Tag Archives: Truck Training Schoolsof Association

Should you work for a carrier based on here-say?

Should you work for a carrier
based on here-say?

I was reading some posts the other day from beginning drivers in the United States talking about the type of carrier they wanted to work for and I found it interesting to view the conversation from someone within the industry. The chat was really about large carriers in the States which will remain nameless, but you would instantly know from social media. The conversation started with who should you work for and quickly went into why you wouldn’t want to work for different companies based on what people thought was important to them.


The first part of the conversation was by a young person that didn’t want to be employed by a certain carrier because they have been seen on social media having many incidents and are the laughing stock of the industry.

The second part of the conversation started on another large carrier that a person saw many of their trucks drive through their small town so they figured they would get home regularly. When they called the Recruiting department they were told that their lanes didn’t go through that town very often and they would not get home. They were advised to move to another area and the person asked if the carrier would pick up the tab for the move? The carrier responded, “Once you move give us a call.” Needless to say the person wasn’t impressed with the answer.

The third part of the conversation moved to another carrier also large and well known but with a different twist. This carrier I have known for much of my driving career and was always impressed with their trucks. The conversation went to fact that this carrier did inspections on the inside cabs of their trucks and if they found it dirty they would charge the drivers a fine. One person commented that half his fleet would be on death row if they did inspections at his fleet, I thought that was funny. The complaint was that the person that started the company was a retired Colonel from the military and was very strict with their equipment. I believe you can be as strict as you want when you fit the bill for $100,000 piece of equipment, just saying. Like I said before they have a very good looking fleet so that says something.

There was one common denominator in all of these comments and stories, no one that was commenting had ever worked for these carriers. Everything was based on one person’s idea of the company or what they heard or saw on social media. Even the person that talked to the recruiter and wasn’t happy with the answers didn’t talk to another driver from that company. They either took information from social media, thought advertisements offered all the facts, and took advice from others that aren’t in the industry. There was even a comment about someone that drives and stays out for six months at a time and then goes home for a week. If you think that is the norm in trucking you’re wrong! That may be that person’s personal choice which is fine, but you can’t then go and say that all truck drivers stay out for six months on the road.

If you are looking into a job in the trucking industry do your homework but do it from trusted sources. Listen to shows on the trucking industry, read respectable publications from the industry, and ask questions from people with actual experience. As they say in the movies, “Get the facts, just the facts!” If you are looking for quality carriers that hire new drivers check out the TTSAO Carrier Group.


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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Vagans Inc. joins TTSAO Associate Members.

Vagans Inc. has joined the TTSAO Associate Members Group. Welcome Vagans Inc and you can learn more about them at


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Wesbell Logisitcs Joins the TTSAO Carrier Group

Wesbell Logistics has joined the TTSAO Carrier Group. Welcome Wesbell to the group and you can learn more about them on their website.



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Improve Your Confidence During Road Check

Improve Your Confidence
During Road Check

If you’re new to the industry you may not understand what “Road Check” is for drivers. Road Check has been going on for many years and is an enforcement initiative across North America. Each year usually in the first week of June the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) conduct a 72 hour blitz of inspections throughout the United States and Canada. This inspection blitz is to show the public that enforcement officials take safety seriously in the transportation industry. The CVSA is made up of Police agencies, Department of Transport inspectors, Ministry of Transportation inspectors, and other agencies aligned with safety and enforcement in North America.

opp crusier

What does that mean for the new driver?

As a new driver you don’t necessarily have to do anything different but understand that more eyeballs will be watching you while on the roadways. If you are still in a training facility this is a good time to review your notes and focus on your inspection process to get it down to a fine system. If you don’t understand something go back and ask those questions to your trainer or mentor.

If you are working for a carrier already then doing proper inspections and if possible have a mechanic go over the truck with you if you are new to the equipment. Go over the vehicle twice to ensure you haven’t missed any important components. Having a proper system for inspections and using a checklist are paramount for inspection success.

Not yet in a training facility?  Find a training provider near you.

Find a TTSAO Certified School in your area

What does Road Check mean for the seasoned driver?

If you are an experienced driver then you may be more at risk with Road Check than someone in training. A person in training will most likely have a qualified instructor with them helping them should they miss an item during an inspection. An experienced driver won’t have that extra set of eyeballs to help ensure they don’t miss any components. If you think of it the inspectors are not looking for student run vehicles because they know that those should be in good condition to begin with. Inspectors are looking for drivers that have become complacent and have stopped inspecting their vehicles properly.

Try these tips for success during Road Check

There are many things you can do to get through Road Check without too much trouble. The first tip is to get organized. Have a system for everything you do which will help you not miss items. This year Road Check is focused on Hours of Service which means they will be paying extra attention to your log book or Electronic Logging Device. That doesn’t mean they won’t be checking brakes, lights and anything else attached to the truck.

The second tip is to take that extra time and do a proper inspection. Inspect every component of your truck and ensure it is in top shape. If possible have a second set of eyes such as a mechanic go over important items and create a solid system for inspections that offer you confidence while on the road. If you go into an inspection station with confidence it is a first step to being a professional driver.

