Category Archives: Opinion

O.P.P. Blend into Trucking for Enforcement

That truck you’re driving next to may just be a cop! The O.P.P. ( Ontario Provincial Police) launched a new program on December 11th, 2017 where they will now be patrolling in tractor units to catch distracted drivers. The goal of the one week blitz is to deter distracted driving by blending into normal traffic and use radio communications to pull over the offenders with other officers.

The trucking industry has been under fire over the last few months due to deadly crashes involving transport trucks with the cause of many thought to be distracted driving. It started back in October with three deadly crashes in the Kitchener area, then a fiery crash south of Barrie, and finally another fatality this week on the 401. Comments from Police have caused uproar in the industry as they have made it sound like truckers are killers.

Distracted driving has become a real problem with the advancement of technology and the way we use mobile devices in our day to day lives. This is a major problem for everyone not just transport drivers and we all need to police ourselves when operating vehicles on the roadways. I know in my daily travels I see motorists in cars and trucks using their phones while driving. In fact it doesn’t even need to be a phone. I have a new car and there is so much technology included that it can be distracting just trying to change the radio station. Hands-free is one thing but you can still be distracted even if not holding a device and the level of distraction is different for everyone. I make it a goal of mine to not answer the phone in the city limits because I know even the conversation can distract my attention away from the task at hand.

The O.P.P. believe that the truck drivers are to blame although many opp cruiserof us see the situation differently. They are hoping that driving in non-marked tractor units along side of the offenders will help to catch them in the act. The officers will be patrolling in two units within the Toronto area and hoping the higher vantage point will allow them a better view of the problem. Once an offender has been identified the officers will radio a patrol car that will pull the offender over. The O.P.P. suggest that not knowing which truck are holding police officers will help deter the problem allowing them to look like there are more officers than there really are. You can read about the actual program here. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/thunder-bay-safety-blitz-1.4444214

We all need to do our part to curve distracted driving whether you think the trucking industry is at fault or not. If you look at the statistics in context with the amount of trucks traveling our roadways it shows our safety record is still good, but of course improvements are always available. So you have now been warned that the truck driving next to you may now be a police officer hopefully not driving distracted.

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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Can a Lack of Training be Costing Your Company?

Many companies view training as a compliance issue. Go through the presentation with your team, have them do a test, and get back to work! Once that documentation is in the filing cabinet the company is all set. I see this time and time again working in the industry and it is not the trainers that feel this way, but the company. Now of course not all companies view training that way with many taking it very seriously. We often assume that the larger the company the more in depth the training. One very large company however found out about the importance of training the hard way.

A recent investigation by Transport Canada may change the way you Train-wrecklook at training in your company. No doubt you have heard of the Lac Megantic train derailment that happened in July 2013 where a train load of dangerous goods exploded devastating a small town of 6000 people. The explosion killed 47 people and the case has been in court for four years. In a recent decision by the courts in October 2017 Irving Oil was found guilty on 34 charges and ordered to pay $4,000,000 in offences with $400,000 of that being direct fines to the incident. Although the incident happened in July 2013 the investigation turned up 34 violations between November 2012 and July 2013 that were directly linked to training and handling of the shipments. You can read the whole article here on the CBC News website. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/irving-oil-sentenced-lac-megantic-charges-1.4373075

The lack of training was in the field of Dangerous Goods and may not be understood by the mainstream population, but could be the difference in emergency response and how a disaster is handled. It was found that Irving Oil did not properly train their employees in the handling of dangerous goods and had improper documentation for the products the train was carrying.

This incident shows you the importance of training no matter what size the of the company is and Irving Oil is a huge operation in a very regulated industry. Many of us would assume that a company that size working in the refinery business would have the proper training in place. I believe they do have proper training available, but how it was delivered and received that made the difference between disaster and safety.

