Tag Archives: truck drivers.

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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Metro Truck Driving School Sponsors TTSAO 5th Annual Conference

Metro Truck Driving School will be a school sponsor for the next TTSAO Conference happening in February. Thank you Metro for your support.

Metro-School-Logo
School Sponsor

Metro Truck Driving School was established in early 1989.

Metro Truck Driving School prepares the students to obtain licenses for driving trucks as well as buses. The founders of the school are Krzysztof Cierpich and Andrzej Cierpich.

The school, at present time, has over 20 employees and professional instructors. The equipment is changed and brought on regular bases to assure the highest standards in the industry and also serve as a competitor to other training institutions. Learn more about Metro Truck driving school here

TTSAO-5th-Annual-Conference-poster
Become a sponsor of the conference.

Learn more about the conference here

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CHET Will be a Booth Sponsor at the 5th annual TTSAO Conference

Commercial Heavy Equipment Training (CHET) has come on as a Booth Sponsor for the 5th Annual TTSAO Conference in February 2020. Thank you CHET.

CHET-150-2016
Booth Sponsor

CHET is approved as a Private Career College (PCC) under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005. We are able to grant T2202 federal tax receipts making our courses entirely tax deductible. We are a proud member of the Truck Training Schools Associations of Ontario (TTSAO) which allows us to issue their certificate recognized by the insurance industry. Learn more about CHET here!

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Become a sponsor of the next conference

Learn more about the conference by clicking here!

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Build Your Truck Training School Business for 2020

Happy New Year from the TTSAO. The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario ( TTSAO) would like to wish you a safe and successful new year and all the best for 2020.

Speaking of 2020 the TTSAO is working hard to make our industry better from a training standpoint and we have a number of initiatives on the go which we will talk about in a minute. Time is moving faster and now is the time to get your training business in gear and ahead of the competition by learning new and interesting ways to market your business. In order to do that you need to know which way the industry is going.

If we had a crystal ball we would all be able to change our business models to be successful, but unfortunately life isn’t like that. There is a way for you to learn about the changes in the industry and hot topics that will help you focus your training business for the future and that’s at the TTSAO Conference. Every year the TTSAO holds a conference and usually the topics covered are initiatives or points of discussion that need attention in the industry. What’s hot this year?

TTSAO Conference 2018
Lou Smyrlis

Lou Smyrlis of Newcom Media is a leader when it comes to trends in the industry and where we seem to be heading. Smyrlis will be talking about changes coming up in 2020 and trends happening in the industry which are a great way to adjust your marketing and business for the future. You can learn more about Lou Smyrlis here.

Quality training is important for everyone especially carriers. When a training school completes the training with a student that student is then hired by a carrier that will finish the training with a good finishing program. The student must have those basics in order to be successful in a career as a professional driver and that’s where a good school comes in. Philip Fletcher of Commercial Heavy Equipment Training and Dave MacDonald of Revolution Staffing will be offering information on how to ensure your program is inline with carriers for a successful student transition.

Foreign workers and female truck drivers have been in the forefront for couple of years and is still in front as the industry struggles to bring in new people and both of those topics are being discussed in depth at the next conference. Vikram Khurana is an expert in International Recruiting and will be offering information on how we can bring foreign workers into the industry successfully.

Picture-Vikram-Khurana
Vikram Khurana

Helen Thorpe will be one of the panelists talking about women in the industry and how they can have successful careers in an industry that is predominately male. Thorpe has had a successful career in the industry and is looked at as a leader for women in trucking. You can learn about Helen Thorpe here.

Helen Thorpe
Helen Thorpe

Instructor qualifications are leading many discussions these days as the industry tries to create a uniform presence across the Country. Last year Joe Teixeira was the first recipient of the Instructor of the Year Award and a new recipient will be awarded this year. The award meant a-lot to Teixeira and helped his carrier with new ways of promoting their brand. View the qualifications by clicking the requirement file here.

