Tag Archives: Retention

TTSAO Instructor of the Year Award

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, September 18th, 2018 – Hamilton, ON: The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) is pleased to announce a new award to be presented annually to honor commercial driver instructors.

The first ever TTSAO/Paybright Commercial Driving Instructor of TTSAO-logo-2018the Year award will be presented to a successful recipient at the 4th Annual TTSAO Conference scheduled for February 27th and 28th 2019. The TTSAO has appointed a committee to review all applications submitted by TTSAO schools and carriers. The successful candidate will need to meet or exceed the following criteria:

  • Minimum 10 years verifiable experience
  • Clean abstract
  • Must be employed at a TTSAO School or TTSAO Carrier Member
  • Must be a full-time employee of the school or carrier

The committee will also review the following to support the candidates application:

  • Any volunteerism, community and industry involvement
  • Support letters provided by their employer, customers or industry associates
  • Any certifications achieved

Charlie Charalambous, Director of Communications & Public Relations for the TTSAO Commented “This award will go a long way to recognize the commercial driving instructors that provide excellent training, coaching and mentoring for our industry”.

“As a partner for the TTSAO PayBright offers students financial assistance to get certified training with TTSAO accredited schools and we’re proud to sponsor this award” said Ryan Kellock, Director of Business Development at PayBright. “We’re honored to co-sponsor this award and am sure it is going to a well deserving school and partner”

For more information on the award criteria and how to submit an application please email ttsao@ttsao.com or visit ttsao.com.

For more information visit www.ttsao.com or contact:

Charlie Charalambous – Director of Communications and Public Relations, TTSAO – ccharalambous@isbc.ca or (905) 699 – 8837

Kim Richardson – Chairman, TTSAO – KRTS office – 1-800-771-8171 x 201 or cell – 905-512-0254 or by email at krichardson@krway.com

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The Trucking Community is Continually Giving Back

Giving back to a cause or group can be a very rewarding thing that a person or company can do. I’m a firm believer in, “what goes around comes around” type of thinking and believe that our lives are intertwined to help each other in some sort of strange way. Many causes are asking for donations or raising funds for research and you would think that donating a certain amount of money to a cause would solve the issue. The problem with just writing a cheque is that you miss the passion and the real gift of giving back. Experiencing the joy you put back into the hearts of others can be more rewarding than any cheque you could write.

What always amazes me is how much the transportation industry steps up to the challenge when it comes to helping others. We all know that truck drivers are very busy, under time regulations, and only get paid when the wheels are turning, yet truck drivers and the transportation industry come out in droves every time to give back to great causes. When I interviewed many of the drivers and people at the events they all said one thing, the smiles on their faces kept bringing them back again and again. It wasn’t the money, it wasn’t the time, but the smiles. Touching other people’s hearts can be a wonderful thing.

Think about this, truck drivers work around 70 hours per week, get limited time off with their families, yet managed to take time to help three convoys on the weekend raise almost $200,000 for important causes and that’s just in Ontario. 50 trucks showed up to the Truck Convoy for Special Olympics GTA convoy and raised over $50,000 dollars along with sponsorships and donations. The Truck Convoy for Special Olympics in Paris Ontario with 70 trucks, sponsorships, and donations raised over $75,000. And Trucking for a Cure had their Eastern convoy had 50 trucks and raised almost $70,000. All those convoys were on the same day in different parts of the Province for different causes, but it was the trucking community making a difference.

Kim Richardson of the TTSAO

Many associations like the Truck Training School Association of Ontario and the Fleet Safety Council support these causes in various ways through their members or associations as a whole and often send funds for a certain level, but it is always nice to see members attend and participate in the event showing their support. Even more impressive in other ways is when the owners of companies get involved with these causes and take their time to show support for their members involved and the cause such as Challenger President Dan Einwetcher who participated as a driver in the Paris convoy.

If you have never been involved in a cause as a participant or spectator then I would urge you to get involved. Many reputable carriers urge their employees to get involved as a way of showing support and giving back to the industry. Get involved!

Check out some of those great carriers here!

