Category Archives: Opinion

Choosing the Right Job Based on Your Skills

Choosing the Right Job Based on Your Skills

The transportation industry is one of the largest industries in North America. The amount of people employed ranges in the millions and the type of work available fits every skill set. With such a large workforce and with so many different positions available how do you know what type of work is the best for you. Do you choose a job by money, location, type of work, job title, or a host of other criteria? Do you take a position based on hierarchy? All of these questions come to mind for someone new to the industry and unfortunately there is no one answer. If you ask most people already the industry they will tell you, “It depends”. What does that mean?

Girl-on-phone

When I started in the industry I was seventeen years old and didn’t even know what a truck was. My family had never had anything to do with the trucking industry, I didn’t have friends in the industry, I didn’t even know there was an industry. I just needed a job and started working for a company in the moving industry. That was at seventeen and I am now fifty-five years old and my career has more twists and turns than I can count and not one of them was on my goal list or suggested career path. I didn’t talk to a career counselor, I didn’t see where I would end up in the future, I just needed a job.

My career path looks like this; helper carrying furniture onto trucks, furniture driver with a “D” licence, furniture driver with an “A” licence, owner operator, city driver, long haul driver, specialized delivery driver, dispatcher, fleet supervisor, industry columnist, industry cartoonist, industry author, social media expert, transportation consultant, podcast host, television host, and entrepreneur. Every one of those positions have involved the transportation industry and still do to this day. If you look at the path after columnist the other jobs didn’t even exist so there is no way I could have said I was going to be a podcast host. For me the best thing I ever did was just get started in the industry and take opportunities as they appealed to me going through my career and I would suggest the same for most if they have some ambition.

If you are unlike me and prefer not to leave your career to chance there are some things you can do to choose the right position for you. You have to look at three things; the type of work you like to do, the type of work you are good at doing, and the type of training you have acquired.

The type of work you like to do?

The first place to start when looking for a position in the industry is to figure out the type of work you would like to do? Do you like to drive and see the Country? Then a long haul driving job may be good for you? Do you like to talk to people or have a great personality then a recruiting job may be best suited to you? Are you organized and enjoy fast-paced environments then a position as a dispatcher may be your calling? Like to fix things and tinker with machinery then a mechanic job may be best for you? Look at what interests you and start from there when choosing a position.

The type of work you’re good at doing?

The next area to look into is what type of work are you good at doing? Many of us have a natural talent for a certain type of work. Some people are good at administration and others hate it. Some are good at fixing things and others don’t like getting grease on their hands. Think about what you are good at doing and look for jobs that fit those skills.

The type of training you have acquired?

Have you had existing training in a particular area? If so that can be extremely valuable in helping direct you in a certain career. If you have had safety training in the past that may help guide you towards a position in the safety department. Lots of training is available in the industry so past training isn’t a necessity but can be very helpful if you have already achieved a certain skill set.

So if you are looking for a job or investigating a new career then the transportation holds many opportunities. The Truck Training School Association of Ontario (TTSAO) is holding a career fair on May 26th in the Mississauga area. You can learn more about the TTSAO Hiring Event by clicking the link below. Get out there and find the career for you!

Check out the TTSAO Hiring Event

Carrier-Group-Hiring-Event-Banner

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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Improve Your Career with Truck Shows

Improve Your Career with Truck Shows

May begins the flow of outdoor truck shows and recruiting events for the trucking industry. Every year the indoor shows launch in Spring and that is normally the kick off for the outdoor shows that fall into the Summer and Fall months of the year. From now until October you will see one or two shows every month filled with trucks, carriers, entertainment, and more.

Truck shows

Truck shows are so much fun and are great for the whole family. I have talked about it before how truck shows are a great way to get your family involved and help them understand the industry and life of a truck driver. Letting your family meet the people involved, sit in the equipment, and learn about the industry itself.