Good luck with Road Check and if you work for a quality carrier that believes in safety then you shouldn’t have trouble during programs like Road Check. This program happens every year so it shouldn’t be a surprise.

Looking for a quality carrier? Check out the TTSAO Carrier Group TTSAO-Carrier-Group-banner

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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PHS Truck and Training Service joins TTSAO family of schools

The TTSAO is happy to announce the addition of PHS Truck and Training Service to the family of TTSAO Acredited Schools. Welcome PHS and you can learn more about them at www.phstraining.ca

PHS Truck and Training Service

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Thinking of changing careers? Now is the time!

Thinking of changing careers?
Now is the time!

Recently the Truck Training School Association of Ontario (TTSAO) had a Hiring Event for those looking at the transportation industry as a viable career choice. The transportation industry is desperately looking for people to fill the seats of trucks and many other positions in the industry. In fact predictions from industry experts is that if we don’t get more people into the industry very soon there may be big consequences and price hikes for items on our store shelves. It has also been reported that the driver shortage is partially responsible for raising the rates in the industry for drivers. So if you were thinking of making that career switch, want to fill that dream of driving on the open road, or are tired of being laid off time after time then transportation may be the place for you?

TTSAO Hiring Event 2018

People often look at the transportation industry in different ways and that can scare some off for the wrong reasons. Look at the news and you would think that all truck drivers are out to wreak havoc and mayhem on the roads. If you have had a truck tailgate you then you may think trucks are driven by wild people. Sure we have a few bad apples but for an industry that touches every part of people’s lives on the whole we do pretty well.

Over my 25 year career driving trucks I have seen more good men and women behind the wheel than what the media shows to the public. I have seen dedicated people travel through all kinds of conditions to reach places most people don’t even know exist. Without the drivers there would be no food on the shelves, parts for your car, or building materials for those new homes. Without trucks we would have very few exports as steel and lumber are our most popular exports to the United States and other Countries. So if you don’t think truck driving is an important job think again. Let’s get to the real point because I know very few drivers got into the industry to serve our Country although that’s what they’re doing.

People get into trucking for many reasons but stay because of the people, the work, and the opportunities. If you have ever worked in manufacturing or similar work you know that much of that work can come with layoffs at varying times or can be monotonous work. Transportation offers you some degree of independence, different environments on a daily basis, and the opportunity to meet new people, and see out wonderful Country.

TTSAO Hiring Event 2018

At the latest TTSAO Hiring Event there were a large variety of carriers with work from city operations to long haul highway operations. You could get into the bus industry with a carrier like Greyhound, multiple carrier types in the trucking industry, or maintenance opportunities for mechanics and repair professionals.

There have never been so many opportunities in the industry as there are today. Investing in training for your chosen field can offer you a lifetime of opportunities for your career. If you’re not sure how to get started the best way is to contact one of the TTSAO schools listed in your area and meet them to learn more about the industry. If you are ready for a career change there is no time like the present!Find a TTSAO Certified School in your area

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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Photos from the TTSAO Hiring Event

The TTSAO held their first Hiring Event last Saturday with a strong turnout from industry. Thank you to all that turned out and here are some pictures from the event.

All the jobs didn’t get taken at this event so check out our Carrier Group and apply today!


About the TTSAO

The TTSAO envisions that through the co-operation and joint efforts of all schools involved and the industry itself, specific standards and educational programs can be set for drivers that will not only prove more realistic but much more effective than those currently being put into place by various government agencies.

For more information on the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario please email ttsao@ttsao.com or call 1-866-475-9436 or visit www.ttsao.com

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TTSAO Put Hold on $40 Cap Stakeholders Meeting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, May 17, 2018 – Hamilton, ON: The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) Board of Directors decided recently to postpone the industry stakeholders meeting that was originally set for June 19th in Toronto. With the upcoming election the government now enters into “caretaker” mode. The TTSAO was advised by Ministry of Advanced Training and Skills Development (MAESD) officials they could not participate in the June 19th industry stakeholders meeting until the new government was elected and out of caretaker’s mode. Although there were over 50 stakeholders willing to participate in the meeting the Board of Directors felt it would be in the best interest of all parties to wait until MAESD could actively participate. Since the fall of 2017, the TTSAO has been corresponding and meeting with the MAESD to increase the cap that is put on tuition for commercial truck driving schools in the Province of Ontario.

ttsao stakeholders meeting

The TTSAO has been supported by the Insurance industry, Carriers and industry associations such as the Private Motor Truck Council (PMTC) and the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) all who agree that the tuition cap needs to be raised. The $40.00 Cap has been in place since the fall of 2009 and continues to put tremendous financial pressure on educational facilities who offer commercial driver training. The TTSAO membered schools are a major resource and pipeline of employment to the transportation industry. TTSAO schools graduate thousands of commercial drivers annually and are a major resource to companies hiring entry level professional drivers.