TTSAO-carrierl-banner-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 a fuel-efficient driving champion?

Fuel efficiency is important to any size fleet. Train your drivers to be fuel champions.

SmartDriver for Highway Trucking now offers:

• Free online training
for fleet drivers and
owner‑operators
• Classroom-based
instruction at a driving
school near you
• An On-Road Practicum
to test and perfect
your skills
• A Certificate of Achievement
to confirm that you are a
fuel‑efficiency champion

About SmartDriver

To learn more, visit the Natural Resources Canada FleetSmart website at: www.FleetSmart.NRCan.gc.ca

SDHT 07-Poster_2018-01-10

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Do you know if you are appreciated as a truck driver?

This week it is Driver Appreciation Week in Canada. This happens every year in the first week of September. In the United States Driver Appreciation Week begins in the second week of September and many companies will celebrate it for the whole month of September. The celebration has grown over the years to include all people in the transportation industry and there will be many discussions and events showing drivers how important they are to the industry and economy. There will be barbecues offering free food and swag during the month but does that really show drivers we care? How do you know as a driver if you are appreciated?

Hamburgers

What can you expect to see in the month of September for Driver Appreciation Week? You will definitely have your fair share of hotdogs or hamburgers. Almost every company I know has a barbecue going on offering free food. Some will offer awards and others will give out hats and shirts. Does that work for the long term though? Can we not get more creative than a barbecue? In my mind driver appreciation should go on all year and can be as little as being recognized at the company to more pay or new trucks. Many of the good carriers have gone as far as to reward drivers with nicer equipment, displaying their names on the truck and more. It really doesn’t matter what you do to acknowledge the driver as long as you do it. The other point is that it should be done all year long.

When I was on the road we were rewarded with better runs, better equipment, and steady loads. Almost every company I worked for used a better truck as the way to make me feel appreciated the most. Steady work and a team atmosphere were what kept me at most companies for years. When I did leave a company it was rarely due to being treated unfairly, but for an opportunity that wasn’t available with that carrier. Many of those carriers never had barbecues or even mentioned Driver Appreciation Week, I am not sure it was even in existence in 80’s and 90’s. When I think about the carriers the feeling for me was like being at home with friends. We got together outside of work and learned about each others lives. We celebrated new additions and mourned when we lost someone. We were like family and we knew we were appreciated for working hard. It’s the little things that made the difference, not the big things.

TTSAO-carrierl-banner-2018

Driver appreciation doesn’t have to be a big deal, but it does have to be consistent. I think Driver Appreciation should be all year long and the good carriers are working towards that. Show your drivers you care every day, not just in the month of September. Happy Driver Appreciation Week to all the drivers and everyone involved in the transportation industry. Without you our World would stop. Thank you for all you 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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Do Your Homework When Searching for a Carrier

I have been in this industry for a long time and I am always amazed at some of the issues I hear going on within the industry like the issue many drivers face called “Bus and Dump.” I was looking through some articles on the industry when I came across this article from Fleet Owner Publication on “Bus and Dump” which is a practice some carriers use in the United States to recruit drivers to their team. I have never heard of the practice in Canada, but apparently this is a practice that has been going on for some time in the U.S. So what is “Bus and Dump?”

 

“Bus and Dump” is the practice of hiring drivers through an online application form on a website with a promise to hire, offering them travel arrangements to attend orientation, and then once they arrive making an excuse to turn them away.

You’re the driver and you want to get a new job in the transportation industry. You fill out an online application and get a message or phone call from the recruiter telling you that you have been accepted for the position. The carrier sends you a bus ticket to arrive in orientation at an arranged date and time and you accept. You head out to the location that is often across the Country and are excited to start with a new company. When you arrive the carrier tells you for some reason that you are no longer required and sets you on your way. You now have to find your own way home with no money or accommodations. You can read the actual article by clicking this website link. https://www.fleetowner.com/driver-management/bus-and-dump-drivers-expose-industrys-dirty-practice

depressed-person

How do you protect yourself against the “Bus and Dump” practice?