My kids still remember the truck shows and they haven’t gone for years. Now I am taking my grand kids so they can understand the world of transportation. It’s funny how trucking gets in your blood whether you drive or not. My Son has never driven a truck himself. He has been on the road with me, has worked for several companies in the moving industry and manufacturing but doesn’t have a licence to drive. The funny thing is whenever he has a job involving the transportation industry he excels at it. Not because of experience, but knowledge. He understands the terminology and the logistics of a driver picking up a load and delivering it to another destination. He’s heard the stories about my travels and seen the equipment that I have driven over time.

I was chatting with industry expert Guy Broderick about the upcoming TTSAO Hiring Event and he expressed the same sentiment. He said a parent will come to an event to learn about the industry and possibly gain employment with a carrier. Often they will bring family for an outing for the day. Guy has mentioned that many times he has heard stories where the person that came to get the job didn’t get one, but another family member ended up getting employment because they found a position of interest at the event. If you’re trying get your kids a job bring them along to the shows.

Want to learn more about the TTSAO event, check out the video below?

Truck shows are more than just shiny trucks. They’re about networking with the industry, learning about opportunities, and educating yourself for the future. You may not need a job now, but possibly may want to switch carriers in the future. You may not want to start a business in transportation today but might in five years. Always be gaining connections and improving your network. It will certainly come in handy. I have connections from past employers and shows that are still an important part of our business today, so keep growing your connections.

As mentioned before get out and see what this industry has to offer. The next event on the schedule is the TTSAO Hiring Event which is a one day event in Mississauga Ontario. This event will be a recruiting event offering opportunities with different carriers, job types, and information to help attendees get hired with some of the best companies in Ontario. You can learn more about the event by clicking the banner below. Hope to see you there.

Carrier-Group-Hiring-Event-Banner

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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Paying Attention is the First Step in Professional Truck Driving

Paying Attention is the First Step of Professional Truck Driving

There are many things that drivers need to be aware of on the road with the most important thing being the safety of themselves and those around them. Yesterday in Toronto we had an incident that is becoming a common occurrence on roadways over the last few years with truck drivers having their dump boxes up and smashing into bridges on the highway. Since 2014 their have been an average of one per year in Canada and based on articles written from the United States it is not uncommon there either.

dump truck

The first incident was the Skyway Bridge incident in 2014 when a driver caused 1.2 million dollars of damage by driving with his dump box up and driving intoxicated at the time. Read the story here:

https://www.thespec.com/news-story/6391662-truck-involved-in-skyway-crash-had-serious-safety-deficiencies-expert/

The second incident incident was in 2016 where a dump trailer was up when the driver hit a bridge on Highway 400 in Ontario Canada. The driver was charged with careless driving and over-height vehicle. You can read the story here.

http://toronto.citynews.ca/2016/12/29/dump-truck-raised-box-hits-hwy-400-overpass/

In early 2018 a Quebec driver with his dump trailer up hit a bridge on Highway 40 at full speed unaware that his box was raised with a full load of Canola Seeds. Read the story here: https://www.autoblog.com/2018/04/05/dump-truck-raised-trailer-bridge-video/

Now yesterday we have had this happen again on Highway 401 as a dump truck hit an overhead sign with the dump trailer raised when driving down the Highway. Read the story here:

https://www.insauga.com/photos-part-of-401-closed-due-to-truck-collision-in-mississauga

So how does this happen?

In my 35 year career in the industry with 25 years of that as a driver I have seen many things. I have never been involved in dump equipment or heavy equipment so I can’t speak to why the above mentioned incidents happened to these drivers, but in most cases from what is reported was that the drivers were charged for driver negligence in most cases. Is this driver error, faulty equipment, or other issues? Do we need to implement better training?

Find a TTSAO Certified School in your area

From what I have been reading about dump trailers online is that there is safety features that would alert the driver the dump box is up but in many incidents these trucks didn’t have the equipment installed or working. There also seems to be techniques that drivers have learned over time to ensure the the dump box doesn’t raise without intentionally dumping a load.

From what I know from reading online and my knowledge of industry inspections taking the time to inspect your vehicle before leaving on the road is the first defence against having these issues happen in the future. Drivers need to pay attention to their equipment, do proper inspections, and have a professional attitude to the job of being a professional driver.

