Tag Archives: transportation

Filling Driver Demand With Foreign Workers

Our industry has been in a driver shortage for some time now and things don’t seem to be getting better anytime soon. I remember in the 90’s when the industry began to see drivers move into the industry and the mood of transportation began to change. Today the industry is primarily 70% foreign workers when it used to be only 20-30% foreign workers at that time. As immigration laws change in an attempt to appeal to those wanting to come to North America for a better life and those just trying to stay safe as refugees it is forcing us to change how we train foreign workers.

Many carriers are trying to adapt to hiring foreign workers. When their first language is not English training and supervision can be a problem. Years ago I had various people ask if my training material was in another language that could be used to train new workers. Much of that has changed now with various companies coming out with modules that are in various languages or can be changed based on the needs of the user.

Publications are popping up all over North America in various languages to appeal to foreign workers and you can find them in French, Polish, Punjabi, and more. Some publications are moving away from English all together.

The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) has seen the need for foreign workers in transportation for some time. The industry was filled with people working on farms that learned to drive heavy equipment at an early age and were a natural fit for the trucking and construction industries. They were hard working folks that understood how machinery works. We now find less of those people entering the industry therefore foreign workers are picking up the slack and filling the need.

Foreign Workers
Foreign Workers

Recent information on the industry shows that the industry will soon be filled with mostly foreign workers. Yet our immigration laws are are not allowing us to keep up with the demand needed in the seats. I interviewed a driver in the past coming from the Caribbean wanting to drive in Canada. He had ties to Canada through family and paid for his own training and travel costs to Canada. He completed the training with high marks yet in the end could not find a company to sponsor him to Canada. He got so frustrated with the red tape of immigrating to Canada that he was forced to go elsewhere for work. This is not the only story that I have heard. People are now going to other countries because of our immigration policies.

If foreign workers are an issue you have been struggling with over the years then you are not alone. Questions like how do we get them in the Country safely and successfully? How do we adapt our training to fit the needs of the industry and make our roads safer at the same time? All of these questions are what many of us have been talking about for years at conferences and seminars. The TTSAO is hoping to have those questions answered at their upcoming conference on truck driver training on February 5th. Vikram Khurana will be talking about the Foreign Worker Program and how it can help our industry fill the much needed issue of drivers. We hope to see you there.

Picture-Vikram-Khurana
Vikram Khurana

Learn more about the presentation at the TTSAO Conference here

About the Author

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

Learn more about the conference by clicking this link

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TTSAO Supports Truckers Against Trafficking

On December 11th the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario ( TTSAO) held their membership meeting. This meeting was the annual Christmas social for the Association but took on a more formal agenda with presentations on Truckers Against Trafficking and agenda on TTSAO issues. The meeting included a conference presentation by Gerald Carroll and updates by the Ministry of Transportation on initiatives for 2020.

The major presentation was on human trafficking by Heathery Fry and Jim Dimech showing us who commits these crimes and what those in the transportation industry can do to help. The formulas used by traffickers to command their victims was talked about and everyday culture is unknowingly promoting the lifestyle through games and social media.

Jim Dimech-Praxair

Statistics presented by Heather Fry showed there are 40 million victims globally, with acts happening 20 times per day to thousands of children. The trafficking industry is a $150 billion dollar industry and affects all countries big and small. Human trafficking is a crime of power and includes sexual conduct, rape, fraud, employee abuse, and threats to family and friends. Many victims don’t even know they are being victimized.

Traffickers use main roads and corridors to move victims and goods from location to location and this is why the focus is on help from those in the transportation industry and energy fields as they work regularly on those main corridors. Truckers have saved lives of victims by reporting unusual activity such as the call made by Kevin Kimmel that resulted in an arrest of a couple trafficking sex workers and have now been convicted to life behind bars. Since the program began there have been 2432 calls made, 655 cases investigated, 1200 victims saved, and 794,905 people trained.

Heather Fry-Truckers Against Trafficking

Truckers Against Trafficking is an organization from the United States but is increasing their focus on Canada. Trafficking has no borders and those small tips do help victims. The organization is asking transport companies, training facilities, and those that travel on a regular basis to take the training course to be aware of the signs of trafficking and report any activity that looks like someone is being abused. Jim Dimech of Praxair Canada talked about how it had become part of the carrier’s training program for all drivers employed by the company. You can learn more about the training and organization at www.truckersagainsttrafficking.org. The TTSAO is encouraging all of their member organizations to have their staff trained and share that training with new students. We all need to do our part in stopping human trafficking and that can be done by making a call when you see suspicious activity.

