Category Archives: Industry Professionalism

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.

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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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Be Thankful for Trucking at Thanksgiving

As we move into another Canadian Thanksgiving I always like to remind everyone that without trucking you would have an empty table. I have always said that trucking has terrible marketing campaigns and what many refer to as a dumping ground for people with a lack of education in the past is possibly one of the most important professions on the planet. Without truck drivers there would be nothing on that Thanksgiving table.

I recently interviewed a young reporter on my podcast who has been reporting specifically on the transportation industry for the last two years. She was in her mid twenties and when I asked her what people her age thought of the trucking industry she said they didn’t find it attractive. She mentioned that many young people feel the industry is such as those movies from the 70’s where we are all shown speeding from the police, gear jamming through outlaw convoys, and drinking in the truck stops before heading out on the road. Being a product of that time and starting my trucking career in the early 80’s I can tell you the industry couldn’t be any further from those scenarios seen in many movies. Like any good movie scenario getting a turkey to the kitchen table by truck certainly isn’t as thrilling as hauling illegal beer back from Texarkana Texas with Police in chase.

Even the movies that are made to reflect a more accurate look on the industry get caught up in movie making effects and can soon turn fable over fact in a short period of time. Unfortunately these movies and television shows are there for entertainment and that causes scenarios to be embellished for ratings. My friends that are involved in some of those shows will tell stories of how producers will ask them to make a scene more interesting by re-shooting it outside of what is allowed in the regulations or cut out certain scenes to make things more dramatic.

It’s a shame that television changes reality into fiction because our industry may be very different. Since it is such an important industry to the economy of our Country it should be treated as such because we keep saying, “Without trucks there would be nothing on our shelves.” Truck drivers are expected to get deliveries made in all sorts of weather and traffic situations yet we treat them like children. Even though our industry has changed over the years our importance is still being determined by movies made for entertainment from a time that is long gone.

Thank a truck driver!

As you sit down for that fabulous meal at Thanksgiving this weekend take a moment to reflect on the items on your table. The food came from a store that was supplied by a truck. Your table ware came from stores that were supplied by trucks. For many truck drivers they aren’t sitting at a table for Thanksgiving, they are driving up and down the roadways keeping those shelves stocked for others while you enjoy your meal. Thank a truck driver and Happy Thanksgiving.

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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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!

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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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Celebrating Truck Drivers on Both Sides of the Border

The second week of September is Driver Appreciation Week in the United States celebrating all the things that truck drivers do to keep our store shelves stocked, building materials on route, and cars in our driveways. Canada celebrated Driver Appreciation Week the first week of September.

The celebration weeks were set up to recognize the men and women driving up and down the highways of our Nation hauling goods that most of us take for granted. That bar of soap you just put in your grocery cart, that toothpaste you took off the shelf, or the meat that you will cook for dinner didn’t just appear on the shelf on it’s own. It went from manufacturing facility to distribution centre to the store. As a consumer you see a product on your store shelf and believe it came from the back stock room when in reality it may have traveled hundreds or thousands of miles to get to that moment when you picked it up and placed it in your shopping cart. If the trucks stopped in North America our store shelves would be empty in less than a week.

Truck drivers are the front lines of any trucking company but more importantly are the front lines to our economy. They keep North America moving and some of them take it a step further. Some are known as “Highway Angels” who are not only exceptional at their jobs but have stepped up to help save someone’s life. The Truckload Carriers Association recognizes certain drivers each year that have gone beyond the call of duty and helped someone in need. One such Highway Angel is John Weston a truck driver with Challenger Motor Freight that stayed with an accident victim during the last moments of their life. Weston didn’t think he was doing anything special, but that day hundreds of motorists passed by that same accident and didn’t stop. Being there for someone in their final moments of life is not to be taken lightly. You can read the full story here. http://ttsao.com/2018/03/28/theres-an-angel-among-us/

John Weston-Challenger
Picture by Challenger Motor Freight

As you see those big trucks traveling up and down the road don’t think of us like the gear jamming crazy people that cause havoc on our roadways like much of the public does. Think of us as a hard working group of individuals that are keeping the products you love on the shelf of your favourite store. Think of us like the blood in your body. Trucks are the blood of our economy and without them the economy would die. You may also want to think about truck drivers as the one person that may be willing to stop and help someone at the side of the road.

Thank you to the many men and women truck drivers keeping our economy in tact. We appreciate the hard work that you do and recognize how vital you are to the economy. Thank you!

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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PayBright Sponsors Instructor of the Year Award for 2019

The TTSAO started an award program for the Instructor of the Year at the 2019 Conference and is continuing it again at their 5th Annual Conference in 2020. The Recipient of the Award in 2019 was Joe Teixiera a 30 year veteran of the industry employed with Rosedale Transport.

Paybright-award

Read more about Joe receiving the award here.

PayBright will be sponsoring the award again this year so start thinking about who on your team will be a good fit for the award. Criteria will be coming out soon about the award and thank you to PayBright for sponsoring the award again for the 5th Annual Conference.

TTSAO 2019 Sponsors
PayBright-Instructor of the Year Award Sponsor
TTSAO-5th-Annual-Conference-poster

Learn more about the Conference here!

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Celebrate All Transportation Professionals

In Canada it is currently “Driver Appreciation Week” which is a week where we celebrate truck drivers for the work that they do in getting products on our shelves or materials into the hands of builders. Canada celebrates the first week of September and the United States celebrates the second week of September. We call the weeks ”Driver Appreciation Week” but really we are celebrating everyone in the transportation industry especially those on the front lines.

