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  • Evaluation of a Class A Commercial Truck Drivers

    Training Program at the Eagle Company


    Carl Sallander

    A Research Paper Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the

    Requirements for the Master of Science Degree


    Career and Technical Education

    Approved: 2 Semester Credits

    Dr. Howard Lee

    The Graduate School

    University ofWisconsin-Stout

    December 2007

  • II

    The Graduate School University of Wisconsin-Stout

    Menomonie, WI

    Author: Sallander, Cari A

    Title: Evaluation ofa Class A Commercial Truck Drivers Training Program at the

    Eagle Company

    Graduate Degree/Major: MS Career and Technical Education

    Research Adviser: Howard Lee, PhD

    MonthlYear December, 2007

    Number of Pages: 81

    Style Manual Used: American Psychological Association, 5th edition


    The transportation industry continues to grow as does the shortage ofcommercial class A

    truck drivers. In order to stay competitive in the recruitment ofcommercial truck drives the

    Eagle Company created a company training program for new and inexperienced truck drivers.

    The goal ofthe study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the company training program, and to

    determine if the training was standardized.

    The instrument used to collect the necessary data was a 30 question survey. The survey

    was administered to a group of 14 in April 2006 after classroom training and again three months

    later after road training. The objectives ofthe study were: (1) Determine ifthe drivers training

    program at the Eagle Company is consistent for all participants; (2) Identify participant's

    satisfaction with the training program; (3) Identify ifleaming has occurred as a result of the

    training; (4) Determine if the trainee's competency changed due to the training program; (5)

  • III

    Determine ifthe results of the training program assisted in the drivers performing their jobs at

    the Eagle Company.

    Data was collected and analyzed, based on the results recommendations were made to the

    Eagle Company regarding the training. The research objective were achieved for this study and

    recommendations submitted.

  • IV

    The Graduate School

    University of Wisconsin-Stout

    Menomonie, WI


    Graduate school has been one of the most trying, yet rewarding, journeys I have ever

    taken. I did not believe I could actually accomplish this fete, and I would not have without the

    help and support of, my husband, my parents, and advisor. Thank you to Joel, my supportive and

    resilient husband, for handling with love and support, my stress and passionate Mediterranean

    temperament. Thank you to my parents, Jim and Arlene Mulhausen for all your support and

    instilling in me the concept that I can do anything. Thank you to Dr. Lee for guiding me on this

    incredible journey, with your wisdom and patience. I could not have done it without all of your

    help and direction.

