Tag Archives: truck drivers.

Celebrating Truck Drivers on Both Sides of the Border

The second week of September is Driver Appreciation Week in the United States celebrating all the things that truck drivers do to keep our store shelves stocked, building materials on route, and cars in our driveways. Canada celebrated Driver Appreciation Week the first week of September.

The celebration weeks were set up to recognize the men and women driving up and down the highways of our Nation hauling goods that most of us take for granted. That bar of soap you just put in your grocery cart, that toothpaste you took off the shelf, or the meat that you will cook for dinner didn’t just appear on the shelf on it’s own. It went from manufacturing facility to distribution centre to the store. As a consumer you see a product on your store shelf and believe it came from the back stock room when in reality it may have traveled hundreds or thousands of miles to get to that moment when you picked it up and placed it in your shopping cart. If the trucks stopped in North America our store shelves would be empty in less than a week.

Truck drivers are the front lines of any trucking company but more importantly are the front lines to our economy. They keep North America moving and some of them take it a step further. Some are known as “Highway Angels” who are not only exceptional at their jobs but have stepped up to help save someone’s life. The Truckload Carriers Association recognizes certain drivers each year that have gone beyond the call of duty and helped someone in need. One such Highway Angel is John Weston a truck driver with Challenger Motor Freight that stayed with an accident victim during the last moments of their life. Weston didn’t think he was doing anything special, but that day hundreds of motorists passed by that same accident and didn’t stop. Being there for someone in their final moments of life is not to be taken lightly. You can read the full story here. http://ttsao.com/2018/03/28/theres-an-angel-among-us/

John Weston-Challenger
Picture by Challenger Motor Freight

As you see those big trucks traveling up and down the road don’t think of us like the gear jamming crazy people that cause havoc on our roadways like much of the public does. Think of us as a hard working group of individuals that are keeping the products you love on the shelf of your favourite store. Think of us like the blood in your body. Trucks are the blood of our economy and without them the economy would die. You may also want to think about truck drivers as the one person that may be willing to stop and help someone at the side of the road.

Thank you to the many men and women truck drivers keeping our economy in tact. We appreciate the hard work that you do and recognize how vital you are to the economy. Thank you!

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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PayBright Sponsors Instructor of the Year Award for 2019

The TTSAO started an award program for the Instructor of the Year at the 2019 Conference and is continuing it again at their 5th Annual Conference in 2020. The Recipient of the Award in 2019 was Joe Teixiera a 30 year veteran of the industry employed with Rosedale Transport.

Paybright-award

Read more about Joe receiving the award here.

PayBright will be sponsoring the award again this year so start thinking about who on your team will be a good fit for the award. Criteria will be coming out soon about the award and thank you to PayBright for sponsoring the award again for the 5th Annual Conference.

TTSAO 2019 Sponsors
PayBright-Instructor of the Year Award Sponsor
TTSAO-5th-Annual-Conference-poster

Learn more about the Conference here!

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Celebrate All Transportation Professionals

In Canada it is currently “Driver Appreciation Week” which is a week where we celebrate truck drivers for the work that they do in getting products on our shelves or materials into the hands of builders. Canada celebrates the first week of September and the United States celebrates the second week of September. We call the weeks ”Driver Appreciation Week” but really we are celebrating everyone in the transportation industry especially those on the front lines.

With that being said I personally feel that we should have a week for each area of transportation. That may also help in showing the public all the areas of transportation and the people behind the scenes. Should we have National Dispatchers Week, National Instructors Week, Load Planning Week, and other areas usually behind the scenes. A trucking company is a small team of dedicated professionals that have to work together to get a load down the road. If the load planners hadn’t arranged the load, then dispatch would not be able to do their job. Without dispatch truck drivers would not have anything to haul. We are all connected.

What about other people in the industry? We are starting to see changes and awards for other professionals in the trucking industry such as instructors, recruiters, and more. The last award winner from the Truck Training School Association of Ontario for Instructor of the Year was Joe Teixeira from Rosedale Transport. Teixeira has been in transportation for over 30 years and is truly dedicated to the transportation industry. He takes training and safety seriously and has been helping in keeping drivers fully trained and safe for many years. Without people like Teixiera and his dedication to safety we may not be celebrating drivers.

