Tag Archives: truck driver jobs

Starting Your Job Search in the Right Place

If you’re looking for a job opportunity you have to be in the right place to find the right job. I was recently reading a post from a young person looking for a job in the trucking industry and wondering where to find a carrier that would hire them and help with training. Now I personally know many carriers that are looking for truck drivers and other positions for their fleets here in Canada and the United States is much the same.

Often I find people are trying to find employment in the wrong way. They are trying to find a job asking people on social media. Now I know social media is considered main stream these days and it has its benefits and drawbacks but the opinions for the most part will be personal and may not relate to your specific situation but to the person offering the opinion. Social media should be used as a way to learn more about a company once you have found one rather than at the start of your search for a job, so where do you start?

If I was looking for a truck driving job and didn’t have an inside connection to a particular carrier I would start with the industry resources or job boards. Any carrier that is well connected in the industry will be part of an industry association or advertise in industry publications. Some carriers will advertise outside of the industry but truck driving is different from many other industries and a person needs to understand the job before applying for the position.

Pipe Truck

Starting with industry specific publications will give you a bird’s eye view of who is hiring, what they offer, and the type of freight they haul. After that you can look into benefits, training, and other important factors involved in working with a carrier.

Asking friends is fine, but you may not get the proper information. Trusting carriers alone can be an issue if the carriers are not reputable. Starting a job search can be a daunting task but if you do it the right way you can get the proper information and be successful. If you are looking for tips on getting a job in the trucking industry the TTSAO has an article list on their website with some great tips. http://ttsao.com/category/industry-employment/

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About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is the author of the books Driven to Drive, 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 Mobile Support Equipment Operator

Over the years we’ve changed the face of trucking with new cultures and immigration programs, maybe it’s time we change the name. One thing trucking hasn’t improved in is respect. We have improved in technology, we have more training, we have more regulations, but we don’t seem to have any more respect. If you say the term “truck driver” to anyone in the general public you will see their face twist and usually hear something like “ that’s a hard job” or “tough industry.” The only time that changes is when you talk to someone who understands the industry or has driven before.

What if we changed the name? We all respect someone in the Military for the hard work they do and the danger of the job. There are many people in the military either doing the exact same job that a truck driver does, but because of the function of the military people’s perceptions are totally different. If motorists get held up in traffic by a line of trucks they swear and curse at the drivers. If they get held up by a military convoy they salute and wave. Could it be the name that helps to change the perception of the job. I agree that people in the army are amazing in protecting our Country and supporting war efforts for others, but we all know if we were to stop the trucks transporting goods across our Country the shelves would be bare. Does it make us any less important?

Trailer-back

I was reading an advertisement for a job to become a truck driver in the military. No I am not trying to get a job but was curious to see what they would look for in a person and what type of work they would be expected to do. I was expecting the job description to say things like; Must be able to drive a tank, ten years experience hauling helicopters, or something like that. When I read the description it was almost the same as a truck driver job. The items were drive buses, trucks, and tractor trailers. Inspect vehicles, fill out paperwork, maintain the vehicle, etcetera. That sounds much like what a truck driver does. You can see the description for yourself at https://forces.ca/en/career/mobile-support-equipment-operator/.

Here is the difference, the job is not called truck driver for the army but “Mobile Support Equipment Operator.” Doesn’t that sound nice? It is much of the same job with a lot more respect and of course learning to shoot a gun. Marketing has always been the transportation industry’s problem. Whether we change it to a skilled trade or rename it for more respect I think we need to look at that as an industry.

On another note our military personnel are crucial to our freedom and survival as a Country. Please remember those that have served to give us the freedom we now enjoy in Canada and beyond and pause to remember them on November 11th. Thank you to all of our military services for the work you do.

Military-Trucks

About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is the author of the books Driven to Drive, 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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Over Regulating vs Over Promoting, What’s Best for our Industry?