Truckers Against Trafficking

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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Females in the Trucking Industry are Featured at TTSAO 5th Annual Conference

Women in the Trucking Industry will be discussed at the TTSAO’s 5th Annual Conference in February 2020. Women play a vital role in our industry in all positions whether behind the wheel or behind the scenes in trucking. Join us for this important discussion and presentation at the conference.

TTSAO Hiring Event 2018

Get all the conference details here

TTSAO-logo-2018
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LOU Smyrlis of Newcom Media Talks Changes, Faces, and Trends at the 5th Annual Conference

Day one of the agenda for the 5th Annual TTSAO Conference will feature Lou Smyrlis of Newcom Media talking about the changes coming up in the industry for 2020. Smyrlis is well known in the industry as an analyst and reporter with a pulse for the future.

Check out the full agenda below and
save the date for the conference.

TTSAO-5th-Annual-Conference-poster
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WTFC Holds Bridging the barrier Event 2019

The Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada is holding their second annual Bridging the Barrier Event in Mississauga. You can learn more and register for the event through the links below.

Link to the event  https://www.womenstruckingfederationofcanada.net/bridging-the-barriers/
Registration cut off is Aug 23rd . Registration can be done online or by downloading  the pdf version Link to Register  https://www.womenstruckingfederationofcanada.net/register-to-attend-bridging-the-barriers/
Can be completed online or by downloading the pdf version Link for sponsorship opportunities  https://www.womenstruckingfederationofcanada.net/sponsor-bridging-the-barriers/
Facebook Event Page https://www.facebook.com/events/660715174388540/

Book your hotel accommodations (before Aug 9th) to get our reserved rates.  You can book online at https://hiltongardeninn.hilton.com/en/gi/groups/personalized/Y/YYZMTGI-U52-20190905/index.jhtml?fbclid=IwAR0dskvW6O3NTcWdrqdtqtGU4Wqket6pT_EAiYAN5HlKfERnQBHlAD6U7L4

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Please welcome new members Bryson Insurance and The City of Markham

Please welcome new members Bryson Insurance and The City of Markham as new members joining this month to the TTSAO Network.

Bryson Insurance Ltd
Contact: Tracy Makris
Email:  tmakris@brysoninsurance.ca
Address:  541 Bayly Street East
Ajax ON  L1W 1Z7
Phone: 905-426-5022
Fax: 905-426-4959
Website: www.brysoninsurance.ca & www.truckinginsurance.ca


The City of Markham
Contact: Jonn Faustino
Email:  jfaustino@markham.ca
Address:  101 Town Centre Blvd.
Markham ON L3R 9W3
Phone: 905-477-7000 ext.2385

TTSAO-logo-2018

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What does it take to be a good truck driving instructor?

Time have changed since the old days of trucking where your friend or neighbour that owned or had access to a truck could jump in and teach you to drive on the back roads. The days are gone where you could travel the roadways watching your Dad shift gears and interact with other people in the industry and have it be part of your DNA when you got older knowing that you were going to drive those big rigs. That was the way many truck drivers used to learn to drive and many of them are at the top of the industry today. Things have changed from the 70s and 80s and it is a different industry and different world today.

Class photo

Today to become a driver in the industry you have to complete a course of a certain amount of hours, pay thousands of dollars for training, and keep yourself trained with various regulations throughout your career. This is due to the increased incidents on our highways, changes to the type of driver coming into the industry, and changes in the industry due to technology and safety. Those changes happened many years ago but it created another problem as to how qualified the instructor was teaching the new person entering the industry.

In the past we have had instructors of different types and styles. Some more qualified than others and some much more caring. There have been stories of instructors with two years of experience or less becoming instructors. There have been stories of instructors talking on the phone doing business for their school not paying attention to the student on the road. There have been reports of instructors teaching someone a certain route so that they pass the test but not showing them true driving techniques. So what makes a good instructor?

When I learned to drive back in the 80s I was part of the first group. I learned off friends that were drivers in a sort of informal school that trained on just what I needed at the time. There were less regulations back then so all of my training was specifically on driving techniques and not log books and other issues. I learned on equipment with real loads on the roads of the day. I was on a graduated system of learning starting with smaller trucks before driving larger vehicles and working the city before operating on the highways. Many of my colleagues believe this was the best way to learn to drive a truck and developing a person into a professional driver.

