To the Gang at Fox:
Hi, I hope you're all very busy. I thought that I would write a few line to tell you how great I thought the drivers training I received there was. Thanks to all of you. I have become a much better driver, not only with big trucks but also my car. The "take your time and think things out comments" still stick in my head. Thanks so much guys!
Tom, you were right, I didn't fail because of my backing up. Thanks for the moral support!
Jim, thanks for staying so calm, even though I had than "I think we're going to die" look on my face!
I believe the hours I spent with your people were just what I needed to build my confidence up again. Even thought I only drive a couple times a week at this time, I find myself looking forward to getting in the trucks and I actually really miss them when I'm not working. Thanks again for all your help and support.
After finishing the Class 1, I put job resumes out all over Kamloops. I landed a job with Action Construction. I was driving the water truck (it was a Mack), I also found out something that I had long forgotten "there is still a lot of prejudice in the so called mans world. Anyway, to make a long story short I worked for Action for not quite a month. I'm now a spare driver for Diamond Hills Trucking (Marty White). I'm driving a cement truck. So a great Big "Thanks" goes out to everyone at Fox from my family and me. The support and caring attitude shown down there shows you do care about the people behind the wheel, your not into teaching just for the money. I hope to send others to your way, to learn to drive properly.
P.S., To the Fox Family,
Thank you! For giving me a place to stay and making me fell at home away from home. Thanks, Donna.
To: Fox Consulting Services
I am writing you this letter to let you know about the quality and professionalism of Fox Consulting Services.
I recently completed their Heavy Equipment and Driver Training Course. I am now a qualified heavy equipment operator and a Class 1 driver with air-brakes endorsement.
Tom and Louise Fox are the owners of the school. They go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and to help you if the need arises. They also have a motel with very reasonably priced rooms.
The driver course taught by James Bell was excellent. He is the type of person who keeps you just on the edge of your comfort zone. His vast experience in trucking is a definite asset to Fox Consulting. His system of teaching is very thorough. I learned how to be a good truck driver not just an average one.
The heavy equipment course taught by Cade Fox was outstanding. He is extremely knowledgeable for such a young person. From day one you are running machines whether it's a rubber tired loader, a crawler dozer, a grader or an excavator. He gives you a job, demonstrates and then lets you work. There is no pressure from either teacher.
I inquired before taking this course about the course in Vernon, Cougar, and a course in Abbotsford, Otter. Vernon only provided me with a flyer that had virtually no information. I asked around about their driving instructor and didn't find anything good said about him. I also inquired about Otter and found an employer who had hired a few students form there and said he would not even interview someone who said they took their training there.
Being trained properly is the most important part of your professional career. Usually when there is an accident, the driver or operator had no idea how to operate the system of vehicle properly as in the case of most trucking accidents where the drivers had no idea how to set their brakes correctly. I feel very strongly that Fox Consulting provides the best, and most detailed training of school. At Fox there is more hands on because simply there is more equipment. You don't spent most of your time in a classroom which doesn't teach you anything. Hands-on is the best way to teach trucking and heavy equipment.
It is my hope that you will recognize Fox Consulting as a superior school.
To: Fox Consulting Services
From: Finn Contracting LTD
I am sending this letter to thank you for the excellent training I received when I attended your heavy equipment training school. The hands on training gave me the experience I needed to get full time employment with Petro Canada in Fort St. John BC. They were very pleased with my knowledge and experience. I now have my own company and I contract operate for them.
I cant thank you and your staff enough for helping my success in this field.
The Ministry of Education and Training Vocational and Rehabilitation Services funded my training. Cameron Grant was my contact person. I am also sending him a copy of this letter.
I will be contacting you in the near future because I am ready to upgrade my driver's license to Class 1.
I, Ernie Holzman, of Sorrento BC, have now completed the Heavy Equipment Operator Training Course with Fox Consulting Services. I started on March 11, 2002, and finished on April 5, 2002. I am satisfied with the program, the instructors and the training I received.
Comments: Great instruction with lots of patience with students. I personally learned lots!