The first step is to do your homework on the carrier and make sure they are legitimate. There are plenty of jobs available in the industry for the right candidates so there is no reason to go to carriers that are participating in unethical practices. Know who you are applying to and make sure they are a reputable company. You can do this by following the same format of investigation the carrier uses to hire you.

Investigating a Carrier

  • Only apply to carriers through reputable job websites or carrier specific websites
  • Make sure you understand if you are going for a first time interview or have actually been hired.
  • Research the carrier profile and safety record by adding their name to searches on websites like www.fmcsa.dot.gov or Google and review the information about them.
  • Talk to three references about them from drivers or other people in the industry
  • Have a discussion via phone or video with the person hiring you and find out any pertinent information required, such as dress for the job, equipment required, etc.
  • If traveling far from home have a letter of intent to hire from the carrier in writing. This may come in handy should you have to take legal action at a later date.
  • Be honest about any convictions or other information that may cause issues in the hiring process.
  • Have a your own original copies of all documents such as abstracts, licence, and so on should they be altered by someone else in the process
  • Take enough money for accommodations and travel back home if required.
  • Keep in contact with family or friends about your whereabouts and progress.

You can’t stop a carrier from unscrupulous methods of hiring drivers but you don’t have to participate in the practice. This is why many industry professionals caution new students on accepting the first job that comes along. Do your homework, I can’t say that enough! Reputable carriers don’t participate in such practices as “Bus and Dump” and you shouldn’t either.

TTSAO-carrierl-banner-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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Should you work for a small carrier or a large carrier?

What is the best experienced company when looking for a carrier?

That was the question a young driver was asking that has just started his career. I came across this question on a social media site and thought it was interesting so I kept reading some of the answers. Some were silly, some humorous, and some had good information. The intrigue wasn’t so much with the answers, but the intent of the question itself. The driver who left the question explained that he was working for a large carrier in the United States for now but once he got his six months to a year of experience he wanted to find a small carrier to call home. His exact comment was, “Obviously we don’t want to drive for the megas forever, so what are good smaller companies?” This driver is looking at his driving career in the wrong way in my opinion and will always have trouble finding a good fit because the size of a carrier doesn’t mean anything.

There are carriers that are very large and great carriers that are very small and everything in between. The real questions you have to ask and only you can answer it is what do you want to do? Where do you want to go? What type of work do you want to do? How far do you want to travel? I have worked for various carriers over my career and found all of them had good and bad qualities.

Small carriers are great. You will often find a family feel and great equipment. When there’s a problem you can go right to the top and voice your concerns. Many times your dedication and hard work will be noticed by the top faster and that can lead to better runs and good money. The downside of a small carrier is that there can be little opportunity for growth outside of the driving position. If it is a family owned company there may be little opportunities available outside of the seat and it can lead to feeling stuck and unhappy down the road.

Man-with-blue-truck

Large Carriers are great as well. At large carriers there can be a wide array of support services for drivers from maintenance to administration that can help make your life a whole lot easier for day to day operations. Get stuck at the border and there is someone to call, need help with a maintenance issue and they can swap out equipment or have the resources to help you. The biggest positive I have found with large carriers is that there is room to grow in your career. If you want to expand out of the seat you can apply for positions inside of the office and create career longevity without changing carriers. The downside of many large carriers is the politics. This can happen in small carriers as well, but is often found in large carriers just due to the size of the operation.

Small and large sized carriers both have positive and negative points to their operations. I have seen drivers that have loved working with a large carrier in the fact that there is more flexibility for work options and time off. Some people don’t mind working long hours but want that family feel of an operation. There is no wrong or right answer what you are looking for will dictate the type of operation you apply to and only you know what that is.

TTSAO-Carrier-Group-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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Clean up Safety to Recruit New Drivers

All of transportation is wondering how to recruit new drivers to the industry, it’s an ongoing issue that many face. We’ve seen wages rising which is good, trucks getting more comfortable which is good, and more events going on with opportunities to learn more about the industry which is also good. We talk about the people in the industry and the various opportunities for growth and work for the future, so why do we have such a hard time bringing people into the industry? I blame it on the six o’clock news.

