Category Archives: Industry Employment

Training Schools Focus on Carrier Based Training

There are a number of things that differentiate one school over another such as instruction styles, courses available, longevity in the industry, and commitment to professionalism. The focus for any good school should be the student and their success after the course in the workplace for their chosen career path. Over the years I have seen schools that are more interested in filling seats than student success.

A school focused on student success will have a course structure allowing for students to learn all aspects of the industry. They will be challenged as close to real life scenarios as possible during their training so that they have an understanding of what a career will entail when they complete the course. This is carrier-based training and as a student this is the type of training you should be looking for when researching training facilities.

It has been seen in the past where a school will take a student on a certain route in order for them to memorize the road orientation so that they are successful when taking the licencing road test. Many of the testing centres use a certain route for their testing so schools will follow that route so the student is better prepared. Even if the student passes however once they get into a real life scenario they get into trouble.

We have seen the same issue with inspections where students are memorizing a certain system but not really learning what issues to look for on a truck. They pass the test but then have problems when road testing with a carrier because they haven’t learned how to do an inspection the way a carrier would like it done. A good training centre will teach a student what to look for and learn the reason why they have to do certain things, not memorize routines.

truck driver in drivers cab
Carrier-based Training

The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) has always designed their curriculum to help the student be successful when applying to carriers after the training is\ complete. This means ensuring the membership is delivering carrier-based training for their students and that the courses are set up to give them real life solutions to problems on the road. Carriers expect students to come out of a training facility with a certain amount of knowledge and training so that they can be taken to the next step of a Finishing Program. If a student doesn’t have the basics of their training they won’t be successful and able to go to the next step. This is why carrier-based training is so important.

The TTSAO will be focusing on instruction and training at the 5th Annual Conference where Philip Fletcher of Commercial Heavy Equipment Training and Dave MacDonald of Revolution Staffing will be talking about carrier-based training and how training facilities can ensure student success when transitioning to the carrier.

Learn more about the presentation here

The question then becomes is your training curriculum focused on the student being successful when applying for employment with a carrier or is it focused on the student passing the licence test? If your focus is the latter then you may not be delivering carrier-based training.

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Have you registered for the conference?

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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Filling Driver Demand With Foreign Workers

Our industry has been in a driver shortage for some time now and things don’t seem to be getting better anytime soon. I remember in the 90’s when the industry began to see drivers move into the industry and the mood of transportation began to change. Today the industry is primarily 70% foreign workers when it used to be only 20-30% foreign workers at that time. As immigration laws change in an attempt to appeal to those wanting to come to North America for a better life and those just trying to stay safe as refugees it is forcing us to change how we train foreign workers.

Many carriers are trying to adapt to hiring foreign workers. When their first language is not English training and supervision can be a problem. Years ago I had various people ask if my training material was in another language that could be used to train new workers. Much of that has changed now with various companies coming out with modules that are in various languages or can be changed based on the needs of the user.

Publications are popping up all over North America in various languages to appeal to foreign workers and you can find them in French, Polish, Punjabi, and more. Some publications are moving away from English all together.

The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) has seen the need for foreign workers in transportation for some time. The industry was filled with people working on farms that learned to drive heavy equipment at an early age and were a natural fit for the trucking and construction industries. They were hard working folks that understood how machinery works. We now find less of those people entering the industry therefore foreign workers are picking up the slack and filling the need.

Foreign Workers
Foreign Workers

Recent information on the industry shows that the industry will soon be filled with mostly foreign workers. Yet our immigration laws are are not allowing us to keep up with the demand needed in the seats. I interviewed a driver in the past coming from the Caribbean wanting to drive in Canada. He had ties to Canada through family and paid for his own training and travel costs to Canada. He completed the training with high marks yet in the end could not find a company to sponsor him to Canada. He got so frustrated with the red tape of immigrating to Canada that he was forced to go elsewhere for work. This is not the only story that I have heard. People are now going to other countries because of our immigration policies.

If foreign workers are an issue you have been struggling with over the years then you are not alone. Questions like how do we get them in the Country safely and successfully? How do we adapt our training to fit the needs of the industry and make our roads safer at the same time? All of these questions are what many of us have been talking about for years at conferences and seminars. The TTSAO is hoping to have those questions answered at their upcoming conference on truck driver training on February 5th. Vikram Khurana will be talking about the Foreign Worker Program and how it can help our industry fill the much needed issue of drivers. We hope to see you there.

Picture-Vikram-Khurana
Vikram Khurana

Learn more about the presentation at the TTSAO Conference here

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

Learn more about the conference by clicking this link

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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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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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Starting Your Job Search in the Right Place

If you’re looking for a job opportunity you have to be in the right place to find the right job. I was recently reading a post from a young person looking for a job in the trucking industry and wondering where to find a carrier that would hire them and help with training. Now I personally know many carriers that are looking for truck drivers and other positions for their fleets here in Canada and the United States is much the same.

Often I find people are trying to find employment in the wrong way. They are trying to find a job asking people on social media. Now I know social media is considered main stream these days and it has its benefits and drawbacks but the opinions for the most part will be personal and may not relate to your specific situation but to the person offering the opinion. Social media should be used as a way to learn more about a company once you have found one rather than at the start of your search for a job, so where do you start?