In January 2020 the United States will be launching their drug and alcohol clearing house for commercial drivers that is suppose to offer transparency for truck drivers allowing employers to see the results of testing done on drivers in the industry. This apparently is to make our roads safer and solve the problem of drug and alcohol related deaths behind the wheel. You can read about the new regulations here. https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevebanker/2019/10/24/a-shocking-loophole-affecting-road-safety-is-finally-about-to-close/#519cec65770f

Over the last few years we have brought in Mandatory Entry Level Training, Electronic Logging Devices, and changed a number of regulations regarding Hours of Service. I am all for making our roads safer but are regulations the way to do it or are we just making it more of a turn off for people to get into our industry? If you add in all the talk of self-driving trucks, Amazon shipping, and robotic technology it can be very hard to attract talent our industry. We are already driving out the many long term drivers currently doing the job and not attracting the younger generations we need because the industry isn’t attractive. Are we focusing on the right areas in our industry or are we killing our industry?

We can’t tell what will happen in the future but there are opportunities now in the industry in a number of fields. If we spent as much time teaching people to make the right decisions and fixing the real problems in the industry such as safe parking and infrastructure such as separate truck lanes or priority traffic patterns to keep goods moving it would be much more safer and attractive than telling everyone when they should sleep. Regulating an industry that has so many variables is not only making roads unsafe but not attracting the people that we need to carry out the very important task of truck driving.

trucks-crossing-border

What people developing new technology for the trucking industry are not telling us is the price of those trucks and the fact that most small to mid-sized fleets won’t be able to afford those vehicles. They are not telling us that the transportation industry has been slow to follow in technology over the years and that if you were to put a self driving truck in the fleet most people wouldn’t know how to get it to move. I use technology in a day to day basis and believe it is helpful to our lives if it is used to make our lives more efficient and safe.

We need to spend more time showing people why our industry is important and changing the industry to be more attractive to the next generations instead of the way we are doing it now and turning everyone away from an industry that many of us have built a life on. Trucking will change that’s for sure, but I don’t see it going away!

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About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is the author of the books Driven to Drive, 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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Build Your Job Resume in Modules

Building a resume in modules may be the best way to keep it current without retyping it each time. If you’ve noticed the trend as technology gets better that resumes may soon be a thing of the past. We are seeing more applications that are allowing job candidates to upload their information into an app where it lives and can be updated as needed. Many of these applications allow employers to view the information as required to hire candidates. This has got be easier than paper.

Do you remember paper applications? If you were applying to multiple places in a day you would have writers cramp at the end of the day in your hand. Resumes were saving us all but brought on a new set of problems as they now can be created ahead of time but were fairly easy to falsify or hide certain issues with prior employers.

We have now seen a new transition from resumes to online application systems allowing employers and job seekers to save all the information within the system and have it verified for the employer. Of course to use the system the employer and potential employee have to be on the same program. That brings us to the next question, “Do you still need a resume?

I believe resumes are still important and used by many employers, but I can see them going by the wayside in the near future as technology continues to develop. That leaves us with today where we have a mix of the old in the odd paper resume out there and the new which I will call the online program application. The resume sits in the middle, so it will still be required for the time being.

I think it is important to always keep your resume current whether looking for a job or not. You never know when an opportunity will come along that is the perfect dream job for you and even if you have been highly recommended most employers will still want a resume. This is why it is a good idea to build your resume in modules. If you think of how a resume is laid out it has different parts under different headings. Some of those parts are static meaning they don’t change and others will change as your experience changes.

Current position, references, and training will change based on your current position so that can be built as one module. Your experience and past employment will stay the same so that should be built as one module. Your last module will be licensing, language, and other items which normally stays the same. This way you only have to update one module when an opportunity arises.

Person-filling-out-application

The reason for potentially building your resume in modules means that you can use all the different submission options such as online programs to traditional resumes or even paper in a quick method of keeping things updated at a moments notice. You can offer your resume with the static modules and just change the current job module as required. You may even fill out one portion and upload the rest of your resume that doesn’t change. Being job ready is the first secret to getting great opportunities as they arise.

find-a-ttsao-Carrier

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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Being Job Ready in 2019

What does being job ready mean in 2019 and 2020? Does it mean you have to be able to out work the person next to you? Does it mean you have to a university degree in your chosen field? Does it mean you have to have a technological background? What does job ready mean anymore?

Decades ago being job ready means you were willing to put in long hours at work and do what it takes to get the job done. Trucking companies were looking for people that didn’t mind hard work and that’s why people with a farming background succeeded so well in the industry. Being educated was for those with financial resources to get someone to college and many people had grade 10 education or less but had a work ethic that carried them through and gave them a good life. They excelled in the industry because of the farming and mechanical backgrounds allowing them to fix equipment and have pride in their work.