  • v



    Abstract. .ii

    List of Tables : viii

    Chapter I: Introduction , 1

    Statement ofthe Problem 2

    Purpose ofthe Study 3

    Research Objectives 3

    Significance ofthe Study . . " , .3

    Assumptions ofthe Study .4

    Limitations ofthe Study 5

    Definition ofTerms 6

    Methodology , 7

    Summary 7

    Chapter II: Literature Review 8

    Introduction 8

    Importance ofTraining in a Work Environment 8

    Purpose and Definition ofEvaluation 9

    Types ifEvaluation and Assessment 10

    Evaluation Methods '" 11

    Evaluation Studies 14

    Selecting an Evaluation Method 15

    Kirkpatrick's Model of4 Level Evaluation . . " 15

  • VI

    Summary 20

    Chapter III: Methodology .21

    Introduction 21

    Training Program " 21

    Subject Selection 25

    Instrument " 25

    Data Collection Procedures 26

    Data Analysis 26

    Limitations 26

    Summary 27

    Chapter IV: Analysis of Results 29

    Introduction 29

    Survey 29

    Analysis and Discussion 30

    Open Ended Question Analysis .46

    Summary 50

    Chapter V: Summary, Conclusion, and Recommendations 52

    Summary 52

    Conclusions " 53

    Recommendations 58

    References 62

    Appendix A: Consent Form 67

    Appendix B: Survey Instrument. 68

  • vii

    Appendix C: Competency Checklist 70

  • Vlll


    Table #1 Facility Suitability 31

    Table #2 Training Goals and Objectives 31

    Table #3 Presentation and Delivery 32

    Table #4 Handouts 33

    Table #5 Training on Schedule 33

    Table #6 Training Encouraged Participation 34

    Table #7 Training Addressed Important Skills 34

    Table #8 Trainer. 35

    Table #9 Positive Impact. 35

    Table #10 Primary Objectives 36

    Table #11 Clear Instructions 37

    Table #12 Clear Orientation Manual. 37

    Table #13 Breaks 38

    Table #14 Flow ofInformation 38

    Table #15 Hands On Activities 39

    Table #16 Interesting Information 39

    Table #17 Good Balance 40

    Table #18 More Videos 41

    Table #19 More Lecture 41

    Table #20 More Hands On Activities .42

    Table #21 More Handouts and Written Material. 42

    Table #22 More Discussion .43

  • IX

    Table #23 Consistent Information .43

    Table #24 Prepared to Use Knowledge .44

    Table # 25 Adequate Orientation Material, 44

    Table #26 Comfortable Performing Job .45

    Table #27 Goals Met. , 45

  • 1

    Chapter I: Introduction

    In a recent report conducted by the American Trucking Association, there is an increasing

    need for long haul truck drivers. Currently 3.4 million commercial drivers envelop the United

    States highways (Cecil, 2005). That number is still 20,000 drivers short of what is needed and is

    expected to grow to 111,000 by 2014 (McLaughlin, 2005). Indicators illustrate an increased

    growth of long haul trucking requirements as a result of the continued need for movement of

    product (Kilcarr, 2005). In 2003 alone, the industry hauled 9.1 billion tons ofdomestic freight,

    representing 69% of the total tonnage shipped (Cecil, 2005). The United States economy relies

    heavily on the trucking industry, which is continually hauling about three quarters of all United

    States goods (Seid, 2005). With this type of economic growth and the need for shipments

    expanding, employers face severe shortages in skilled drivers that meet their employment needs.

    Now, more than ever, businesses need to focus on ways to streamline procedures in the training

    area and provide cost efficient ways to deliver quality training to their employees.

    Trucking firms want quality drivers who are safe and experienced to help keep insurance

    premiums low. These quality drivers are created through experience and hours behind the wheel

    (Mahon, 2005). If the economy continues its upward swing, fmding creative ways to meet

    demands of low cost, long haul services, will take a back seat to addressing the growing driver

    shortage (Levans, 2004).

    The Eagle Company, along with many other companies whom currently employee

    commercial truck drivers, are facing a current and future shortage of qualified drivers. The Eagle

    Company has set certain standards in their hiring practices, including one year recent over the

    road tractor-trailer experience and/or have driven 100,000 miles. Many of the applications

  • 2

    received by the Eagle Company do not meet these standards. The applicants do not have the

    necessary hands-on experience and hours behind the wheel that the Eagle Company is seeking.

    Applicants for these over the road driving positions are usually fresh out of school with

    no experience, or have just passed the Commercial Drivers License test, and are new to the

    business. The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates the issuing of

    Commercial Driver's License (CDL) and currently has no regulations mandating experience, or

    training to drive a Class A commercial vehicle. Currently an individual must be 21 years of age

    and successfully complete a written exam and road test to obtain a CDL A (Bach, 2005). The

    DOT requires the applicant to correctly answer 80% of the questions on a written exam and pass

    a road test of basic skills; using a commercial vehicle similar to the one the applicant will drive

    (Purdum, 2005). Although many companies require successful completion ofa trucking school

    or a driver-training program, the DOT does not (Adams, 2005).

    To meet the necessary criteria, the Eagle Company came up with an alternative way to

    hire the unqualified drivers, administering a training program for the drivers that do not meet

    their qualifications. After the creation of the training program for the less experienced drivers the

    Eagle Company was able to pull from a larger pool of applicants. In order to assure that the

    training program is in fact creating the qualified drivers they want, an evaluation of the Eagle

    Companies training program needs to be administered.

    Statement ofthe Problem

    The Eagle Company had recently developed a training program and its effectiveness

    needs to be determined.

  • 3

    Purpose ofth