Of course this is a train incident and we are in trucking, but the same regulations apply in most cases and certainly the importance of training is important. Training is not about just showing a PowerPoint or filling in a test. Training is about making sure the recipients understand the importance of the training, why they need to do certain things, and how it can compromise safety and the company by not following procedures. Training is also there to make sure we don’t get complacent and forgetting those little things that can make the difference in how material is handled. In the Irving Oil incident it was found that one of the major violations was classification of a Packing Group from Class II to Class III. That difference shows a lower flash point on the product that may have played a part in explosions.

If you are looking to train your team do us all a favour and get proper training from a certified facility. Don’t just train to put documentation in your filing cabinet for compliance, use the training to show the importance of following procedures and being safe on the job. It may just save your company and people’s lives.

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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Speed limits change, do you?

In Ontario we have had a rash of bad incidents involving trucks. There have been fatalities, arguments against media, and a very depressing cloud over the industry in general. As a former driver and industry veteran I understand the importance of trucks to our economy and the fact that not everyone should be painted with the same brush. We have to make this industry better and it takes all of us to do our part. So that brings me to the next issue, doing your part!

What is doing your part as a professional driver?

Doing your part as a professional driver means being the professional that you are at all times. Driving safely, conducting yourself appropriately, and working to build a career for the long term by being a team player with good performance. The question becomes are you doing it?

Here is what happened to me recently that inspired this article. I was on my way to visit a client just north of Burlington in Guelph Ontario. This is approximately a 30-40 minute drive with no real issues as far as traffic goes so it shouldn’t be a problem with people trying to get to work and so forth. As I am driving to the client I was stunned to see the way some truck drivers were driving almost as if they were oblivious to other motorists on the road. Now I am normally on the side of the truck drivers most of the time, but on this morning they weren’t helping their reputation.

The first incident was a straight truck that followed me so close I speeding-truckthought he was going to hit me. When even in a van type vehicle I look out the window behind me and only see the grill of the truck then that’s a bad thing. This driver didn’t even seem to notice how close he was following me and forced me to change lanes until he finally turned off to another road. So far not a great start to a leisurely drive.

Further up the same road I encountered another truck that seemed to be in a hurry to get to his destination. The speed limit on the roadway was 80 kilometres per hour and this driver was pushing 100 kilometres per hour easily. I am not a cop and don’t judge people for driving fast as we all do it just to keep up with traffic. The problem arises when you are intimidating other motorists due to your speed. This particular stretch of road varies in speed from 80 kilometres per hour to 50 kilometres per hour and this driver stayed at a steady 95 the whole way causing issues with people trying to merge and slow down for posted limits. I was in front of this driver and finally let him pass watching him intimidate other drivers on the road. I followed this driver all the way to the 401 where I merged onto the highway behind this driver. This is where I became confused. When the driver got on the 401 he now was only going 90 kilometres per hour on a road that allowed him to go much faster. It was like the truck had only one speed and this driver went from intimidating others to now holding up traffic.

This may be seen as a rant but I wrote this to illustrate to you how the way you drive as a truck driver intimidates others on the road. If those of us that are seasoned veterans and understand the challenges of the industry are feeling intimidated how do you think other motorists that are not familiar with trucking feel. I personally see this as two drivers that were more interested in there own issues than being professional on the road. We all need to do our part as I mentioned earlier and being safe with proper training and driving skills is the way to start.

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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Want a career? Start a job as a driver!

For most people getting started in their career is the hardest thing. As much as we suggest you plan out your career sometimes trying to see too far ahead can hold you back and become a stumbling block. When I look back on my own career I notice the same thing. If You were to tell me the type of work I would be doing today as my full time profession I would have called you crazy. I didn’t have the vision early on to see that far down the road. I barely had the vision to see to the next year, but I took the opportunities at the time. I didn’t even know what truck driving was when I started, but its led to a lifetime career.

Many of my industry friends are the same, they just started the job view out front window of truckto make a buck. Many of them have now been in the industry for over 30 years or more and have solid careers in the transportation industry. Oh sure some had family in the industry and came from a long line of trucking professionals but others did not. When you look back you realize it doesn’t really matter. It can actually be better to not have the prior knowledge as it allows you to look more objectively at the opportunities.

