce. MCC is the only public trucking school in Nebraska, and one of only a handful in the nation, to install electronic onboard recorders in its fleet of trucks for entry-level student training.

Expected to be mandated by federal law later this year, an electronic onboard recorder is a GPS-sized device that attaches to a commercial motor vehicle. The device records the amount of time a vehicle is driven and replaces the paperbased logs drivers use to record their driving hours. The technology is aimed at boosting compliance with regulations intended to prevent driver fatigue.

At MCC, students will be able to interact with Qualcomm electronic onboard recorders as they log miles throughout the course, giving them the experience employers want once they enter the workforce. They can also communicate with a classroom "fleet manager" who can analyze performance data collected by the device.

Larry Johnson Metropolitan Community College has once again gone above and beyond in their award-winning truck driving program by bringing the latest in safety technology into the classroom," said Larry Johnson, president of the Nebraska Trucking Association. "With the investment and installation of the Qualcomm system that acts similar to the 'black box' technology in use on commercial aircraft, students graduating from the MCC program will be job-ready to use this important state-of-the-art tool."

The technology is part of $2.7 million in funding for a statewide workforce training initiative, Trans*IT: Transforming Industry and Training. Trans*IT involves all Nebraska community colleges, with MCC as the lead organization. MCC will be using its funding to support enhancement to transportation sector training. In addition to the Qualcomm systems, MCC is incorporating Samsung tablets into the CDL curriculum, reflecting an industry trend toward portable computing on-the-go.

Ultimately, students will come away more prepared to utilize the technology they will encounter on the job—and be better equipped to be efficient, safe drivers.

For more information about the eight-week CDL program, visit www.mccneb.edu/truckdriving.

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