Learn more about the TTSAO Hiring Event 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

 

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TTSAO Streamlines with Groups Within a Group

When you join an association you get a variety of people involved in all business types or sectors and companies. It can take a new member a long time to understand who else is involved with a group and sometimes that can hinder the growth of a group.

Guy Broderick

I am part of many groups in the world of business and each time I join a group I find it takes a long time to finally realize who else is involved. This is because you meet people one by one, learn about their business, evaluate whether their the type of business for your network, and then follow up with them and that takes time. Almost every group I have joined takes about a year to really understand the dynamic of the group.

When a group decides to put on an event the decision is either made up from the group as a whole or a specific Board or team that make the decision for the rest of the group. In a group with different member types this can cause many to feel as though the decision does not meet their needs.

I have been working with the people at the Truck Training School TTSAO LogoAssociation of Ontario (TTSAO) for a number of years and have noticed that over time they have started segmenting their people within the organization. When I first started working with them they had certified schools and associate members, you were either a school or not. Since the transportation industry is such a large sector of the population with a variety of people involved it got to be very confusing as to whom was in the room and how they helped the industry. Like many other industry groups the associate membership often out numbers the actual members and this was the case with TTSAO. They have started segmenting the groups to give a better view of the membership to the industry and it is helping them in growing their membership.

Over the last couple of years they have formed four groups within the TTSAO Association. They have the main group of Certified Schools, the TTSAO Carrier Group made up of any carrier that joins the organization, the TTSAO Insurance Group with any insurance partners involved with the group, and the Associate Membership which makes up consultants and other professionals from the industry. It’s been helping grow their membership because other companies involved in the industry can now see where they fit in within the group and who the members are.

If you would like to learn more about joining the TTSAO click here for more information.

The TTSAO is taking things one step further which is making the group even more powerful. They are giving power to each group to get involved on a deeper level within the Association. At events such as the annual conference each group will hold their own meetings with an agenda talking about their goals for the year and what they hope to get accomplished as a group. Some are starting to put on their own events to promote their particular expertise to the public. This is what’s happening with the TTSAO Carrier Group who decided this year to put on a hiring event. The TTSAO Hiring Event is a job fair for the public under the TTSAO name allowing people to learn more about jobs in the industry. All groups are welcome to participate and show what they have to offer the public within the industry.

Join us for the TTSAO Hiring Event on May 26th, 2018 Carrier-Group-Hiring-Event-Banner

The TTSAO groups within a group program is working out very well from an outsiders standpoint looking in. The groups are aligning nicely and the streamlined look is helping other companies see how they can be a part of the TTSAO.

If you would like to learn more about membership with the TTSAO please visit our membership page.

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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3 tips to following up with carriers after a truck show

3 tips to following up with
carriers after a truck show

Brad spent two days walking around Truck World learning about his new career as a professional driver. He is halfway through his eight week course and is excited about getting out on the road as a professional driver. Never being to an industry truck show like Truck World opened his eyes as to the opportunities available in the industry outside of the driver seat. He looked at equipment and found out about all the additional services that are part of this vast industry. Although Brad has a couple opportunities for jobs back in his home town he wanted to learn more about driving opportunities and made a point to talk to as many carriers as he could.

Over the course of two days Brad talked to 35 recruiters and now that the show is over he has all these names but isn’t sure what to do with them. He sits at the table looking at the cards wondering where to start.

It’s one thing to collect cards at a show it is another to create a Truck Showsystem for doing so. You could be like our friend Brad and talk to anyone gathering information on all types of products, services, and job opportunities. The problem with just talking to anyone is that it is hard to process the information later. There will be too much to sort through and conversations will begin to mesh together. A system would have you talking to people and then making notes for your personal use of the conversations so that you can act upon the best opportunities to fit your goals. If you didn’t take notes at the show then you may be in Brad’s situation wondering what to do with all the cards and information you received at the show.

Below are three tips to help you use the information you received at the show.

Tip 1- Sort the Information:

Grab a piece of paper and a pen and start by sorting the information you gathered. You can sort by highway, city, local or any other criteria that you feel is valuable. Try to sort as close to your goals as possible, for instance if you want to operate in Ontario only sort the information by the companies that have operations working in Ontario. It’s helpful to make columns or piles to sort the information. If any of the carriers don’t fit the criteria you have set for yourself then that information could be discarded although you may want to hold onto that information should you change your mind in the future.