If I was looking for a truck driving job and didn’t have an inside connection to a particular carrier I would start with the industry resources or job boards. Any carrier that is well connected in the industry will be part of an industry association or advertise in industry publications. Some carriers will advertise outside of the industry but truck driving is different from many other industries and a person needs to understand the job before applying for the position.

Pipe Truck

Starting with industry specific publications will give you a bird’s eye view of who is hiring, what they offer, and the type of freight they haul. After that you can look into benefits, training, and other important factors involved in working with a carrier.

Asking friends is fine, but you may not get the proper information. Trusting carriers alone can be an issue if the carriers are not reputable. Starting a job search can be a daunting task but if you do it the right way you can get the proper information and be successful. If you are looking for tips on getting a job in the trucking industry the TTSAO has an article list on their website with some great tips. http://ttsao.com/category/industry-employment/

find-a-ttsao-Carrier

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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Over Regulating vs Over Promoting, What’s Best for our Industry?

In January 2020 the United States will be launching their drug and alcohol clearing house for commercial drivers that is suppose to offer transparency for truck drivers allowing employers to see the results of testing done on drivers in the industry. This apparently is to make our roads safer and solve the problem of drug and alcohol related deaths behind the wheel. You can read about the new regulations here. https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevebanker/2019/10/24/a-shocking-loophole-affecting-road-safety-is-finally-about-to-close/#519cec65770f

Over the last few years we have brought in Mandatory Entry Level Training, Electronic Logging Devices, and changed a number of regulations regarding Hours of Service. I am all for making our roads safer but are regulations the way to do it or are we just making it more of a turn off for people to get into our industry? If you add in all the talk of self-driving trucks, Amazon shipping, and robotic technology it can be very hard to attract talent our industry. We are already driving out the many long term drivers currently doing the job and not attracting the younger generations we need because the industry isn’t attractive. Are we focusing on the right areas in our industry or are we killing our industry?

We can’t tell what will happen in the future but there are opportunities now in the industry in a number of fields. If we spent as much time teaching people to make the right decisions and fixing the real problems in the industry such as safe parking and infrastructure such as separate truck lanes or priority traffic patterns to keep goods moving it would be much more safer and attractive than telling everyone when they should sleep. Regulating an industry that has so many variables is not only making roads unsafe but not attracting the people that we need to carry out the very important task of truck driving.

trucks-crossing-border

What people developing new technology for the trucking industry are not telling us is the price of those trucks and the fact that most small to mid-sized fleets won’t be able to afford those vehicles. They are not telling us that the transportation industry has been slow to follow in technology over the years and that if you were to put a self driving truck in the fleet most people wouldn’t know how to get it to move. I use technology in a day to day basis and believe it is helpful to our lives if it is used to make our lives more efficient and safe.

We need to spend more time showing people why our industry is important and changing the industry to be more attractive to the next generations instead of the way we are doing it now and turning everyone away from an industry that many of us have built a life on. Trucking will change that’s for sure, but I don’t see it going away!

find-a-ttsao-Carrier

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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Build Your Job Resume in Modules

Building a resume in modules may be the best way to keep it current without retyping it each time. If you’ve noticed the trend as technology gets better that resumes may soon be a thing of the past. We are seeing more applications that are allowing job candidates to upload their information into an app where it lives and can be updated as needed. Many of these applications allow employers to view the information as required to hire candidates. This has got be easier than paper.

Do you remember paper applications? If you were applying to multiple places in a day you would have writers cramp at the end of the day in your hand. Resumes were saving us all but brought on a new set of problems as they now can be created ahead of time but were fairly easy to falsify or hide certain issues with prior employers.

We have now seen a new transition from resumes to online application systems allowing employers and job seekers to save all the information within the system and have it verified for the employer. Of course to use the system the employer and potential employee have to be on the same program. That brings us to the next question, “Do you still need a resume?

I believe resumes are still important and used by many employers, but I can see them going by the wayside in the near future as technology continues to develop. That leaves us with today where we have a mix of the old in the odd paper resume out there and the new which I will call the online program application. The resume sits in the middle, so it will still be required for the time being.

I think it is important to always keep your resume current whether looking for a job or not. You never know when an opportunity will come along that is the perfect dream job for you and even if you have been highly recommended most employers will still want a resume. This is why it is a good idea to build your resume in modules. If you think of how a resume is laid out it has different parts under different headings. Some of those parts are static meaning they don’t change and others will change as your experience changes.

Current position, references, and training will change based on your current position so that can be built as one module. Your experience and past employment will stay the same so that should be built as one module. Your last module will be licensing, language, and other items which normally stays the same. This way you only have to update one module when an opportunity arises.

Person-filling-out-application

The reason for potentially building your resume in modules means that you can use all the different submission options such as online programs to traditional resumes or even paper in a quick method of keeping things updated at a moments notice. You can offer your resume with the static modules and just change the current job module as required. You may even fill out one portion and upload the rest of your resume that doesn’t change. Being job ready is the first secret to getting great opportunities as they arise.

find-a-ttsao-Carrier

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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Being Job Ready in 2019

What does being job ready mean in 2019 and 2020? Does it mean you have to be able to out work the person next to you? Does it mean you have to a university degree in your chosen field? Does it mean you have to have a technological background? What does job ready mean anymore?

