Category Archives: Education

Build Your Truck Training School Business for 2020

Happy New Year from the TTSAO. The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario ( TTSAO) would like to wish you a safe and successful new year and all the best for 2020.

Speaking of 2020 the TTSAO is working hard to make our industry better from a training standpoint and we have a number of initiatives on the go which we will talk about in a minute. Time is moving faster and now is the time to get your training business in gear and ahead of the competition by learning new and interesting ways to market your business. In order to do that you need to know which way the industry is going.

If we had a crystal ball we would all be able to change our business models to be successful, but unfortunately life isn’t like that. There is a way for you to learn about the changes in the industry and hot topics that will help you focus your training business for the future and that’s at the TTSAO Conference. Every year the TTSAO holds a conference and usually the topics covered are initiatives or points of discussion that need attention in the industry. What’s hot this year?

TTSAO Conference 2018
Lou Smyrlis

Lou Smyrlis of Newcom Media is a leader when it comes to trends in the industry and where we seem to be heading. Smyrlis will be talking about changes coming up in 2020 and trends happening in the industry which are a great way to adjust your marketing and business for the future. You can learn more about Lou Smyrlis here.

Quality training is important for everyone especially carriers. When a training school completes the training with a student that student is then hired by a carrier that will finish the training with a good finishing program. The student must have those basics in order to be successful in a career as a professional driver and that’s where a good school comes in. Philip Fletcher of Commercial Heavy Equipment Training and Dave MacDonald of Revolution Staffing will be offering information on how to ensure your program is inline with carriers for a successful student transition.

Foreign workers and female truck drivers have been in the forefront for couple of years and is still in front as the industry struggles to bring in new people and both of those topics are being discussed in depth at the next conference. Vikram Khurana is an expert in International Recruiting and will be offering information on how we can bring foreign workers into the industry successfully.

Picture-Vikram-Khurana
Vikram Khurana

Helen Thorpe will be one of the panelists talking about women in the industry and how they can have successful careers in an industry that is predominately male. Thorpe has had a successful career in the industry and is looked at as a leader for women in trucking. You can learn about Helen Thorpe here.

Helen Thorpe
Helen Thorpe

Instructor qualifications are leading many discussions these days as the industry tries to create a uniform presence across the Country. Last year Joe Teixeira was the first recipient of the Instructor of the Year Award and a new recipient will be awarded this year. The award meant a-lot to Teixeira and helped his carrier with new ways of promoting their brand. View the qualifications by clicking the requirement file here.

Instructor of the Year

Technology and marketing will round out the hot topics as we look to how those trends affect students and the industry as a whole. Vickie Devos of iMVR will lead a panel on technology in the industry and tips on business and marketing will be talked about with Audra Thompson of Northbridge Insurance and Scott Rea of Avatar Fleet Services. Hopefully this will help you devise a successful plan for the future for your training location. As you can see we don’t have crystal ball but the next best thing are experts in the industry offering information to help you be successful. You can learn about the TTSAO 5th Annual Conference by clicking here.

Save your seat for the conference by clicking here.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is the author of the books Driven to Drive, 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

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Gerald Carroll on Changes to TTSAO 2020

Gerald Carroll is the TTSAO Conference Chairperson and talks about some of the changes coming up for the 5th Annual TTSAO Conference in February 2020. Join us for the conference by registering with the link below.

Conference Chairperson Gerald Carroll
TTSAO-5th-Annual-Conference-poster

Learn more about the conference here

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Ken Adams on Attending the TTSAO Conference

Ken Adams is the Chairman of the Board for the TTSAO and talks about changes to the upcoming TTSAO Conference and the importance of attending for those in the truck driver training industry.

Ken Adams on the 5th annual TTSAO Conference
TTSAO-5th-Annual-Conference-poster
Click the link below to learn more about the conference

Learn more about the 5th Annual TTSAO
Conference Here

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TTSAO Closes 2019 With Hot Topics

As we come to the end of another year and decade we have to take a look at the truck driver training industry and hope we are improving on lessons learned throughout the year. Our industry is changing rapidly with a mix of better and worse. Training standards, regulations, and industry employment all seem to be mixing together causing our industry to re-evaluate where it is going and where we’ve come from. So where are we in this mix?