Tip 2-Research the Information

Now that you have sorted the information that best fit for your goals you now want to do a little research. Go on the internet and review their websites or information and find out about the culture of the company, where they travel, and what opportunities do they have available. Do they operate safely and have a training program that can help you develop as a driver once you complete your training? You’re trying to find out if they are the best place to get your career started.

Tip 3-Contact your best opportunities

If you’re like Brad and started with 35 cards hopefully you have sorted the information, researched the opportunities closest to your goals and are now ready to contact those carriers. Out of the 35 contacts you should now have a list of maybe 10 that are good fit with your goals. The first step is to call or email the employer mentioning you met them at the truck show and that you are interested in learning more about opportunities with their company. Your goal here is to set up an interview with the recruiting team. You will send them your information and set up a time to meet. Your goal should be to set up 3 appointments for every ten contacts available. Then all you have to do is present yourself in a professional manner and accept the opportunity of your choice.

Didn’t make it Truck World? Your next opportunity is the TTSAO Hiring Event on May 26, 2018 in Mississauga Ontario. Click here to learn more.

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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Driver Impact in a Fleet

Driver Impact in a Fleet

Employees often feel as though they are just a number at many companies. The larger the company, the larger the number. Large companies can offer you things small companies can’t such growth opportunities, benefits, training programs, and sometimes better wages. Depending on the company culture an employee can get lost in a sea of coworkers and have a hard time standing out or getting ahead in their career.

Many drivers especially those starting out may decide to work for smaller companies and family operations. The benefits to a smaller company is the management team knows your name, possibly access to nicer equipment, experience with specialized operations, opportunities with a wide variety of freight, and it is usually easier to get noticed for doing a good job.

I have worked for both style of carriers and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. I gained a lot of experience in my early years working for small companies that hauled different types of freight. This allowed me to choose the type of work enjoyed and had great equipment. I really enjoyed that family operation.

I have also worked for large companies where there were many layers of management and operations. The training I received at those companies I still use in my work today and the salary and benefits were second to none. There were many rules and regulations to be followed and exceptional opportunities for promotion.

No matter which style of carrier you choose to work for you as a driver do have an impact on that company and how you perform can determine the longevity of that company. At a large carrier there may be more money to cover incidents and due to the vast amount of employees it may not be as noticeable, but there are also more opportunities for problems in multiple areas.

In a small carrier a driver has major impact when an incident Trucks in mountainshappens. If there are only a couple of trucks in a fleet one incident can shut down a carrier in a hurry. Violations from a driver or delivery incidents can cause a company to go bankrupt by not being able to keep up with incident costs. Bad truck management can cause a carrier to lose money and increase road safety by not keeping up with repairs.

We recently saw this effect on the tragedy with the Humboldt Broncos hockey incident. This carrier may never recover from an incident like this. The incident is still under investigation and I am not suggesting blame at this time, just outlining the facts. The trucking company only had two trucks and was new to the industry and even though their record is in good standing they have been placed on suspension until the investigation is completed. The damage and loss of life is astronomical and beyond belief in this incident. What does this mean for the company?

It is on the fence whether this company will survive once the dust settles. You have the hard costs of replacing the freight, clean up costs, possible charges for the incident, replacement of the vehicle, and higher insurance costs. On the soft costs you have the emotional state of the driver, ongoing training programs, mental consultations, and the brand implication of the company. Many drivers never get back in the seat after an incident like this and many small carriers never survive.

As a driver you can have a major impact on a company and possibly the survival of the company. Driving safely, doing proper inspections, and being the true professional driver you were trained to be should be the focus of every driver in the industry. Take your position seriously whether working for a large fleet or a two truck company. How you perform can determine the outcome of any carrier.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the town of Humboldt and the Broncos hockey team.

Looking for a job in the transportation industry? Check out the TTSAO Hiring Event on May 26th, 2018

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 Following Your Training?

Are You Following Your Training?

