Tag Archives: Retention

TTSAO Meeting Focuses on Instructor Qualifications

Driving instructors seemed to be the focus of the meeting at yesterdays Truck Training School Association of Ontario (TTSAO) Meeting on December 11th which held a number of panels from insurance professionals to large carriers and had a full house of attendees. As I watched the moderators ask questions of the panel one common thread was instructor qualifications. Even the Ministry of Transportation is looking into instructors in the light of their M.E.L.T program implemented in 2017.

TTSAO December 11th Meeting

Board Member Gerald Carroll started things off with information on the TTSAO Conference coming up on February 27th and 28th 2019. An outline of the agenda and sponsorship opportunities were explained and Charlie Charalambous talked about the new instructor award being presented and sponsored by PayBright. You can register for the conference and learn more about the Instructor Award on the TTSAO website at www.ttsao.comTTSAO 2019Maybe this kicked it off in my mind that the focus was on instructor qualifications but each panel seemed to have that common thread. The first update by the Ministry of Transportation offered a look at the Mandatory Entry Level Program ( M.E.L.T.) for drivers and are expanding the program for “D” licensed drivers. It was mentioned that the next step for the M.E.L.T program would be instructor certification and qualifications. Currently the Ministry is collecting data over a 3-5 year period as to how well the program is working.TTSAO December 11th MeetingLisa Arseneau moderated the discussion for the Carrier Panel which included carriers Challenger, Kriska, and Rosedale offering tips on where drivers need help when applying for jobs with many carriers. Backing up and more complete training was commented as an issue for new applicants. All the carriers mentioned they were happy to have a M.E.L.T. as a base for looking at new applicants, and the carriers mentioned that positive promotion of the industry is required to bring in new people to the industry. Instructor certification and recognized teaching strategies were all good steps to improvement in training from a carrier standpoint.TTSAO December 11th MeetingA discussion with the Insurance Group was moderated by Guy Broderick and the key point of this panel was instructor qualifications again. The insurance industry is trying to change some of the ways they insure carriers to help bring in more people to the industry. What they are seeing through their data is that many of the severe crashes are from inexperienced drivers and they feel instructor certification would be a big step to helping insure new people in the industry.

The meeting was closed off with an update from the MTCU ( Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities) on the training amounts allotted for schools to train new students. Chairperson Kim Richardson closed the meeting with remarks to the full house.TTSAO December 11th MeetingOverall the training industry is working very hard to bring the status of the driver in the transportation industry to professional levels. TTSAO is at the forefront of many of the talks with Ministry officials and is moving the mark forward, but as mentioned by Geoff Topping of Challenger Motor Freight, “We all need to do our part to promote the professionalism of the industry.”

Improving the outlook of the industry will go along way to helping all of us for the long term and hopefully will solve the recruiting issues in the industry. If you are currently an instructor in the industry look for certification training in the near future. It’s being talked about by all groups in the industry. Register for the TTSAO Conference in February by clicking here.TTSAO 2019About 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 announces updated line up for December 11th meeting.

TTSAO’s General Meeting taking place on December 11th in Mississauga we are pleased to announce the following line-up of TTSAO-logo-2018panelists for the Carrier/ MELT panel:
Caroline Blaise of Kriska Transport,
Geoff Topping of Challenger Motor Freight, and
Brian Topping of Rosedale Transport

These industry experts will provide their thoughts and experiences on the MELT program from the carriers perspective. Discussion items will include:

quality of the MELT Driver
the impact of Driver turnover
finishing programs
instructor certification and other topics

The panel will be moderated by TTSAO Insurance Group Chairperson and TTSAO Board of Director, Lisa Arseneau of Staebler Insurance.

The meeting will take place at the CHSI Conference Centre at 5110 Creekbank Road, Mississauga from 10 am – 12 noon.

There is no fee to attend and you do not have to be a TTSAO member.

Registration can be done by contacting Sara Fitchett, Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario
Direct: 705-280-5577
Fax: 888-649.5328
Email ttsao@ttsao.com
Web: www.TTSAO.com

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Trucking Offers Flexible Options for a Career

It’s been a sad week of news so far this week with many manufacturing plants announcing closings and changes to their workforce. It is always sad to see people losing their jobs and having to look to either retraining, moving, or searching for new work. General Motors announced the closing of several plants across North America this week and Maple Leaf Foods announced the moving their plant from Toronto to London Ontario. Good for some people bad for others. Those good jobs in manufacturing have been on the decline for decades since our economy began to buy on global scale and that’s what makes trucking such a lucrative and viable option.