From a training standpoint things are improving. Entry Level Training was implemented a couple years ago and governing bodies continue to tweak the regulations and improve the testing standards within the Province and across the Country. The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) was a leader in helping form the new training standards with the Ministry of Transportation and continues to work closely with them to improve the training aspects of our industry.

Truck driver training instructors began to be scrutinized at the end of 2018 and became a major focus for the TTSAO in 2019. They increased the profile of the instructor by having the Instructor of the Year award presented to industry veteran Joe Teixeira of Rosedale Transport and will now be an annual competition at the TTSAO Conferences. With over three decades of experience of the first winner it makes competition tough for the future, but a good benchmark to have for top instructors.

Paybright-award

Qualifications for instructors were a main focus for the association in 2019 and continues to be talked about with industry partners to find a common certification for all instructors in the industry. So the training aspect of the industry has been improving well and looks good for the near future.

Where we have had problems is in the employment side of the industry. 2019 had some large carriers go out of business leaving drivers stranded in some cases on the road. Insurance renewals for carriers has tightened up and some carriers are having trouble finding insurance premiums to operate. Insurance providers are working on solutions to improve carrier insurability and also enhance driver employment for younger drivers.

The driver shortage continues with technology being a strong focus for filling the driver gap. Foreign workers have also resurfaced over the year as a solution for bringing more people into the industry. The immigration issues for all of North America has caused this issue to be a troublesome issue to figure out.

Other topics that have surfaced are human trafficking and cargo theft which are rising year after year. The TTSAO is planning on implementing these topics into their training programs to help in the fight against these crimes from an awareness standpoint.

Jim Dimech-Truckers Against Trafficking

All in all the TTSAO is on the forefront for many of these important issues and continues to work to make the truck driver training industry a better place. On behalf of the TTSAO we would like to wish you and your families a happy and safe Christmas.

Happy Holidays

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

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TTSAO Supports Truckers Against Trafficking

On December 11th the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario ( TTSAO) held their membership meeting. This meeting was the annual Christmas social for the Association but took on a more formal agenda with presentations on Truckers Against Trafficking and agenda on TTSAO issues. The meeting included a conference presentation by Gerald Carroll and updates by the Ministry of Transportation on initiatives for 2020.

The major presentation was on human trafficking by Heathery Fry and Jim Dimech showing us who commits these crimes and what those in the transportation industry can do to help. The formulas used by traffickers to command their victims was talked about and everyday culture is unknowingly promoting the lifestyle through games and social media.

Jim Dimech-Praxair

Statistics presented by Heather Fry showed there are 40 million victims globally, with acts happening 20 times per day to thousands of children. The trafficking industry is a $150 billion dollar industry and affects all countries big and small. Human trafficking is a crime of power and includes sexual conduct, rape, fraud, employee abuse, and threats to family and friends. Many victims don’t even know they are being victimized.

Traffickers use main roads and corridors to move victims and goods from location to location and this is why the focus is on help from those in the transportation industry and energy fields as they work regularly on those main corridors. Truckers have saved lives of victims by reporting unusual activity such as the call made by Kevin Kimmel that resulted in an arrest of a couple trafficking sex workers and have now been convicted to life behind bars. Since the program began there have been 2432 calls made, 655 cases investigated, 1200 victims saved, and 794,905 people trained.

Heather Fry-Truckers Against Trafficking

Truckers Against Trafficking is an organization from the United States but is increasing their focus on Canada. Trafficking has no borders and those small tips do help victims. The organization is asking transport companies, training facilities, and those that travel on a regular basis to take the training course to be aware of the signs of trafficking and report any activity that looks like someone is being abused. Jim Dimech of Praxair Canada talked about how it had become part of the carrier’s training program for all drivers employed by the company. You can learn more about the training and organization at www.truckersagainsttrafficking.org. The TTSAO is encouraging all of their member organizations to have their staff trained and share that training with new students. We all need to do our part in stopping human trafficking and that can be done by making a call when you see suspicious activity.

