If I told you the number “2” was the most important number to your career many new drivers would ask the reason why? Will it take two years to get the training completed? Will it take two years to pay off the price of the training course? Why should you as a new driver focus on the number “2” so much? What could possibly be so important about a number especially the number”2”?
The number “2” is considered the break through number in the world of transportation whether you’re a driver, owner operator, or job seeker you should be focusing on the number “2”! Let’s look at where the number two came from. The number originally started through the insurance industry when it came to truck drivers. The insurance side of the industry based on statistics about drivers many years ago found that it took approximately two years for a driver to gather enough experience that they would be able to handle the trucks and other issues that come up in day-to-day activities. The insurance companies then began to insure carriers that way stating that if they didn’t have a proper training programs they would need to hire drivers with at least two years experience. So to sum it up once you have two years of experience in the eyes of the industry you are considered a professional driver, please note that is based on performance and not time alone. Many of my fellow colleagues may argue that point further but we will use it as a base for this article.
If you are looking through job advertisements you will see a common thread throughout. The ad statements usually goes something like this, “Drivers must have two years experience to apply.” If you need two years of experience to apply how do you get a job if you are a new driver? What this statement is telling you is that you must have two years experience unless the company has a training program and insurance policy to cover new drivers. Most of the large carriers can take new people because they have a training program in place and the support structure to help new drivers be successful. If you are a new driver look at the larger carriers when applying for driving positions and you will have greater success.
‘A certified truck training certificate has been known to be the equivalent to two years of driving experience.” This is a statement that has been confusing many new drivers for years. The statement isn’t untrue but works differently than sometimes explained. What the statement means is this; if you take training from a certified school the training received would be the same amount of experience as a driver would have received without the training and operating for two years on the roadways. It is like fast tracking your experience. Here is where the confusion comes in. A carrier with a proper support system can hire someone with certified training because they have learned the basics required for the job. It does not mean that you have two years experience, you have the same training as two years of driving. Do not apply for jobs with companies that require two years of experience for drivers.
At a recent function I was talking with a trainer and they mentioned that when drivers ask them about becoming owner operators they suggest that they have at least two years of experience as a driver first. The reason for this is that the driving job alone takes a lot to learn and will take a few years to become good at it. Add the concept of business on top of that and it can throw a new driver into a tail spin.
So you can see that the number “2” is an important number in the industry and flows through the different components of your career when in the transportation industry. These of course are general observations and will be different for everyone based on performance and other factors. To sum it up get certified training, get on with a good carrier and stay their for at least two years if possible. Wait until you have at least two years of driving as a driver before you start thinking about becoming an owner operator and you should have a successful career in transportation. Remember the number “2”!
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, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast. 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