Nominate Your Instructor for the
PayBright /TTSAO -Instructor of the Year Award

Instructor Nomination Form (Rev.02)

In my opinion a good instructor is someone that is passionate about making our industry better. They have the experience and qualifications to teach someone properly and have the people skills to ensure they have learned the proper techniques to give them a good start on a new career in the transportation industry. Most of the good instructors I know in the industry also have had good careers as professional drivers in the industry themselves. Being a good instructor starts with caring and being a leader in the industry as a driver. If looking a school for your next career ask some questions about the instructors teaching the courses. It will make a difference in your career, it did for me.

About the Author

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

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Have you nominated your instructor for the Instructor of The Year Award

There is a new award  being presented at the annual TTSAO Conference happening on February 27th-28th, 2019.

The TTSAO-PayBright Instructor of the Year Award is being PayBright-logolaunched to help recognize professional instructors in the transportation industry. Cut off dates for the nominations are February 14th, 2019.

Nominate your instructor and check out the criteria through the nomination form below.

Instructor Nomination Form (Rev.02)

Learn about the conference agenda and award in the video below.

Save your seat for the conference-Tickets going fast!

Conference Registration Form (Rev3)

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TTSAO Applauds National Driver Training Standards

For Immediate Release:

January 22, 2019

TTSAO Applauds National Driver Training Standards – The Truck Training School Association of Ontario (TTSAO) could not be more pleased with the commitment made by Canada’s Transportation Ministers. The commitment to the development of a National Entry Level Driver Training Standard by 2020.

The TTSAO was viewed by government and industry as a major TTSAO-logo-2018stakeholder when Ontario introduced and mandated Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT). President of the TTSAO, Kim Richardson said “Our association attended many consultation sessions along with other fine organizations and associations across the province. The TTSAO’s finger prints are all over the Ontario MELT standard.”

The TTSAO utilized the TTSAO Carrier Group and the TTSAO Insurance Group during the consultation sessions. The TTSAO looks forward to working with CCMTA and the other national stakeholders on this important initiative.

“The industry, the general public and all road users will be a safer place with national training standards for commercial truck drivers. It is one more step toward professional truck driving becoming a skilled trade in the country,” added Richardson.

For more information visit www.ttsao.com or contact:
Kim Richardson – President, TTSAO – kim@ttsao.com or cell 905-512-0254
Charlie Charalambous – Director of Communications and Public Relations, TTSAO – ccharalambous@isbc.ca
or 905-699-8837

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Have Good Customer Service Skills-Try Driving Coach

We have a bad habit of focusing much of our efforts on getting drivers into driving trucks especially over the road in our industry. I won’t lie to you that is where the bulk of the jobs are in the transportation industry, but those certainly aren’t the only jobs. A carrier can be anyone from a company that transports freight over the road to someone that transports people. Those options are also available for traveling long distances or just around town. So how do you choose one option over another and do you have the desired skills that may set you ahead of the pack when it comes to the job application process?

Good customer service skills are an asset to any driver hauling freight or people but especially people. If in the past you have developed those skills through working at a retail establishment or had additional training in that area then that may help you transition into a certain line of work as a driver. If you are looking for short haul options or a steady schedule then this type of work may also be appealing to you. What type of work am I talking about?

Coach-Buses jobs

Coach work of course! We often don’t think about it but all those tourists have to get to the casino and back somehow. That hockey team needs a bus driver to take them on the road so they can win those playoff games. Coach driving can be a good career for someone that has good customer service skills and wants a somewhat steady schedule although many truck carriers can offer those same type of schedule options. We often think of the buses that operate around town or school bus drivers with many kids on board, but those aren’t the only options available. Think about all the buses required for casino operations, hockey teams, specialized charters, and other operations such as regular travel routes and transport of the population. There are many options available and a coach licence also offers driving options below that licence as well.

Find a carrier that has your type of work here!

TTSAO-carrierl-banner-2018Coach driving is also a very viable option for female drivers that may not want to work with freight such as flatbed or other physically demanding types of cargo. For the most part coach driving is a clean atmosphere where safe driving and managing people will set you ahead in the field. If you’ve never thought of operating a bus over the road or in your home town then it may be worth investigating especially if you are good with people and have a neat appearance. Not sure where you options are in the industry? I would suggest you start by talking with a TTSAO Certified school in your area or contacting one of the bus carriers in your area to find out what training you need to drive a bus. It may set you off to a new career path that you didn’t even know existed.

TTSAO-School-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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