“It Could Save Your Life!”

Training has been at the forefront of many discussions over the years especially since the implementation of M.E.L.T. (Mandatory Entry Level Training) as to what is the appropriate amount of training for new drivers. Many certified schools within the TTSAO (Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario) offer more training than required by the Government as their standard programs. If a good school is offering more than the requirements and have good instructors with a passion for making sure a student is successful then it is up to the student to follow their training once the course is completed. You may be thinking that’s why they were trained.

How a student uses their training after they leave a training facility is up to them. The students that want to be successful and have good careers will use their training as a solid base of fundamentals to build on. There are students however that go through programs with a focus of just getting a licence or a certain job and then forget their training. I have always said that a trucking career is built in stages with the foundation being good training which takes up to a year to complete. The next two to three years a student should be working on gaining experience. The next five years should be spent improving efficiency so that they make better money at the job, and after ten years a student has to work on not being complacent. Of course those are just guidelines based on what I have seen in a twenty five year career on the road and it will be different for everyone.

Are you following your training?

Many students see the value in their training and often we see that drivers with many years of experience are the ones that have the most trouble with remembering the basics. Maybe they have become complacent or have just fallen into bad habits. When training is done at carriers for some of the basics such as pre-trip inspections many times it is the older more experienced group that has trouble. They have been doing it their own way for so long that they miss some of the smaller items of the inspection. They stopped following the training.

I began writing this article after watching a serious crash on a video of a truck driver that got stuck at a railway crossing. If you think of the basics of railway crossings in training facilities there are only a few things to watch for, make sure the train isn’t coming, make sure you have proper clearance to get across the track, and stay in one gear until you have crossed the track. I am not sure what happened in this particular situation as to why the truck got stuck between the barriers of this particular railway track, but it seems as though the driver did not look at the signage that says “no trucks” and got stuck on the track. Thankfully the driver and the train crew were okay, but it is certainly shocking to see the train drag the truck down the track at full speed.

As drivers gain more experience on the road and possibly get through a few situations with a lucky outcome they may begin to take more chances. It’s possible that’s what happened to this driver, he took one chance too many and it didn’t work out the way he hoped it would. It may seem dry and boring sitting in class when you want to get out on that open road, but following your training may be one step to keeping you alive.

Looking for a certified training school in Ontario Canada?
Start at www.ttsao.com

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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Is Your Company Attracting or Repelling Talent?

If a new person walked into your company unannounced, would they want to work there based on first impressions? That was the message from a General Manager of a logistics company the other night. Recruiting has changed from the way it used to be done said this company executive. Let me bring you up to speed.

I was at a company open house the other night as a client opened up a new office in the area and held a small event for their network to see the new space. They were formerly located in a smaller building with basic amenities but had outgrown that office location. This new office is in a high building with beautiful views out of each window and is large, bright, and modern. In the large cafeteria area there is even a pool table and kitchen area that will be perfect for team meetings and gatherings.

As speeches were being presented the General Manager mentioned that recruiting talent is much different today than it had been before. She mentioned in the past that a potential employee in an interview would have to do their best to convince her why they were the best for the job and it was her decision to take a chance on them. Times have changed and now it is so difficult to find talented employees that the conversation has now changed to does this person want to work here? Is the office, the job description, and team members what that person may be looking for in a job or career?

It was quite obvious that this technique was working as I talked with team members at the event that were excited about the space and their careers. I have been working with this company for almost a decade and have seen team members come and go. There were many new team members at the event that had recently joined the team and the energy showed.

Environment is very important to many employees especially truck Chrome-Dump-Truckdrivers. When I was on the road I was very particular about my truck. I had to have it organized a certain way, it had to be clean, and it had to be nice looking. That helped me operate at maximum efficiency and with pride in my company. In fact when I went looking for a job the first thing I would do is drive to the back of the yard of a company and see which was the worst truck in the yard. As a new person that is normally your truck unless it is a yard truck.

So I ask you this question; is your company attracting or repelling talent? It could be the trucks, it could be their office, it could be the team! If I walked in off the street unannounced would I want to work for you? We all know that first impressions count and in today’s job market everything is about attraction and company culture. Who are you attracting?