The people in transportation based careers for the most part started in one area, driving! That one component, one occupation was the catalyst to so many careers. There is my insurance expert friend that started driving to pay for college. The President of the Private Motor Truck Council was a driver and then went to safety training, operations, and now current position of President of the Association. How about a trucking company owner that started owning one truck and now operates one of the largest fleets in Canada. Look at the entrepreneur that didn’t know what trucking was at the age of seventeen and got a job in the moving industry moving furniture and now owns several businesses and works the industry in a variety of ways.

These people just got started. They couldn’t see that they would be in insurance, operations, or an entrepreneur, they just wanted a job. They needed the money, they wanted rewarding work, and they had enough dedication to move to the next step. The trucking industry is very intertwined yet most people see it as segregated. Don’t look at the industry and say I will be a driver and view it as the only thing you can do in your career. Look at it as a starting point to gain knowledge and experience that you will use later in your career whatever you may choose to do. There is no rule that says you have to start in the truck but I don’t know one person that is still working in the industry that regrets the driving portion of their career. Driving teaches you so many skills such as time management, organization, customer service, safety, independence, and more. All of those skills are used in any career especially in the trucking industry.

So if you are looking for a career but not sure where to start trucking might be a viable option. There are currently around 700,000 jobs available and approximately half of those are driving positions and that’s just in Canada. Many organizations are trying to show people career path opportunities, but really you won’t find out what is attractive to you until you get started. The best way to find out what opportunities are available for you is to talk to a certified school and find out how you can get your career started.

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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In Truck Training “2” is an Important Number!

If I told you the number “2” was the most important number to your career many new drivers would ask the reason why? Will it take two years to get the training completed? Will it take two years to pay off the price of the training course? Why should you as a new driver focus on the number “2” so much? What could possibly be so important about a number especially the number”2”?

The number “2” is considered the break through number in the world of transportation whether you’re a driver, owner operator, or job seeker you should be focusing on the number “2”! Let’s look at where the number two came from. The number originally started through the insurance industry when it came to truck drivers. The insurance side of the industry based on statistics about drivers many years ago found that it took approximately two years for a driver to gather enough experience that they would be able to handle the trucks and other issues that come up in day-to-day activities. The insurance companies then began to insure carriers that way stating that if they didn’t have a proper training programs they would need to hire drivers with at least two years experience. So to sum it up once you have two years of experience in the eyes of the industry you are considered a professional driver, please note that is based on performance and not time alone. Many of my fellow colleagues may argue that point further but we will use it as a base for this article.

If you are looking through job advertisements you will see a common Driver-with-2thread throughout. The ad statements usually goes something like this, “Drivers must have two years experience to apply.” If you need two years of experience to apply how do you get a job if you are a new driver? What this statement is telling you is that you must have two years experience unless the company has a training program and insurance policy to cover new drivers. Most of the large carriers can take new people because they have a training program in place and the support structure to help new drivers be successful. If you are a new driver look at the larger carriers when applying for driving positions and you will have greater success.

‘A certified truck training certificate has been known to be the equivalent to two years of driving experience.” This is a statement that has been confusing many new drivers for years. The statement isn’t untrue but works differently than sometimes explained. What the statement means is this; if you take training from a certified school the training received would be the same amount of experience as a driver would have received without the training and operating for two years on the roadways. It is like fast tracking your experience. Here is where the confusion comes in. A carrier with a proper support system can hire someone with certified training because they have learned the basics required for the job. It does not mean that you have two years experience, you have the same training as two years of driving. Do not apply for jobs with companies that require two years of experience for drivers.

At a recent function I was talking with a trainer and they mentioned that when drivers ask them about becoming owner operators they suggest that they have at least two years of experience as a driver first. The reason for this is that the driving job alone takes a lot to learn and will take a few years to become good at it. Add the concept of business on top of that and it can throw a new driver into a tail spin.