Today those same values are only important to the older drivers that made their careers successful through hard work. Today people are educated and focused more on work / life balance than getting the job done at all costs. As carriers struggle to change with a rolling economy and demands from a changing labour market it is changing what is attracting new drivers to the industry leaving transportation in a fluctuating market. Who are we looking for?

When you apply for a job in the market today you have to have a number of things going for you. Employers want a mix of old and new and that is very hard to find in the same person. They want someone educated and tech savvy with the old values of willing to work long hours and get the job done while being safe. Those people are out there but our industry has not changed the way things have been done for over 30 years. We haven’t shown respect for the time of the driver and we are still looking for someone to work long hours while that someone is good around equipment with a safety mindset. Unfortunately that is not what young people want in their job. What does that mean for being job ready in 2019 and 2020?

Carriers are changing to meet the demand of applicants in our industry so they can attract the talent they need. They are doing their best to add flexibility to their operations with shorter days and flexible start times. Many are now paying for detention time and offering more technology in the trucks. Different types of people are now making up many carrier teams allowing for different operation styles. Driver pay is slowly rising to help attract talent to the workplace.

Team-Drivers

What does the perfect truck driver model look like in 2020? “A truck driver that is educated with a willingness to be better,” would be my statement if I was asked. Trucking offers so many opportunities but many of them you cannot see until you are in the industry. Someone that is willing to take a little blind faith and get started in an industry that is changing rapidly will have many opportunities available to them that they may not be able to get anywhere else. Since our industry has so many career legs to it you can create a custom career path while making money and seeing the Country at the same time and you will be at the forefront of the technological change which is beginning to happen right now. There has never been more opportunity in our industry and for the right mindset the future is unlimited. Trucking will always be here in one form or another and you can be part of it.

find-a-ttsao-Carrier

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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Company vs Freight-Choosing a Carrier

Scrolling through a recent social media website on trucking I noticed a lot of questions from new drivers on whether to go work for a certain company based on the type of freight they haul. Sure drivers do choose carriers based on the type of freight they haul but is that the best way to choose a company that you hope to stay with for a good part of your career?

The question comes down to what do you feel is more important? In my personal opinion choosing the right company to work with far outweighs the type of freight they haul however there are many drivers out there that prefer to work with only flatbed, tanker, automobiles, or more. Much of that is what you’ve been introduced to at the beginning of your career and what has been accessible to you over time. For instance I never pulled B-trains just because I never worked for companies that had those opportunities available. I fell into the hazmat side of the industry due to the companies I worked with did a lot of that type of work. When I look back on my career I worked for good companies so don’t think I would change anything if I could.

Where you are in your career will make the difference in how you answer the question company or freight, it is kind of like the chicken and the egg scenario. I feel it comes down to how long you have been driving and the type of work you enjoy doing.

Let’s start with new drivers. If you are a brand new driver or someone that has been driving for under 5 years then you should be choosing a company to work for that has a good culture, good training / finishing program, and can offer you various types of trips or freight to gain experience. You want to gain experience on the road and if you get hired by a company that offers different types of freight even better. I worked for several companies that had a variety of freight from flatbed or steel, to refrigerated freight, and dry van before settling on a carrier that was specifically hazardous materials. You want a company with a good culture and one that is willing to be patient with someone new as they learn the ropes.

pipe truck

If you have been driving for more than 5 years then you may want to choose a company based on the freight they haul. At this time in your career you may have experienced a certain type of freight and realized you enjoy working with that type of equipment and enjoy the work. Choosing the companies that have that freight type would be the better way to choose a company but only if you know exactly what you want. Even then I would determine the type of freight I want to work with and create a list of those companies, then choose a company by their culture and other criteria.

No matter where you are in your career you want to work for a company that treats you right as an employee no matter what they haul. Choosing a company that has your type of freight, but doesn’t pay you, has you sitting waiting for freight, or has bad equipment won’t offer you a rewarding career as a professional driver. Choose wisely!

find-a-ttsao-Carrier

About the Author

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

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3 Steps to Learning the Truck Inspection Process

Learning how to conduct a truck inspection can be a daunting task when you’re a new student in a truck training school. There are many parts to inspect on a truck or bus and missing just one area can result in fines and downtime for any driver. This is why the inspection process is so important and a reason that every student has to take it seriously.