Truckers Against Trafficking

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

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Are You Creating Your career Opportunity?

Is it time to treat yourself to a gift? It’s amazing how many people go through life doing the same job or working in the same capacity and never think about moving up or changing their career environment. We often go through life doing the same job everyday hoping that
someone will notice our hard work and offer us change to a better opportunity. Sometimes that can take years for someone to notice your hard work among the other employees at the company and management still may not see you as right for the job. The secret to making this happen is to create the opportunity.
This happened to me back in 2003. I had been a truck driver for over 20 years at this point and was looking to move out of the truck. I had been at the company for over 9 years and one of the reasons I moved to the company in the first place was to advance in my career. The change to the company itself was an advance but I now felt ready for the next step. I had decided a year before to go back to school to learn some new skills and clean up my educational
background. I took a number of courses in technology, business, and other interesting career courses to help build my education for the future. At the same time the company was upgrading their technology and moving managers and supervisors to different departments. Things changed and I found myself with the opportunity to be supervisor of the same fleet that I had worked for as a driver for many years. As it turned out I got the job beating out another driver that had a long standing career with many more years of experience. The reason he didn’t get the job even after I threw my support behind him is that he hadn’t upgraded his computer skills and the company was changing in technology.

Man driving tractor

You have to create opportunities in your life and career. There are too many people looking for that promotion for you to standby in the shadows hoping someone will notice you. When I went back to school people noticed my ambition, asked about courses I was taking, and were impressed with the determination of working harder than the next person. I didn’t quit my job to do this as there are many flexible courses online or at local establishments allowing you to work around your current job hours. This is the perfect time of year to start thinking about upgrading your skills for the new year. Whether for yourself or someone in your family giving them the gift of training can be the best thing you can give. Check out the video below on the career of Joe Teixeira.

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

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Should Transportation Start Policing Themselves

Trucking is a serious job! Forty tons of freight on a vehicle that is 75 feet long and bends in the middle is not something to be taken lightly. It takes skill, dedication, and training above other drivers on the road. If you add drugs and alcohol to the mix you are making a bomb that is traveling at 100 kilometres per hour and has the potential to do harm to many at once.

Here we are in the heart of Holiday Season with an increased presence of police enforcement with RIDE Programs and new technology for evaluating impairment putting driver impairment front and centre on the map of safe driving. But is it working?

Recently there have been an increase in driver impairment among truck drivers with alcohol or drugs. The last few reports on this the drivers were not in any type of incident but were found impaired after being stopped for another violation such as a traffic stop or inspection. Why is impairment among truck drivers increasing?

To be fair driver impairment has been in the news more over the last year with cannabis becoming legal over the last couple of years in Canada and the Holiday Season approaching. You would think with the amount of awareness and the increase in monitoring of drivers by carriers that the numbers for impairment would be going the other way, yet they seem to be increasing.

What is the answer to decreasing the trend upwards of impairment among drivers. Is it more information or additional training? Is it breathalyzers in every truck such as they have for those that have been convicted of offences?

Here are a couple of articles talking about impairment issues. https://www.canada.ca/en/services/policing/police/community-safety-policing/impaired-driving/drug-impaired-driving.html and https://madd.ca/pages/impaired-driving/overview/cannabis-and-driving/

depressed-person

When I talk with other drivers at safety meetings and shows many of them have the same opinion in the fact that drivers know the importance of keeping their licences free of violations and the fact that it can greatly reduce opportunities for their career in the future. If drivers know this then why are we continuing the trend upwards.

I believe common sense needs to be added to training. As an industry we spend a lot of time training drivers for compliance to ensure the carrier can show insurance that they are keeping up on safety, but how many are training based on leadership, professionalism, and common sense decision making. How many carriers included drug and alcohol training in their training over the last year on a regular basis?

As an industry we have to start policing ourselves in a number of areas from impairment to safety to tax evasion. As we get more people involved in the industry from other cultures and Countries where laws may be different we have to enhance those standards that make our industry professional. As an industry we invest a lot of money in technology and equipment but if we can’t help a driver understand the importance of being free of drugs and alcohol and good decision making we will always be a threat to other motorists on the road. Please be safe this Holiday Season and don’t drink or do drugs when about to drive.