Decades ago being job ready means you were willing to put in long hours at work and do what it takes to get the job done. Trucking companies were looking for people that didn’t mind hard work and that’s why people with a farming background succeeded so well in the industry. Being educated was for those with financial resources to get someone to college and many people had grade 10 education or less but had a work ethic that carried them through and gave them a good life. They excelled in the industry because of the farming and mechanical backgrounds allowing them to fix equipment and have pride in their work.

Today those same values are only important to the older drivers that made their careers successful through hard work. Today people are educated and focused more on work / life balance than getting the job done at all costs. As carriers struggle to change with a rolling economy and demands from a changing labour market it is changing what is attracting new drivers to the industry leaving transportation in a fluctuating market. Who are we looking for?

When you apply for a job in the market today you have to have a number of things going for you. Employers want a mix of old and new and that is very hard to find in the same person. They want someone educated and tech savvy with the old values of willing to work long hours and get the job done while being safe. Those people are out there but our industry has not changed the way things have been done for over 30 years. We haven’t shown respect for the time of the driver and we are still looking for someone to work long hours while that someone is good around equipment with a safety mindset. Unfortunately that is not what young people want in their job. What does that mean for being job ready in 2019 and 2020?

Carriers are changing to meet the demand of applicants in our industry so they can attract the talent they need. They are doing their best to add flexibility to their operations with shorter days and flexible start times. Many are now paying for detention time and offering more technology in the trucks. Different types of people are now making up many carrier teams allowing for different operation styles. Driver pay is slowly rising to help attract talent to the workplace.

Team-Drivers

What does the perfect truck driver model look like in 2020? “A truck driver that is educated with a willingness to be better,” would be my statement if I was asked. Trucking offers so many opportunities but many of them you cannot see until you are in the industry. Someone that is willing to take a little blind faith and get started in an industry that is changing rapidly will have many opportunities available to them that they may not be able to get anywhere else. Since our industry has so many career legs to it you can create a custom career path while making money and seeing the Country at the same time and you will be at the forefront of the technological change which is beginning to happen right now. There has never been more opportunity in our industry and for the right mindset the future is unlimited. Trucking will always be here in one form or another and you can be part of it.

find-a-ttsao-Carrier

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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Company vs Freight-Choosing a Carrier

Scrolling through a recent social media website on trucking I noticed a lot of questions from new drivers on whether to go work for a certain company based on the type of freight they haul. Sure drivers do choose carriers based on the type of freight they haul but is that the best way to choose a company that you hope to stay with for a good part of your career?

The question comes down to what do you feel is more important? In my personal opinion choosing the right company to work with far outweighs the type of freight they haul however there are many drivers out there that prefer to work with only flatbed, tanker, automobiles, or more. Much of that is what you’ve been introduced to at the beginning of your career and what has been accessible to you over time. For instance I never pulled B-trains just because I never worked for companies that had those opportunities available. I fell into the hazmat side of the industry due to the companies I worked with did a lot of that type of work. When I look back on my career I worked for good companies so don’t think I would change anything if I could.

Where you are in your career will make the difference in how you answer the question company or freight, it is kind of like the chicken and the egg scenario. I feel it comes down to how long you have been driving and the type of work you enjoy doing.

Let’s start with new drivers. If you are a brand new driver or someone that has been driving for under 5 years then you should be choosing a company to work for that has a good culture, good training / finishing program, and can offer you various types of trips or freight to gain experience. You want to gain experience on the road and if you get hired by a company that offers different types of freight even better. I worked for several companies that had a variety of freight from flatbed or steel, to refrigerated freight, and dry van before settling on a carrier that was specifically hazardous materials. You want a company with a good culture and one that is willing to be patient with someone new as they learn the ropes.

pipe truck

If you have been driving for more than 5 years then you may want to choose a company based on the freight they haul. At this time in your career you may have experienced a certain type of freight and realized you enjoy working with that type of equipment and enjoy the work. Choosing the companies that have that freight type would be the better way to choose a company but only if you know exactly what you want. Even then I would determine the type of freight I want to work with and create a list of those companies, then choose a company by their culture and other criteria.

No matter where you are in your career you want to work for a company that treats you right as an employee no matter what they haul. Choosing a company that has your type of freight, but doesn’t pay you, has you sitting waiting for freight, or has bad equipment won’t offer you a rewarding career as a professional driver. Choose wisely!

find-a-ttsao-Carrier

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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Philip Fletcher Presents on Carrier Based Training at TTSAO Conference

Philip Fletcher of Commercial Heavy Equipment Training will be co-presenting at the 5th Annual TTSAO Conference with Dave MacDonald of Revolution Staffing on Carrier Based Training during the Cocktail Party. Philip Fletcher won the Volunteer of the Year Award at the 4th annual conference.

Philip-Fletcher
Philip Fletcher-Carrier Based Training Presentation

Join us at the conference

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