Instructor of the Year

Technology and marketing will round out the hot topics as we look to how those trends affect students and the industry as a whole. Vickie Devos of iMVR will lead a panel on technology in the industry and tips on business and marketing will be talked about with Audra Thompson of Northbridge Insurance and Scott Rea of Avatar Fleet Services. Hopefully this will help you devise a successful plan for the future for your training location. As you can see we don’t have crystal ball but the next best thing are experts in the industry offering information to help you be successful. You can learn about the TTSAO 5th Annual Conference by clicking here.

Save your seat for the conference by clicking here.

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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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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Are You Creating Your career Opportunity?

Is it time to treat yourself to a gift? It’s amazing how many people go through life doing the same job or working in the same capacity and never think about moving up or changing their career environment. We often go through life doing the same job everyday hoping that
someone will notice our hard work and offer us change to a better opportunity. Sometimes that can take years for someone to notice your hard work among the other employees at the company and management still may not see you as right for the job. The secret to making this happen is to create the opportunity.
This happened to me back in 2003. I had been a truck driver for over 20 years at this point and was looking to move out of the truck. I had been at the company for over 9 years and one of the reasons I moved to the company in the first place was to advance in my career. The change to the company itself was an advance but I now felt ready for the next step. I had decided a year before to go back to school to learn some new skills and clean up my educational
background. I took a number of courses in technology, business, and other interesting career courses to help build my education for the future. At the same time the company was upgrading their technology and moving managers and supervisors to different departments. Things changed and I found myself with the opportunity to be supervisor of the same fleet that I had worked for as a driver for many years. As it turned out I got the job beating out another driver that had a long standing career with many more years of experience. The reason he didn’t get the job even after I threw my support behind him is that he hadn’t upgraded his computer skills and the company was changing in technology.

Man driving tractor

You have to create opportunities in your life and career. There are too many people looking for that promotion for you to standby in the shadows hoping someone will notice you. When I went back to school people noticed my ambition, asked about courses I was taking, and were impressed with the determination of working harder than the next person. I didn’t quit my job to do this as there are many flexible courses online or at local establishments allowing you to work around your current job hours. This is the perfect time of year to start thinking about upgrading your skills for the new year. Whether for yourself or someone in your family giving them the gift of training can be the best thing you can give. Check out the video below on the career of Joe Teixeira.

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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Human Trafficking Hot Topic in Trucking

Human trafficking is a hot topic in trucking and the Government of Canada. We often feel that Canada is immune to issues we hear South of the Border but in reality Canada is a leader in cargo crime only behind California and is now becoming increasingly a problem with other crimes such as human trafficking. Human trafficking has been increasing since 2009 and usually involves women from 20-30 that end up working in the sex trade. The Globe and Mail recently wrote an article about the issue which you can read by clicking the link. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/toronto/article-more-than-30-people-arrested-in-multi-province-human-trafficking/

An increase in crimes such as cargo theft is a sign that other crimes may be increasing in other areas. Cargo crime specialist Todd Moore of ISB Global Services has presented many times on cargo securement and says that general cargo crimes are seed money for other crimes with human trafficking being one of them. Organized crime is behind much of the cargo crime in Canada and as mentioned in the article above by the Globe and Mail organized crime is also behind human trafficking showing a constant link that I am sure is strong signal to law enforcement.

With an increase of refugees and other immigration issues at the forefront human trafficking has been increasing around the World. Truck drivers are often used in these crimes as was reported with people found in trucks in England, the United States, and Canada with refugees trying to escape their homelands.

Past presentations I have seen on human trafficking include being aware of those in public locations such as truck stops being aware of those that may look like they are being controlled by someone else, frightened, or being watched from afar. Lately the people being trafficked have been found in the back of trailers so now the focus has been on people buying large amounts of products like water, food, or other supplies as a possibility to human trafficking.

trucks-crossing-border

If you are interested in learning more about human trafficking and how it may be affecting your operation or the industry in general the Truck Training School Association of Ontario will be hosting a presentation on human trafficking by Heather Fry, Canadian Director of Truckers Against Trafficking, and Jim Dimech of Praxair Canada Inc on what can be done about the issue and what agencies are doing about the problem. Here is the press release for the event on December 11th, 2019.

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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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/

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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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!

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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