If you have been in this industry for any length of time you will know how good this industry is and that what you hear or see on the television is untrue, that we are not dangerous animals on the road. We also know that many of the incidents happening on the roads are not the fault of the truck driver. I know we can all agree on that. Yet often that same person who is thinking of looking at driving as a possible occupation sees the six o’clock news with another truck crash and wonders if they will even survive and come back to their families. We need to clean up safety to help attract new people to the industry. No matter how high we raise wages or how comfortable we make our trucks people won’t be attracted to work that may cause them harm.

Train-wreck

How do we do this? Well if I had the answer to that I would have changed the World already. Unfortunately I don’t have an answer that would solve that problem in one swoop. I do have some ideas that would help, but how well they could be implemented would be another thing.

First we need to focus on education and not just for drivers, but for the motoring public at large. Every driving test should have questions regarding commercial vehicles and all driving programs whether for commercial vehicles or not should include training on driving around large vehicles. Anyone that tows a trailer with a non-commercial vehicle such as a camper trailer should have to go and get a permit showing they have passed a knowledge test driving with a trailer and have an hours of service component to it.

We often hear about accidents on the roads but we rarely see the outcome of the investigations to show whether it was the fault of the truck driver or car drivers in incidents. A truck may be in an incident but that doesn’t mean it is their fault. We need to show the public the whole story so they see the actual statistics as we do in the industry.

This point will be the hardest to implement but why haven’t we added HOV lanes for commercial vehicles. There should be a separate lane for commercial vehicles allowing them to move through high traffic areas without cars playing their games on the highway. That would take us a long way in improving our safety if many of the consumer vehicles are the problem. The movement of goods should be a priority in this Country. We keep telling the public how important trucks are to the economy, maybe we should start to show them.

These of course are just my ideas but I thought I would offer them up as food for thought. We are always looking to improve safety and this may be a start. We all need to do our part to make the roads safer.

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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Trucking on the 4th of July

Happy Independence Day to our American friends in the United States as you enjoy this 4th of July holiday. The United States has been celebrating independence since 1776 and this is a major holiday of the summer. For those of you that are new to the trucking industry you may not think that a holiday like the 4th of July can affect a Canadian driver delivering loads down in the United States but it can be one of the best times to travel south of the border.

Like everything in life there is good and bad in everything and trucking on 4th of July is no different. Let’s look at the good part first. When it comes to passionate patriotism you won’t find it any stronger than in the United States. Known as one of the strongest and largest countries in the World makes it a goal to live in for many people. People born in the United States are very proud to be American and display it proudly. This makes it a great place to drive because you will feel that patriotism as you drive down the road.

Truck-with-american-flag

I have always enjoyed driving on the back roads as much as possible when time allows. It gives you a different perspective into the way people live and I find it much more relaxing than always being on the big highway network. That is where you will see the pride of the country on those little back roads and small towns. Roll through Small Town, U.S.A. and you will see homes and businesses with flags out front waving proudly, you will find parades going on celebrating the day, and if lucky you will stumble onto one of those great State Fairs that are held throughout the nation. The 4th of July is a big deal and celebrated proudly with lots of celebrations and entertainment. Even for those of us not from the United States you can feel the pride of the country. When you’re parked at night don’t forget to look up as there will be many firework displays going on in most areas.

I found over my years on the road when you are in the United States the area you are in may dictate how much patriotism is shown. Everyone is patriotic but certain states seem to enhance it even more. I found states like Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Ohio, Vermont, and New Hampshire always seem to really show their Pride as well as many of the southern states such Kentucky, Texas, and the Carolina s. Maybe it was just the areas I ran the most so I noticed it more. No matter where you travel it can be a very joyous time of year.