Joe-texiera
Joe Teixeira – Instructor of the Year 2018

Should we rename the week? As a former driver I am in no way minimizing the job that the men and women driving have to do everyday. It is a hard and demanding job that requires a level of dedication that much of the general public doesn’t understand. If you asked all of those drivers you will find that there was someone who may or may not have been a driver that has been instrumental in helping shape their career. For myself it has been another driver that taught me to drive in the 80’s, a dispatcher that stood up for her drivers, a terminal manager that made me feel like family, and a company owner that invested in the those that took care of their equipment. They have all played an important part of my life and I still remember the many lessons they taught me.

Thank you to the drivers that go up and down the road each day, but even more thank you to all of you that are in the transportation industry and keep our economy moving. We salute you!

Nominate An Instructor on Your Team
at the 5th Annual TTSAO Conference

PayBright-logo
Instructor of the Year Award Sponsor

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.

find-a-ttsao-school-icon-r2

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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I got my Licence But Can’t Get a Job!

A driver at a recent job fair was complaining that he went to a truck training school and passed his licence but now can’t find a job. I asked him about the school as to whether they were certified or not but he did not know. I asked how long his training was and he said just a few weeks. I asked if he got individual training and he said no it was all in groups. My final question was what are the carriers telling you? He said the carriers weren’t even accepting his resume because of the school. Now we get to the heart of the matter, certified training.

This driver may have attained his licence but because he attended a school that wasn’t certified his resume is not even being accepted. This happens to many drivers trying to take short cuts on their training. They take courses that are not approved as a career college or training facilities that focus on just putting students through the door instead of offering quality training. He may have taken a course that solely focused on driving the training route and passing the road test instead of training a person to know all the tasks and information a professional driver is required to know over the course of their day in the truck.

Many schools that offer low cost courses will take groups of students and train them to pass their licence. They show them basic driving skills, but not the other important details to being a professional driver such as trip planning, hours of service, defensive driving, and other important information that a driver needs to know to build a good career. This comes back to haunt the driver when companies can’t accept their resume based on the school they attended.

Truck training has come under the spotlight in recent years with roadside incidents, the implementation of Mandatory Entry Level Training with verified hours, and a very tight insurance market for carriers that are causing many to only take applications from students that have attended certified training facilities. This means that a student has to look at the carrier and training facility together when determining the best place for training. Many carriers suggest a student talk to them directly to see what schools they deal with so they know that the company will be satisfied with the training and accept their application.

What do you do if you are like our driver friend with a licence but no one seems to be interested in accepting your resume? If you’re in this situation there are a few steps you can try. Some may work based on the person or may cost more money to get you to a state where your training is sufficient.

  • Talk to past companies that you applied with to learn exactly why they wouldn’t accept your resume. They may offer information that can improve your chances next time.
  • Some carriers will invest in the right people if the person is motivated and presents themselves properly. Show a carrier your ambition and they may take a chance on helping you upgrade and learn.
  • Talk to a certified training school and find out how much it will cost to upgrade. Many will offer the training you need and can help you get that certified training helping you gain employment.
  • Look to the larger carriers with affiliate training programs through certified schools and see if they can help you with employment and upgrading.

The best way to avoid the problem in the first place is to choose a certified school and talk to potential carriers before taking your training so that you don’t fall into this problem and get the proper training for your career. Remember training is an investment not a cost. Good luck!

find-a-ttsao-school-icon-r2

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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Preparing for a Carrier Road Evaluation

“People just aren’t prepared! I get drivers who show up and think we will give them a safety vest, hammer, gloves, and other equipment which they should have with them. New candidates seem to think that we will supply that for them, but those are the basics of being prepared for a road test. You are expected to bring that with you on a road test with our company” said the recruiter.

Safety professionals with the company conducting road tests have the right to terminate a road test at any time if they feel safety is compromised on the road. This recruiter tells the story of a driver that was on a road test and began to get road rage while performing the test. He was fine on the highway, but when driving in a city environment his attitude changed. The test was terminated part way through with the trainer driving the truck back to the yard.

A road test is more than just testing driving skills, they are also testing your knowledge when conducting an inspection, and how you interact with customers on the job. They are testing your professionalism, dress when showing up for work, and of course they are testing your driving skills. The most important test which may not be on paper but is part of your test is your ATTITUDE! Your attitude is the most important piece of the puzzle and success when trying to get hired on with carriers. Are you willing to learn, listen, and improve over time.