So you can see that the number “2” is an important number in the industry and flows through the different components of your career when in the transportation industry. These of course are general observations and will be different for everyone based on performance and other factors. To sum it up get certified training, get on with a good carrier and stay their for at least two years if possible. Wait until you have at least two years of driving as a driver before you start thinking about becoming an owner operator and you should have a successful career in transportation. Remember the number “2”!

About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com

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Get the Full Facts on a Career in Trucking

Have you got the proper information for a career in trucking? The trucking industry has more variables than almost any other industry due to the immense size of the industry, the different levels of opportunities available, and the people involved allow for a variety of opinions and experiences. If that’s the case who do you listen to?

It has always been said that you have to be careful who you listen to in this industry as there are many people with opinions but not the correct information. Visit any truck stop and sit at the counter and you will hear opinion after opinion on any topic. But how much of that is the truth? How much of what you hear in the news about the industry is the truth? Much of it is opinion. Let me show you how this can cloud your judgement on the industry.

Recently I was at an event for the trucking industry on becoming an Newspaper-clipping-w-Calculator-paper-owner operator and if you ask many people in the industry they will tell you not to become an owner operator, yet we have many successful owner operators. At the event there was a driver who owned a truck and was looking become an independent operator. They had been talking with people about how to move forward in creating the company and was told they were not going to be able to form the company the way they had wanted to. When the issue was brought up in the room of the event it was revealed that the information they had been given prior was incorrect. They had taken information given to them from sources in the United States that is counter to Canadian information. The opinions for the business were also from an employee standpoint instead of from a business to business standpoint. This information was causing headaches where there shouldn’t be any problems and an incorrect focus on the operation startup.

Another situation is the recent incidents and fatalities in the trucking industry. We have all heard about the fiery crash that happened on the 400 highway that killed a number of people as a tanker truck exploded. The news reports have been reporting that the truck driver was distracted and caused the crash. This has caused further discussion in regards to the safety of the industry as a whole and the people behind the wheel. On social media the reports of the same incident are quite different. Reports from people on the scene have written that the reports for the media have it wrong. According to social media reports the driver was cut-off by motorists swerving due to the stopped traffic and didn’t leave the driver enough time to stop properly with a fully loaded tanker truck. The investigation is still going on so we will see if the truth comes out in the future.

I am not offering opinion on any of these situations. I am just mentioning these to show you that you should be careful who you listen to about the industry. There are many industry colleagues and friends that have had long successful careers and are very professional at what they do. If you are embarking on a new business or looking into a new career make sure you get the proper information from trusted sources. It may determine the success of your career.

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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Good Truck Training Promotes Safe Driving

There has been some very unfortunate news out lately relating to the trucking industry especially in Ontario. There have been a number of fatal crashes in the area involving truck drivers crashing and killing people in the cars involved. Three drivers were charged in the crashes and it caught the attention of the public news outlets on popular networks. A few factors made these events newsworthy. First the crashes involved fatalities, second the crashes happened in a very short period of time, just a matter of weeks. Third the accidents involved trucks and distracted driving. Now I am not defending the actions of these drivers as I don’t know all the details of the incidents, but I am defending the industry. If you would like to read about the crashes here is a link to an article in the London Free Press http://www.lfpress.com/2017/10/27/fatality-comes-one-day-after-opp-put-truckers-on-notice-for-rash-of-deadly-collisions . Even as I am writing this article on the news is a report of another deadly crash.

Of course our thoughts and prayers go out to the families that lost loved ones in these deadly crashes. No matter how we change it will not bring those people back. The reports show that many of these incidents involved distracted driving and that is something that people have to regulate on their own. Truck crashes usually cause so much devastation due to the size of the vehicles that any crash involving a truck is big news for reporters. There will be great damage and possible injuries making for a great story. When things happen in a short period of time it creates an image of carelessness on the roads by truck drivers. If you just focus on those incidents you can certainly see that trucks are killing machines. To put things in perspective however you need to look at the bigger picture.

