I recently conducted an interview with a friend of mine who is in the truck training space. We were discussing training programs and got onto the the topic of course selection for new students. He offers some specialized courses that others don’t in the way of truck mechanic courses. I was intrigued by this because there aren’t many schools offering this type of course and it is very valuable to have as a driver. In addition to the mechanics course the heavy equipment course is also something that many drivers should think about when looking at training, here’s why?
As a driver you are alone on the road. You’re dealing with mechanical equipment, inspections, and other required components that can break down at anytime. Having the knowledge to know what you are looking for when dealing with mechanical equipment is important on the road. I certainly am no mechanic but glad I have some of that knowledge while I was on the road. As a driver you will be forced to make decisions on the road about repairs and problems with your truck. There are many little repairs that could be handled on the road if a driver knew what they were looking for. Just the inspection process alone will be more thorough and efficient with someone that knows the components and how they work.
As for the heavy equipment training if you are working for a company that has that type of equipment then it will be a requirement. From a safety standpoint you would hate to run over someone unloading a machine that you are not certified to operate. New students often do not understand that to load a piece of equipment on a float trailer requires the certification for the equipment. With regulations on construction tightening these days just knowing how to operate equipment without the certification are long gone.
Here is the real reason you may want to look into additional training, the job! Isn’t this the reason that you are looking into training in the first place? To get the job? That additional training can set you ahead of the competition. This is especially important in rural areas where companies may have varied work projects and need people who can do more than just drive, but also help with maintenance items, operate other machinery, and work on various projects.
Our industry is changing at a high rate of speed. Carriers and construction businesses are looking at people that can give them the best advantage in a very competitive industry. Getting training in all areas of the industry will certainly benefit any candidate in today’s trucking industry.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, consultant, podcast host, and speaker. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com