With that being said I personally feel that we should have a week for each area of transportation. That may also help in showing the public all the areas of transportation and the people behind the scenes. Should we have National Dispatchers Week, National Instructors Week, Load Planning Week, and other areas usually behind the scenes. A trucking company is a small team of dedicated professionals that have to work together to get a load down the road. If the load planners hadn’t arranged the load, then dispatch would not be able to do their job. Without dispatch truck drivers would not have anything to haul. We are all connected.

What about other people in the industry? We are starting to see changes and awards for other professionals in the trucking industry such as instructors, recruiters, and more. The last award winner from the Truck Training School Association of Ontario for Instructor of the Year was Joe Teixeira from Rosedale Transport. Teixeira has been in transportation for over 30 years and is truly dedicated to the transportation industry. He takes training and safety seriously and has been helping in keeping drivers fully trained and safe for many years. Without people like Teixiera and his dedication to safety we may not be celebrating drivers.

Joe-texiera
Joe Teixeira – Instructor of the Year 2018

Should we rename the week? As a former driver I am in no way minimizing the job that the men and women driving have to do everyday. It is a hard and demanding job that requires a level of dedication that much of the general public doesn’t understand. If you asked all of those drivers you will find that there was someone who may or may not have been a driver that has been instrumental in helping shape their career. For myself it has been another driver that taught me to drive in the 80’s, a dispatcher that stood up for her drivers, a terminal manager that made me feel like family, and a company owner that invested in the those that took care of their equipment. They have all played an important part of my life and I still remember the many lessons they taught me.

Thank you to the drivers that go up and down the road each day, but even more thank you to all of you that are in the transportation industry and keep our economy moving. We salute you!

Nominate An Instructor on Your Team
at the 5th Annual TTSAO Conference

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Instructor of the Year Award Sponsor

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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Preparing for a Carrier Road Evaluation

“People just aren’t prepared! I get drivers who show up and think we will give them a safety vest, hammer, gloves, and other equipment which they should have with them. New candidates seem to think that we will supply that for them, but those are the basics of being prepared for a road test. You are expected to bring that with you on a road test with our company” said the recruiter.

Safety professionals with the company conducting road tests have the right to terminate a road test at any time if they feel safety is compromised on the road. This recruiter tells the story of a driver that was on a road test and began to get road rage while performing the test. He was fine on the highway, but when driving in a city environment his attitude changed. The test was terminated part way through with the trainer driving the truck back to the yard.

A road test is more than just testing driving skills, they are also testing your knowledge when conducting an inspection, and how you interact with customers on the job. They are testing your professionalism, dress when showing up for work, and of course they are testing your driving skills. The most important test which may not be on paper but is part of your test is your ATTITUDE! Your attitude is the most important piece of the puzzle and success when trying to get hired on with carriers. Are you willing to learn, listen, and improve over time.

People show up at the company not realizing that they will see a company representative while filling out an application. “This recruiter says, “We have a process that a team member is called when an applicant arrives at our location. If available we try to meet the person right away to get a feel for them before scheduling an interview. I am always amazed how many drivers weren’t expecting to see anyone when applying.”

If you are looking for a position as a driver in transportation realize you are expected to be able to do certain things and first impressions count. Give yourself a professional makeover before heading out into the landscape of transportation.

Here are some points to go over before
heading out to your next interview.

  • Is your resume in good order, neat and clean?
  • Do you have your own safety equipment?
  • Do you look professional?
  • Are you prepared to conduct a proper pre-trip inspection?
  • Have you researched the company and know the type of operation they have?
  • Do you have the proper documents the recruiter requires?

Go through this checklist before each interview or road test and you will be well on your way to being successful when applying on the job front.

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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Experience the Pride of Trucking through Summer Truck Shows

Summer is a great time to get a view of the trucking industry that not everyone may notice on the road in everyday situations. I almost feel as though there are two different versions of truck drivers going on when I attend events in the industry. There are the public’s view of road raged truckers and then there are the dedicated drivers that show off the passion of the industry such as at the outdoor truck shows.

I wander around these shows talking to drivers and thinking about all the things I’ve heard over the years from the public. Comments like, “truck drivers are just holding up traffic” or “truck drivers look sloppy and don’t care as they drive junk equipment up and down the road.” There is such a disconnect between what I know in the industry and what the public believes about the transportation industry and truck drivers in general. If only we can show the public what most of us know in the industry already, the pride of the industry is strong. We just need to show that to the public.

There used to be one or two large shows in the past that drew all the attention and slowly changed from quality truck shows to music concerts. After those shows shut down many smaller shows started up again and now there are many shows across the region focused on the trucks and pride in the industry. These small shows are the perfect place to get people out to see the pride of the industry. Many of the show organizers are focused on the driver and the trucks and what much of the public doesn’t realize is that these shows are often helping out great causes such as special needs athletes or cancer research. They hold raffles, donations, contests, and many other programs to raise money for their favourite charity and truck drivers step up every time. The shows also bring traffic into local towns helping out establishments in the community through sales from the public. I bet much of the public doesn’t know that the trucks and truck drivers they complain about on the road are the same people helping their communities.

When you go to a truck show you see the real pride of the industry. You see drivers that have spent weeks cleaning their trucks to show quality. You see drivers giving their own time and including their families into an industry they love. You see camaraderie from drivers that you don’t see in any truck stop helping each other when needed. You see organizers working with small teams with no other goal than to give back to the industry and causes they love.

I have been attending truck shows for many years and that pride has been consistent throughout. Whether it is old trucks from the past or custom rides from now or the future there is a definite pride in trucking that the industry seems to see, we just need to show everyone else.

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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