I am not making light of the situation, but there thousands of drivers ttsao truck at sunset large who are operating safely everyday. The average truck driver puts on 100,000 miles or 160,000 kilometers per year safely. Add to that the many Million Milers on large fleets with impressive safety records. When you look at the size of the industry in Canada alone with around 400,000 truck drivers it gives a better sense of industry safety. What you also have to remember is that trucks may cause the most damage, but are not necessarily the cause of the crash itself.

In July the Ministry of Transportation brought in new regulations with Mandatory Entry Level Training to ensure proper training standards are being met when training new drivers. As someone who trains with many of the certified schools I can tell you that proper training is being done in the schools and distracted driving is a topic that is front and centre in all the training programs. Certified schools train at a rate of almost double the required regulations with courses over 200 hours in length.

So as much as the news is troubling to all of us it needs to be taken in perspective. We all need to do our part to pay attention on our roadways. Carriers need to reinforce the message of turning off devices while driving and we all need to slow down and be courteous to others. Remember the size of the industry before judging us all as a whole.

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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Show Career Advancement to Attract Millennials in Trucking

In a recent safety conference the presentation on Millennials brought up a heated debate between different groups in the room. The presenter had gone through her presentation and was outlining what young people are looking for these days in a career. That information didn’t align with the Baby Boomers who made up much of the audience.

As we all know it can be hard to attract the younger generation to careers that are physically demanding and doesn’t provide lifestyle balance. Transportation has been especially hard hit by the lack of people coming into the industry with much of it due to the lifestyle and amount of time away from home, at least that is what we Baby Boomers believe.

We have been assuming that young people are not attracted to jobs that take them away from home for long periods of time which with trucking is a major part of the job as drivers. While many of us that have been in the industry know the benefits of being in transportation you often have to be part of the industry to really appreciate the people and benefits of being involved. Often we promote the benefits of the driving job such as independence, see the world, drive the open road and so on. That was what was important to the older generation at a time and what we felt was the attraction to a driving position in the industry.

What we found at a recent conference was quite different and cause Man-with-blue-truckfor challenge. The highlights of the presentation according to my notes were nothing to do about the job necessarily but what young people want for their careers. The presenter didn’t talk about how tough the job was or how long someone would be gone from home, but the higher benefits of lifestyle and advancement. It was highlighted that work/life balance is very important to young people when looking for a career.

While truck driving can be considered an isolated lifestyle and something that many of us cherish, it may be opposite of what many young people want. Millennials want to be connected and that can be hard to achieve with a life on the road. We see this in new office layouts in industries like technology and marketing where people are all working in an open concept space.

Career advancement is also very important to the younger generation and advancement of their career is extremely important and desired. This is where the point of contention came in as it was pointed out that Millennials expect to see advancement within two years of starting a position. This advancement can be a mix of promotion, bonuses, or other programs to help them recognize that they are doing a good job.

When the issue of career advancement arose during the presentation you could see many roll their eyes. In trucking it takes two years just to learn the ins and outs of being a professional driver. Many drivers stay in a driving career their whole lives and are very happy making good money and having great success. Promotions and advancements in the trucking industry can be few and far between depending on the company and this may be why we aren’t attracting people to the industry. Our industry requires you to put in your time and show your worth before advancement comes knocking at your door. In some small carriers there may not be enough areas for advancement at all.

What I took from the presentation is that young people need to see the career path of the industry and income stream before committing to the career. A good place to start is to start incorporating some of those career options in the training and recruiting programs. Our industry has not been set up that way over the years so all I can say is we have a lot of work to do!

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 training for the future or the past?

I don’t think anyone would disagree that the world is changing at a fast pace. Technology is driving industries to drastic change, weather situations seem to cause more devastation, and people are constantly on the lookout for surprises outside of their control. While all these things are happening how are we keeping up with training to those coming into the industry in the wake of so many changes?

It is very hard to keep up with the changes happening in the world as they are happening so fast yet the technology may not be there to use yet. After all you can’t start training people to drive space ships if space ships aren’t available to the general public, where would you train them? We are not talking about training for things that you don’t have access to, but if you were to take a look at your training programs are they focused on the future or the past? What type of forward training am I talking about?