I recently attended a school to understand their yard work program and what students thought of going through the yard work process. The testing procedures have changed since the implementation of Mandatory Entry Level Training and has become more challenging for the student. Previously the inspection process was taught as a routine that a student would learn and show when testing for their licence. Over the years the testing changed to a random item test where the testing agent will ask the driver to inspect different items on the truck in various orders. The student doesn’t know ahead of time which items will be asked of them therefore having to learn the whole process.

Talking to instructor Jean at the school conducting the training for inspections I asked how the new way of testing has improved the training process? “Students have to learn the full schedule 1 with the new system. Previously the students were taught a routine for inspecting a truck, but due to the time frame in testing were memorizing what to say more than what they were actually inspecting. Because the requests are random students have to know exactly how to inspect an item and not just what to say to the tester.” Says Jean.

Instruction picture

One of the things I noticed when attending the training is that the students going through the program took the instruction very seriously. As a trainer myself I can tell you that not all students understand the importance of training or have the same level of determination. The students going through the inspection schedule, asking questions, and redoing tasks they didn’t understand or do correctly were determined to understand the components fully. Those are the students that will pass successfully but also make professional drivers in the future.

If you are a new student or someone just getting started in the process of looking for a training facility then there a few things you can do to ensure your training is successful:

  • Ensure you are attending a certified training facility. Certified schools have the top instructors that have the knowledge to show you the proper way to inspect items.
  • Participate in the training. Many times the inspection process is taught in a group setting. Don’t just stand on the side lines but be active taking notes, doing tasks, and asking questions.
  • Take your training seriously. Failing to inspect a truck properly can result in fines, delays, or even death. It is important to take your training seriously, review your work, take notes, and ask questions of things you don’t understand.

Truck inspections are required of drivers every day and there are many that don’t do them properly. They are important from a safety standpoint, required from a testing standpoint, and can minimize delays on the road, but only if you know how to do a proper inspection.

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About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is the author of the books Driven to Drive, 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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Transportation Combines Multiple Industries Into One for Great Careers

The Transportation industry is not only the one of the largest industries in North America but also one of the most diverse. Why is this important? As someone moving into the industry it allows you many options for employment and a varied career. Let’s explore the the types of industries one would find within trucking and then how to best determine the one that may be best for you.

Possibly the easiest way to get a grasp on the amount of diversity in the transportation industry is to look at all the products that are on the shelves in a store. Each of those products come from a different manufacturer and on a different type of truck. The car you drive, the furniture you have, the electronics on your desk, each of those are an industry within the transportation industry. Many of those products require their own type of truck or delivery method to transport them to the end user location. That’s thousands of different opportunities within one industry called transportation.

Let’s go a step deeper and look at the transport truck itself. If you were to dismantle that truck you would have thousands of pieces laying in front of you. Each one of those pieces comes from a different manufacturer and requires a different type of service person or transport type to make them into the item we know as a truck. If you add the drivers required to be employed to drive all of these trucks, the driver trainers, the mechanics to maintain the equipment you have thousands of jobs available not to mention dispatchers, load planners, and other essential positions. How do you decide where to start to gain employment?

Driver-in-truck

The transportation industry is very diverse and that’s the beauty of it. You can start in one area and branch out over time into other areas of the industry allowing for continued growth in your career. But you have to start somewhere to gain that knowledge and experience that will stay with you for the future. So where do you start?

The best and easiest place to start is with the area that will give you the best understanding of the industry, has the most positions available, and can earn you money right away. That position is in the driver’s seat. This is the foundation that many of us who began our careers by accident have flourished over the years and gone into other areas of the industry with a strong foundation due to our years in the seat as a professional driver. It offers an understanding of the industry that no other position can give no matter how much you study. It teaches you a multitude of training in areas that will be helpful for the future from geography to dealing with people and much more.

How do you decide which area is best for you? Knowing what type of work interests you is the best way to start. Are you mechanically inclined and like to fix things? Do you like to work on your own and travel? Are you good with paperwork or working in a fast paced environment? Do you enjoy technology or training others? All of these areas have multiple jobs available for the right person and many of these jobs may be available at one company. There is no reason anyone should be unemployed if they have some focus for the future. It means you just have to get started and investigate the best fit for you. Talking to a certified school or carrier may be your best option to getting your career started for the future.

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About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is the author of the books Driven to Drive, 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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