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 for Truck Drivers. 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

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TTSAO Christmas General Meeting December 11, 2019

As you have all already heard we’re really excited about our TTSAO Christmas Meeting. The agenda has some excellent presenters including Heather Fry, Director for Truckers Against Trafficking and Jim Dimech from Praxair Canada. You will learn how we as industry can play a role in fighting human trafficking. Additionally, we will have a representative from the Carrier Safety and Enforcement, Ministry of Transportation talking about the new Action Plan for the Trucking Industry.

Christmas-Wreath

It will be two hours of education and information followed by a nice lunch courtesy of our generous sponsors. This event will be a good opportunity to network with industry professionals at all levels. The meeting will take place at the beautiful Lionhead Golf and Conference Center in Brampton.

The TTSAO is looking for sponsors for this event. The investment for your company is $500.00. In return your company and brand will be featured on numerous social media feeds, press releases, signage at the event and mentions during the event. This is a great way to get your organizations name and brand in front of many decision makers while supporting the TTSAO at the same time.

Thank you to Manitoulin Transport, Rims Transport, HBC Transportation & Vagans Inc. Transportation Risk Management for already committing as sponsors.

For more information about sponsorship please contact: 

Charlie Charalambous, Director of Client Services – ISB Global Services and NRRS Chairperson – 905-699-8837

Kim Richardson, President – TransRep 1-800-771-8171 ext. 201

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Human Trafficking Hot Topic in Trucking

Human trafficking is a hot topic in trucking and the Government of Canada. We often feel that Canada is immune to issues we hear South of the Border but in reality Canada is a leader in cargo crime only behind California and is now becoming increasingly a problem with other crimes such as human trafficking. Human trafficking has been increasing since 2009 and usually involves women from 20-30 that end up working in the sex trade. The Globe and Mail recently wrote an article about the issue which you can read by clicking the link. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/toronto/article-more-than-30-people-arrested-in-multi-province-human-trafficking/

An increase in crimes such as cargo theft is a sign that other crimes may be increasing in other areas. Cargo crime specialist Todd Moore of ISB Global Services has presented many times on cargo securement and says that general cargo crimes are seed money for other crimes with human trafficking being one of them. Organized crime is behind much of the cargo crime in Canada and as mentioned in the article above by the Globe and Mail organized crime is also behind human trafficking showing a constant link that I am sure is strong signal to law enforcement.

With an increase of refugees and other immigration issues at the forefront human trafficking has been increasing around the World. Truck drivers are often used in these crimes as was reported with people found in trucks in England, the United States, and Canada with refugees trying to escape their homelands.

Past presentations I have seen on human trafficking include being aware of those in public locations such as truck stops being aware of those that may look like they are being controlled by someone else, frightened, or being watched from afar. Lately the people being trafficked have been found in the back of trailers so now the focus has been on people buying large amounts of products like water, food, or other supplies as a possibility to human trafficking.

trucks-crossing-border

If you are interested in learning more about human trafficking and how it may be affecting your operation or the industry in general the Truck Training School Association of Ontario will be hosting a presentation on human trafficking by Heather Fry, Canadian Director of Truckers Against Trafficking, and Jim Dimech of Praxair Canada Inc on what can be done about the issue and what agencies are doing about the problem. Here is the press release for the event on December 11th, 2019.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is the author of the books Driven to Drive, 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

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Truckers Against Trafficking to Present at TTSAO December General Meeting

The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) will
be hosting a general meeting for their members, industry guests and stakeholders from 10 am – 12 noon on Wednesday December 11th, 2019 at Lionhead Golf and Conference Centre.


The TTSAO is pleased to announce that part of the agenda will include an awareness presentation by Heather Fry, Canadian Director of Truckers Against Trafficking, and Jim Dimech of Praxair Canada Inc. who will provide a carrier’s perspective and speak about the importance of trucking companies getting
involved.

Hope to see you there!

Read the full press release here!

Seating is limited for this meeting so if you would like to attend please email ttsao@ttsao.com or call
(705) 280-5577.

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