The training I am talking about is the near future. For instance in July of 2017 the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) introduced a new electronic inspection which will now be known as a Level VIII Electronic Inspection. This inspection will be conducted by enforcement officers while the truck is rolling and allow CVSA officers to check vehicle registrations, safety status, driver qualifications and more. You can view more about the inspection here. http://cvsa.org/inspections/inspections/all-inspection-levels/. Have you included this type of new inspection information in your current training programs?

Now there may not be anything specific that you can train on for person-on-technologythat type of inspection, but making students aware of this type of inspection method, introducing technology into the classroom as much as possible to get students thinking and aware of new technology are where you should begin. Are you introducing information in many formats including electronic means? Have you polled your students to see how they like to receive information as we move into a new era? A great way to do this is to have a module on the future of trucking where you talk about the new changes coming into the industry and how drivers will handle those changes.

Change is not over and technology will continue to change the way our work is done on the side of enforcement, training, and job processes. The trucking industry in the past has been very reactionary to changes and much of the push back to changes like Electronic Onboard Recorders are because we will lose how we perform our duties now. The truth is that it doesn’t change how we perform the tasks in many cases, but how we track compliance of those tasks. If we introduce these changes early on in training and understand how to perform tasks using technology it will take a lot of backlash away. Much of the problem is perception to the end user. is this being forced onto me and will it affect how I do my job? Take those issues out of the equation and it will help to change the thinking of the end user. Look at your processes and find ways to introduce the future into your programs. It will help everyone be forward thinking about change.

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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Coincidence or Fact-Is today the most dangerous day of the year for truck drivers?

I was reading a recent article in a trucking magazine that stated October 11th is known as the most dangerous day of the year for truck drivers with an increase of accidents between the hours of 7:00pm – 10:00pm. The same statistic is true for June 7th each year. Tires, brakes, and vehicle issues are mentioned as the main problems. You can read the article by clicking the link https://www.trucknews.com/health-safety/oct-11-historically-dangerous-day-truck-drivers/1003081296/.

Is it coincidence or fact? I am not very superstitious unless of course you count a black cat crossing my path, or I break a mirror for seven years of bad luck, or I don’t wash my hockey jersey while my team is in the playoffs? Then you may say I’m superstitious! My take on the issue is that it is more coincidence than anything else. Two things have me thinking that way. One the statistics are over the last three years which may or may not be long enough for proper assessment. Two of the areas that are mentioned are areas where conditions change very quickly due to the mountains in Nebraska and Colorado.

When you look at the mechanical issues brakes and tires are the main issues and both of those would be problematic in mountainous terrain. Now I am not disputing that these things happened or that they are even true. I just don’t believe that October 11th has anything to do with it.

How can you battle the superstition of October 11? The best way to battle statistics is to be prepared before you start on your trip. When you look at the issues of tires, brakes, and other mechanical Trucks in mountainsissues are the problem at any time of year. Of course doing proper pre-trip inspections is the first place to start. Making sure your vehicle is in good working condition is the best way to ensure minimal problems on the road. The second part of battling these problems is proper training on driving techniques. When you travel to areas like Colorado and start driving through mountainous regions proper driving techniques are key to remaining safe. Improper driving techniques can result in tire blowouts, lack of braking capabilities, and even fatalities. You certainly don’t want to have any of those issues while descending down a mountain.

It statistics like these that are part of the reason for the change in training regulations which happened earlier this year. It now requires that new drivers have Mandatory Entry Level Training to ensure they are properly trained to be on the road handling large trucks. That may or may not include mountain driving depending on the area of the training facility. If you are driving to mountainous areas ensure you have the proper training to do so.

On the other hand if you are superstitious, or are planning on driving through Nebraska or Colorado and will be driving between the hours of 7:00pm and 10:00pm then please take extra care today as it is October 11th at the time this article was posted. If that’s the case today is a good day to take extra time in inspecting your vehicle and revising your driving technique. If you are interested in becoming a truck driver then looking into certified training is the best way to ensure you are safe behind the wheel. A TTSAO certified school is a great way to start, visit 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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