People show up at the company not realizing that they will see a company representative while filling out an application. “This recruiter says, “We have a process that a team member is called when an applicant arrives at our location. If available we try to meet the person right away to get a feel for them before scheduling an interview. I am always amazed how many drivers weren’t expecting to see anyone when applying.”

If you are looking for a position as a driver in transportation realize you are expected to be able to do certain things and first impressions count. Give yourself a professional makeover before heading out into the landscape of transportation.

Here are some points to go over before
heading out to your next interview.

  • Is your resume in good order, neat and clean?
  • Do you have your own safety equipment?
  • Do you look professional?
  • Are you prepared to conduct a proper pre-trip inspection?
  • Have you researched the company and know the type of operation they have?
  • Do you have the proper documents the recruiter requires?

Go through this checklist before each interview or road test and you will be well on your way to being successful when applying on the job front.

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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Experience the Pride of Trucking through Summer Truck Shows

Summer is a great time to get a view of the trucking industry that not everyone may notice on the road in everyday situations. I almost feel as though there are two different versions of truck drivers going on when I attend events in the industry. There are the public’s view of road raged truckers and then there are the dedicated drivers that show off the passion of the industry such as at the outdoor truck shows.

I wander around these shows talking to drivers and thinking about all the things I’ve heard over the years from the public. Comments like, “truck drivers are just holding up traffic” or “truck drivers look sloppy and don’t care as they drive junk equipment up and down the road.” There is such a disconnect between what I know in the industry and what the public believes about the transportation industry and truck drivers in general. If only we can show the public what most of us know in the industry already, the pride of the industry is strong. We just need to show that to the public.

There used to be one or two large shows in the past that drew all the attention and slowly changed from quality truck shows to music concerts. After those shows shut down many smaller shows started up again and now there are many shows across the region focused on the trucks and pride in the industry. These small shows are the perfect place to get people out to see the pride of the industry. Many of the show organizers are focused on the driver and the trucks and what much of the public doesn’t realize is that these shows are often helping out great causes such as special needs athletes or cancer research. They hold raffles, donations, contests, and many other programs to raise money for their favourite charity and truck drivers step up every time. The shows also bring traffic into local towns helping out establishments in the community through sales from the public. I bet much of the public doesn’t know that the trucks and truck drivers they complain about on the road are the same people helping their communities.

When you go to a truck show you see the real pride of the industry. You see drivers that have spent weeks cleaning their trucks to show quality. You see drivers giving their own time and including their families into an industry they love. You see camaraderie from drivers that you don’t see in any truck stop helping each other when needed. You see organizers working with small teams with no other goal than to give back to the industry and causes they love.

I have been attending truck shows for many years and that pride has been consistent throughout. Whether it is old trucks from the past or custom rides from now or the future there is a definite pride in trucking that the industry seems to see, we just need to show everyone else.

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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Concrete Ontario Joins the TTSAO Membership

The TTSAO would like to welcome Concrete Ontario as a new Associate Member with the association.

Concrete Ontario (Ready Mixed Concrete Association of Ontario) was formed in 1959 to act in the best interest of Ontario’s ready mixed concrete producers and the industry in general. It is fully funded by the membership (Active and Associate) and provides a broad range of services designed to benefit its members and the industry in general.

Concrete Ontario provides a world class plant certification to all its members. The Association is active in a number of areas of the industry including new concrete and admixture technologies, education and training of our clients, environmental stewardship and ongoing partnerships with many industry partners.

Concrete Ontario

Contact: Bart Kanters – President

Email: bkanters@concreteontario.org

Address: 1 Prologis Blvd – Suite 102B Mississauga ON L5W 0G2

Phone: 905-564-2726

Fax: 905-564-5680

Website: www.rmcao.org

TTSAO-logo-2018
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Starting a Trucking School Includes More Than Just Buying a Truck

“I want to start a trucking school.” This is a statement heard recently at a truck show from a driver that was getting tired of the road and wanted to slow down in his career. He had some people interested in his local area and thought it may be a good way to continue his trucking career and be home more. ”I can just buy a truck, get some customers, and I would be all set”,he said. “How hard can it be?”