I, Kevin Kruger, of Revelstoke BC, have now completed the Heavy Equipment Operator Training Course with Fox Consulting Services. I started on March 4, 2002, and finished on April 12, 2002. I am satisfied with the program, the instructors and the training I received.
Comments: Great training course, thank you for all your time and patience and all your help.
Dear Tom and John,
I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude for an excellent experience.
I have worked as a millwright my entire life and never thought I could do anything else. Your course has taught me there are other things in life. I never thought or imagined running equipment until I came down to Merritt.
With all the training I received from your course I now have and opportunity for employment in my place of residence.
The experience I received on the excavator, loader, TD8 cat, grader and gravel trucks, along with achieving a high mark in my class 1 Drivers license.
I am sure this will help me in my endeavors for employment. My injury makes it hard for me to do any one job for a long period of time but because of all the training I received it makes it easier to help an employer see what value I could be to him.
Your caring and thoughtfulness to all of us injured workers, makes it easier for us to get over the pain and suffering we all go through each and every day.
Mike B. McEachnie
To Louise, Tom, Cade, Jim,
Thank you very much for pictures.
Just got back from Prince George, took a Button Loader and Feller-Buncher course. Did really good, down to 15 minutes a load. It was neat cutting trees down with Feller-Buncher too. I was down to 3 trees a minute, but I think will stick with loading!
Interfor is starting soon, so I might go up there, on the job training WCB, thanks to you guys you gave me a good start.
Dear Fox Consulting,
Hey guys, thanks a lot for everything. I got on with a local drilling and mining outfit driving the rigs and running the big excavator. The boss couldn't believe I was fresh out of a training course and was impressed with both my driving and machine operating skills.
After being off for so long it sure feels good to be back to work.
To Fox Consulting:
This is to inform you that after completing your training course I gained employment with 'Pro-Crete' -- a concrete finishing company. I drive their tractor trailer and operate their bobcat. I found your training program to be very effective. I feel very confident with the skills I learned, especially in the area of safety. I would highly recommend your course to anyone -- the practical 'on the job' experience is invaluable.
A Few Words About Fox Consulting
There are outfits that call themselves 'Heavy Equipment Training Institutions', and then there are institutions that actually turn out real heavy equipment operators. Fox is one of the latter group.
If you're reading the testimonials on this page, then you're probably looking at getting training somewhere, and you want to make sure that your time and money are not wasted. And if you've been comparing tuition fees, you may have noticed that several of them seem to be a lot 'cheaper' than Fox. Well, the long and the short of it is that with Fox, you really do get what you pay for. To give you an example, I received excavator operator training at a (lower mainland school) in 1991. The certificate I received states that I received '320 hours' of training as an operator, over a two month period. The fact of the matter that with some schools a student is lucky if 25% of that time is actually spent operating the equipment. The class that I graduated from had eleven 'operators', but I have no compunction about stating that of the eleven, there were only three whom, if it were up to me, would be allowed within 100 feet of an excavator after they received their 'tickets'. Not so with Fox.
At Fox Consulting, from the time you start in the morning until you go home in the afternoon, you will be operating heavy machinery; you won't be wasting half of your valuable time sitting in a classroom, and half of your 'machine time' watching someone else operate a machine while you wait for your turn. The machine you operate IS your classroom. The natural result of this is that Fox turns out operators, not just operator wanabees. You get your 'Heavy Equipment Operator' certification at Fox when you demonstrate that you are capable of competently and safely operating the equipment. In short, they aren't a 'diploma mill' like some schools that I am aware of.
So let me make this as clear as I can; dollar for dollar, and hour for hour, you get at least double the 'bang for your buck' at Fox Consulting that you get from many schools. Do I sound just a wee bit biased here? You BETCHA! But they've EARNED my bias.