Looking for quality carriers working with new students? Check out our Carrier Group Members

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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Teaching Trucking Through March Break

March Break is the perfect time teach your family about trucking and what you will be dealing with once you finish your course and get your licence. Depending on your age you may be spending time with your kids or working harder to avoid them. Of course many of you are taking some well deserved vacation time with the kids and possibly on a road trip or doing day trips with the family. As much as you may be on vacation this is a great time to let the family understand about this profession of trucking that you are involved in.

I still do this to this day. When my wife and I are traveling on a road trip I am always reminiscing about my days on the road from interesting things I saw in a particular area to stories of people I met at the local truck stops. Watching those shiny trucks on the road and the interesting things that happen in trucking on a daily basis still bring back fond memories of the road.

There was the time that I was explaining the difference between a County Mountie (local police officer) and a Smokey Bear (State Trooper) to my wife when she was driving and then ended up being pulled over by the same officer. Class over! Maybe I started that lesson a little late.

Everything you see on the road is a potential teaching tool on many father-and-boys-playingaspects of life but certainly in trucking. Passing that cool chromed up truck on the highway is a great time to teach your family about pride in equipment. Passing an accident is a great time to talk about the importance of road safety. Stuck in a traffic jam is the best time to talk about patience and the importance of trip planning while letting the family know this could be you on the road. The next time you call home to say you’re going to be late they will have a better understanding of what is happening on the road.

If you are traveling with the family enjoy yourself but don’t lose this chance to offer some education and insights into the wonderful world of transportation. If you are older and just going through your daily grind then this week is a good time to practice patience with more people on the roadway. Whichever way you are spending March Break make the most of it and enjoy it.

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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3 Steps to Surviving Valentine’s Day While Driving a Truck

Today is Valentine’s Day and as truck drivers there is a good chance that you will miss it. If the fact that you will be on the road bothers you on this day will depend on how long you have been together with your significant other and how important you feel this day is to your life. Some people find this a really big deal and if you miss it can be very disappointing. Others are like myself find Valentine’s Day just an excuse for flower shops and candy stores to make more money and will go out of my way not to do anything on this day. My wife has been told that this will happen as I am totally opposed to the commercial side of the day. Then there is the group of people that feel Valentine’s Day could come or go and their day wouldn’t change at all. Deciding which group you fall into is totally your decision.

 

Where the trouble starts is when you phone home to talk to your partner and they say, “Happy Valentine’s Day, I got you a special gift.” You now go into panic mode because you didn’t buy anything and was hoping they had forgotten. All the miles for the rest of the day will now have you thinking of how you can make it look like you had something planned all along. What do you do?

Here are 3 steps making it look like you were already prepared.

Step 1-Answer properly!

The first thing to do when on the phone and you aren’t prepared is to act like you are prepared. Answer back with “Happy Valentine’s Day” and follow with I have something for you too, but it’s a surprise and I will give it to you when I get home. This will give you hours or days to get prepared depending on your trip.

Step 2-Put your thinking cap on!

At this point try not to panic as that will cost you more. If you were man talking on telephoneto panic and send flowers home right away they will cost you an arm and a leg. Picking your significant other a hat from the truck stop possibly won’t go over as well as you wish either. Getting creative about what to give is a matter of knowing your partner and thinking about the bigger picture. If you are on the road all the time then time may be the biggest gift you can give, even if it is after the actual day. Most people will move the the romantic time of the actual day to another day when it falls during the week, so this works perfect for you.

Step 3-Make it Personal!

Step two just gave you some time to gather your thoughts. Step three is about making it happen by making it about the other person. If you can pick up a small gift while on your trip this will make it seem like you were planning things all along. But really make it special when you return home. Carve out time for a special dinner, date night, or some other idea to spend time together. Even a pizza can be special if thought has been into the importance of the evening. I am sure whatever you decide will work for you. Oh by the way, “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

This stuff isn’t taught in truck driving schools because they focus on what’s important for the job. If you are looking for certified truck training the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario is a great place to start. You can learn more about them at www.ttsao.com

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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