As our population grows older and drivers begin to look for ways to retire while keeping income coming in opportunities such as opening a small school or doing training on the side look more appealing. In fact we have many former drivers in the industry that have gone on to open consulting businesses, become truck driver trainers, or other home stationed positions in the industry. Anyone running their own trucking school can tell you it’s not as easy as it looks. A driver may have the experience of the road but that is just one piece of the puzzle to a successful school. Many drivers find out that their experience in the truck is not as easy to translate to students when standing in front of them in class.

TTSAO December 11th Meeting

What does it take to start your own truck driver training school?

You’ve decided that you want to start your own school, so what do you need to do? The first thing you want to look at before certifications, trucks, or anything else required is to decide on the type of school you will open. Will it be a fly by night school that is focused on a quick buck and the shortest courses possible? Will it be a proper certified school that operates with integrity and class? Both options are possible but only one is suggested. If you’re getting into operating a truck driving school for a quick buck then keep looking at business opportunities because a school is not for you.

Assuming you were to open a certified facility with proper integrity and courses then there are a number of things you have to do before you can even open the doors. Having all the documentation and information required is the first step in the process. This step can take months or years as you develop course material, attain insurance and other requirements for the training centre. Once you have that set up you have to register your course information with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to be registered as a Private Career College. After you have got those steps completed you may then want to apply for memberships with organizations such as the Truck Training School Association of Ontario. Marketing and other processes for a successful business begin at this point and have nothing to do with truck driving but will take time, money, and skills most drivers don’t have.

Start an Accredited School with TTSAO

You can get an official list of requirements on the TTSAO website-click here!

I can tell you from experience as a trainer in the industry that I have seen many drivers have trouble transitioning from life on the road to standing in front of a class of students. It can be done but it isn’t as easy as people think. If you are thinking of opening a training facility please do it with integrity and safety in mind. We have enough crazy drivers on the road and we don’t need a facility putting more bad drivers onto our highways. Good luck and make sure you do the proper homework for a successful school.

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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Licence Renewal-Patience and Focus are the Key

As a commercial driver you will be required to be retested for renewal of your licence on a regular basis based on your age and the licence classes you have registered. This is usually accompanied by a medical and if you are not successful in passing the tests required your licence will be downgraded from the commercial class to the basic non-commercial driver’s licence. This can be a stressful time if you haven’t taken the time to prepare properly especially if your licence is required for your job.

I recently had to renew my commercial licence and prepared as I have for the last 35 years even when I was driving. I bought the books, reread each chapter, and prepared mentally for the day. Leave lots of time, clear your head, and be focused is what I would get in my mind each year. Many laugh when I say I buy the books each time when I teach most of the elements in those books but it has been part of my routine for a long time and it is how I prepare each time. The reason is more for terminology than the process. There are many phrases and names used on the tests and in the book that we don’t use in the industry on a regular basis. If you use the slang of the industry all the time you may not understand the terminology on the test. With Mandatory Entry Level Testing being implemented since my last testing I thought they may have added some information about the program so buying the books seemed like a good idea.

I felt comfortable going in to the Drive Test Centre to renew the licence. I had left a whole afternoon for the test so that I wasn’t in a hurry and could take my time without thinking I should be somewhere else. My first thought when going to these testing centres is how long will I be there. You take a ticket and wait and in some centres it may take all afternoon just to get in line for the test.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the centre not overly busy and staff organized. I was called right away to begin the process and the staff was helpful and happy. I completed the required vision test and then was told to enter the testing room and take computer number four. Now this is where things changed for me. I have my tractor trailer licence, my coach licence, and my air brake licence so that is three tests that I have to write. The last time I was in to renew my licences I received a two page paper test for each licence class and didn’t realize they had changed over to computers for the testing.

Computer testing

Using the computers wasn’t a problem, but any unexpected change can throw a person off. The rules are the same as you are allowed a certain number of questions wrong in order to pass as they were in the past. The questions weren’t overly tough but I find you really had to pay attention to what they were asking. The multiple choice questions are designed to throw you off and I did get one wrong because the number I saw was for something else as I didn’t read the question close enough. The questions are delivered randomly and are the same over multiple tests of similar classes. When I thought I was answering questions about the coach I had answered that same question previously in the tractor trailer test. You never really knew which test you were on, but other than that the process was easy enough.

If you are wondering how I did I can tell you I passed all the tests. If I can offer a piece of advice for anyone taking the tests is to have patience and take your time focusing on each question. Once you have selected an answer you can’t go back and correct it. Patience and focus are the key!

find-a-ttsao-school-icon-r2

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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