Here's a quick look at my instructors:
First there's Cade
Cade is a very experienced operator who takes pains to be patient with his students. He doesn't hover over you like a mother hen, but he does make sure that you are learning what you are there to learn. As an operator with over 20 years of experience myself, I went to Fox to challenge certification for loaders, backhoes, excavators, and polish up on my dozer skills. I also took a couple of weeks of road grader training on Fox's older Champion 740 model, which is a great machine to learn on, as opposed to some of the newer machines that are marketed these days. Cade did a great job of helping me not only learn how to competently operate the Champion, but he also helped me to see things from a different perspective on the machines that I do have experience with.
And as a side note, it bears mentioning here that a lot of equipment operator training schools will have a larger class of a dozen or more students, with only one instructor per class. At Fox, things are done on a much more personalized basis. There were two other students at Fox when I was there, and Cade was easily able to keep up with all of us - making sure that we each got the attention we needed to learn what we were there to learn.
Cade took an interest in my training, and did not talk 'down' to me, as some instructors can have a habit of doing. So, speaking from experience, I have no hesitation in recommending Cade as the 'go to' guy for learning to be an operator, broadening your skill base, or for certification purposes, as was the case with me.
Then there are the driving instructors, Jim and Bob.
At the time I write this, I have had a class one driver's license for about ten years. However, in my case, it has been underutilized. When I went to school to obtain a class one license, I had only learned the bare essentials that were needed to pass the road test. Since then, I've put many many thousands of miles on the road driving trucks in the course of my various jobs, but never on anything that would keep me 'in practice' as a class one driver. So when I went to Fox, I made a point of squeezing in as much truck driver training as I could.
I started by going back to basic training with Jim. Jim is just the guy you need if you are looking for someone who will aquaint you with shifting those gears and get you used to driving a 'big rig' again, (or for the first time). Essentially, Jim drives the truck through you. He will tell you when and how to make those shifts, when and how to set up to make the turns, when and how to signal and brake, etc. This is great stuff when you need to get used to how a big truck feels to operate on the open road. But it may be a bit too basic for some of you. If so, keep reading. Then there's Bob. Bob is who you want if you are past the more basic driver training, and need to move on to how it's done in the 'real world'. Bob does not 'drive the truck through you'. Rather, he shows you how it is done in the driving industry, and will let you learn as far and as fast as you are capable of. If you are a quick learner, Bob will help you to 'get there' in short order.
From Bob, I learned how to competently handle an end dump. I learned what I needed to know to be competent with operating a low bed on narrow back roads with sharp corners. I learned not only how to back up a B train (not that hard, really), but how to back one up around a corner when you don't have the room to get a straight shot at the slot. I learned a lot of things that might have taken many years to pick up 'on the road'.
I'll give you just one example here of how valuable the training was that I received from Bob: A lot of driving instructors will tell you how important it is to shift properly and the importance of not 'blowing a shift', especially when going down hill. Bob taught me how to competently and SAFELY get a truck back into gear without having to worry about where that next runaway lane is. We spent part of one day just intentionally blowing shifts and practicing getting the truck back into gear. I learned that a lot of truck drivers on the road don't know how to do this! They have to hunt around for a higher gear to get into, while the truck continues to accelerate downhill. I have the confidence now that I KNOW that when (not if) I eventually blow a shift at the most inopportune moment, that I wont have any problem at all getting the transmission back into the gear that I want it to be in, rather than grabbing whatever gear I HAVE to put it in. There's a world of difference between the two scenarios, folks! I know that some of you reading this are truck drivers, and you KNOW how important that lesson is.
My time learning from Bob was 100% 'quality time'. I can think of no one that I could recommend more highly for advanced driver training. I learned a lot of other valuable lessons on the road with Bob, but that one example will do. If you want to really learn how to drive a truck, past the basics, Bob is the man who can teach you that.
Both Bob and Jim have lifetimes of experience as class one truck drivers, and have my full recommendation. It just depends on what you're looking for. So folks - there you have it in a nutshell - my take on Fox's heavy equipment and truck driver training. I can't recommend them highly enough. And when you're done reading this, check out my YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/justheavyequipment, where I'll eventually be posting a few videos from my time at Fox.
Al Roy, heavy equipment operator and truck driver