Careers these days are not about working at a plant because your family before you worked there. Those were the old ways of thinking where you got a good job and then worked at a company for thirty years. In today’s world working at a company for five years is a major career and the secret to longevity is to keep retraining yourself and improving your knowledge of technology. Those not willing to learn and upgrade will find themselves left behind in a drastically changing world. There was a company that announced up to 800 new positions in the region at the same time of the other closings, all the jobs announced were in technology. Start upgrading!

Technology

We may be surprised today but this has been happening for years. I personally went back to school many years ago to learn some new skills when I wanted to move up in the company I was working with. At that time four drivers in our fleet were in a race for promotion to become supervisor of the fleet, myself included. All had years of experience, good work record, and respect from the team. This was a time however when everything was becoming more computerized and items like expense reports and dispatch services were transferring from paper to computers. As I had returned to school and was upgrading my computer skills where the other candidates had not and that got me the position. This is one of the reasons I am big on self education to this day as it will offer you so many opportunities for the future.

Let’s get back to trucking and the benefits of flexibility. I think the transportation industry may be one of the only industries that can offer you that life-long career due to the many options available. If we take the news of plants closing and jobs going to Mexico that is a terrible thing for workers here, no doubt. For trucking however that will offer many news lanes and an increase in jobs for individuals. If you pursue a job in trucking there are many opportunities in the seat but there will also be other positions required in safety, dispatch, administration, and other services specific to transportation.

TTSAO-School-banner-2018

Making high wages in the manufacturing sector won’t be sustainable for the future even if we want it to be. Labour costs are generally the highest expenses a company can have and will always be looking at that expense when trying to survive in a global economy. Transportation offers flexibility with change and even if products are made outside the Country they will need to be transported into locations for the future.

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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Career Training Over Job Training

Am I suggesting that you don’t get job training? Of course not everyone needs some type of training on the job and that is normal and expected. What I am suggesting is if you are new to the industry or career that you are looking for that you consider career training as opposed to one specific type of job training. Let me share an example with you.

Bob is looking for a new job as he recently lost his job from a previous employer. He is 45 years old with a wife and two kids and needs something more stable. The industry he was in before has become unstable and he wants something that will offer him steady work. Bob is currently looking at two opportunities both in the transportation industry because he has heard there is steady work. One opportunity is with a company handling administration work in load planning and the other is over the road as a professional truck driver. Bob is eligible for funding assistance for the new career if he takes the driver training, but he is not sure he wants to go out on the road. The real question is which opportunity should he take?

As someone who has been in the industry for many years I often come across people trying to decide on job opportunities similar to this. They have an immediate opportunity for one position but are able to get subsidized training for another option that may take longer to complete but offer more options for the future.

Every decision here will be a personal decision for the person deciding. Personal issues, income availability, and work ambitions all come into play in the decision. If we were to use Bob’s scenario above and assuming Bob had the income to keep him a float for approximately eight weeks. Then the driving position would be the direction I would suggest he go, here is why.

Driver-in-truck

If he takes the first option of the load planning position he would learn about that particular job and it may move him up the career ladder through that carrier or another company with similar positions. Here is the problems I see with this position. You will only be understanding the job from your job focus for the most part. Your career future may be limited due to positions available in the future if something happens to your job. Depending on where your future takes you it may not have the respect of the team below you if you haven’t got a true understanding of the road. Now I am certainly not saying that someone who hasn’t driven before can’t have a solid career in trucking, it just takes more homework.

If Bob takes the option of going through a truck training course he will have more options available for the future. He may not want to drive forever but driving positions are the most positions available now and in the future if someone is looking for steady work. Having a commercial driver’s licence allows for a variety a variety of opportunities from local work to highway operations allowing for more variety on the job depending on the carrier. There are more options for finding the type of work of preference and the income potential is high right from the start. In the training course Bob will learn all aspects of the transportation industry and that will offer a good base of understanding and respect from others in the industry should Bob move off the road at a later date.

TTSAO-School-banner-2018

Looking at your career options farther than your current opportunities can be tough at first but if you think about the big picture you will see that many times the longer the opportunity for access the more opportunities it will produce down the road. Of course that’s just my opinion.

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 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 PayBright-logoassistance 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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Instructor Nomination Form

Conference Registration Form

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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?

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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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