So what do you have to look out for when operating in the States over the fourth of July. The first thing is to check your delivery times. Many companies will be closed for the day and possibly longer due to the holiday so make sure you know when receivers will be open. Driving through an area as much as it can be fun can be a challenge. Parades will be happening in almost every town and road closures can make your trip a lengthy one. If you are trying to make miles on the 4th of July stay to the Interstate. The last safety tip is to beware of fireworks. While they are certainly beautiful to look at while in the sky they can be very dangerous when handled incorrectly. Fireworks are readily available to many and some may use them dangerously without thinking about their surroundings. The last thing you need is a truck fire because of firework debris from someone that doesn’t know what they are doing.
Be careful out there.

Driving through the Country during holidays and special times can be a great way to get a feel for a place and enjoy festivities that you may not get to see otherwise. Enjoy the benefits of being a professional driver and being able to travel and see places most people can’t, so enjoy it. Happy 4th of July!

Looking for a carrier that can offer you a career seeing the Country? Click the banner below to see a list of carriers that offer driving opportunities.

TTSAO-Carrier-Group-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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TTSAO is honoured for contribution to M.E.L.T.

TTSAO was honoured by the Ministry of Transportation for outstanding contribution and commitment to the Province of Ontario MELT program. The TTSAO has been an integral part of helping the Ministry of Transportation with designing the Mandatory Entry Level Training Program implemented in 2017 ensuring new drivers are trained properly. The TTSAO began meetings in early stages and was recognized at the PMTC conference for their efforts. The TTSAO is working to make the trucking industry a better place.

TTSAO is honoured for Melt Contribution

The TTSAO envisions that through the co-operation and joint efforts of all schools involved and the industry itself, specific standards and educational programs can be set for drivers that will not only prove more realistic but much more effective than those currently being put into place by various government agencies.

“Striving For Success In Training”

For more information on the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario please email ttsao@ttsao.com or call 1-866-475-9436 or visit www.ttsao.com

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Thinking of changing careers? Now is the time!

Thinking of changing careers?
Now is the time!

Recently the Truck Training School Association of Ontario (TTSAO) had a Hiring Event for those looking at the transportation industry as a viable career choice. The transportation industry is desperately looking for people to fill the seats of trucks and many other positions in the industry. In fact predictions from industry experts is that if we don’t get more people into the industry very soon there may be big consequences and price hikes for items on our store shelves. It has also been reported that the driver shortage is partially responsible for raising the rates in the industry for drivers. So if you were thinking of making that career switch, want to fill that dream of driving on the open road, or are tired of being laid off time after time then transportation may be the place for you?

TTSAO Hiring Event 2018

People often look at the transportation industry in different ways and that can scare some off for the wrong reasons. Look at the news and you would think that all truck drivers are out to wreak havoc and mayhem on the roads. If you have had a truck tailgate you then you may think trucks are driven by wild people. Sure we have a few bad apples but for an industry that touches every part of people’s lives on the whole we do pretty well.

Over my 25 year career driving trucks I have seen more good men and women behind the wheel than what the media shows to the public. I have seen dedicated people travel through all kinds of conditions to reach places most people don’t even know exist. Without the drivers there would be no food on the shelves, parts for your car, or building materials for those new homes. Without trucks we would have very few exports as steel and lumber are our most popular exports to the United States and other Countries. So if you don’t think truck driving is an important job think again. Let’s get to the real point because I know very few drivers got into the industry to serve our Country although that’s what they’re doing.

People get into trucking for many reasons but stay because of the people, the work, and the opportunities. If you have ever worked in manufacturing or similar work you know that much of that work can come with layoffs at varying times or can be monotonous work. Transportation offers you some degree of independence, different environments on a daily basis, and the opportunity to meet new people, and see out wonderful Country.

TTSAO Hiring Event 2018

At the latest TTSAO Hiring Event there were a large variety of carriers with work from city operations to long haul highway operations. You could get into the bus industry with a carrier like Greyhound, multiple carrier types in the trucking industry, or maintenance opportunities for mechanics and repair professionals.

There have never been so many opportunities in the industry as there are today. Investing in training for your chosen field can offer you a lifetime of opportunities for your career. If you’re not sure how to get started the best way is to contact one of the TTSAO schools listed in your area and meet them to learn more about the industry. If you are ready for a career change there is no time like the present!Find a TTSAO Certified School in your area

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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