PMTC President, and TTSO Board member, Mike Millian corresponded to MAESD in November of 2017 and said “do we really want to risk sending these new drivers into the industry unprepared and trained on outdated equipment and with underpaid instructors? If we do not address the $40.00 Cap, this is exactly what we are at risk of doing, as schools will be forced to close their doors or find was to cut costs to stay in business”.

Also supporting the hike in tuition is the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA). Stephen Laskowski, OTA President says “It is important that Ontario creates incentives for Second Career applicants when they select truck driver training as an occupation. The introduction of MELT, combined with a 2009 Government of Ontario decision to restrict Second Career funding for truck driver training to $40.00 per hour, there exists a significant barrier to entry for Second Career applicants into our sector.”

At previous meetings with MAESD the TTSAO outlined the increases of costs including; fuel, maintenance, insurance, wages, rent, utilities and government audits. The $40.00 Cap no longer covers the cost of Mandatory Entry Level Driver Training for Class A Drivers, imposed on Truck Training Facilities. Overall costs have gone up in some areas as high as 40%. Lisa Arseneau, Chairperson of the TTSAO Insurance Group, which is represented by most of the commercial insures responsible for writing truck insurance, has attended all meetings with MAESD on behalf of the insurance companies and has also corresponded with MAESD, “we have reviewed documentation supplied by the TTSAO which provides evidence that current fees cannot support the ongoing and rising expenses associated with training and producing quality drivers. If the cap is not addressed we expect that, over time, despite all the efforts from the truck training schools, our new drivers will not be as qualified and this will increase in the number of accidents on our roads as well as the severity of those loses”.

Ed Popkie, President of 5th Wheel Training Institute and a TTSAO board member, participated in the original meeting with MAESD and says “Since November 2009, PCC’s have had their Truck Driver programs capped at $40 per hour by Service Ontario’s Second Career Funding.  The same is not true for Community College Truck Driver programs, where no Second Career hourly funding cap exists.  It’s time to make funding for Second Career the same regardless of whether Truck Driver training is offered by a PCC or a Community College.”

The TTSAO looks forward to rescheduling the stakeholder’s meeting as soon as the government is out of caretaker mode and MAESD is able to attend.

For more information visit www.ttsao.com or contact:

Charlie Charalambous – Director of Communications and Public Relations – TTSAO, TTSAO Board of Director – ccharalambous@isbc.ca or (905) 699 – 8837

Lisa Arseneau – Commercial Producer – Staebler Insurance, Chairperson TTSAO Insurance Group, TTSAO Board of Director – larseneau@staebler.com or (519) 743-5882

Mike Millian – President, Private Motor Truck Council of Canada, TTSAO Board of Director – Office: 905-827-0587, Cell: 519-932-0902 or by email at trucks@pmtc.ca

Ed Popkie – President, 5th Wheel Training Institute, TTSAO Board of Director epopkie@5wti.com or 888-701-8759








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DriveWise Attains Accredited School Status

DriveWise has attained the Accredited School Certification and is now part of the Certified Schools family with the TTSAO. DriveWise has been a long time training partner and Associate Member of TTSAO. You can learn more about DriveWise on their website at www.drivewisesafety.com

Congratulations DriveWise.


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Choosing the Right Job Based on Your Skills

Choosing the Right Job Based on Your Skills

The transportation industry is one of the largest industries in North America. The amount of people employed ranges in the millions and the type of work available fits every skill set. With such a large workforce and with so many different positions available how do you know what type of work is the best for you. Do you choose a job by money, location, type of work, job title, or a host of other criteria? Do you take a position based on hierarchy? All of these questions come to mind for someone new to the industry and unfortunately there is no one answer. If you ask most people already the industry they will tell you, “It depends”. What does that mean?


When I started in the industry I was seventeen years old and didn’t even know what a truck was. My family had never had anything to do with the trucking industry, I didn’t have friends in the industry, I didn’t even know there was an industry. I just needed a job and started working for a company in the moving industry. That was at seventeen and I am now fifty-five years old and my career has more twists and turns than I can count and not one of them was on my goal list or suggested career path. I didn’t talk to a career counselor, I didn’t see where I would end up in the future, I just needed a job.

My career path looks like this; helper carrying furniture onto trucks, furniture driver with a “D” licence, furniture driver with an “A” licence, owner operator, city driver, long haul driver, specialized delivery driver, dispatcher, fleet supervisor, industry columnist, industry cartoonist, industry author, social media expert, transportation consultant, podcast host, television host, and entrepreneur. Every one of those positions have involved the transportation industry and still do to this day. If you look at the path after columnist the other jobs didn’t even exist so there is no way I could have said I was going to be a podcast host. For me the best thing I ever did was just get started in the industry and take opportunities as they appealed to me going through my career and I would suggest the same for most if they have some ambition.

If you are unlike me and prefer not to leave your career to chance there are some things you can do to choose the right position for you. You have to look at three things; the type of work you like to do, the type of work you are good at doing, and the type of training you have acquired.

The type of work you like to do?

The first place to start when looking for a position in the industry is to figure out the type of work you would like to do? Do you like to drive and see the Country? Then a long haul driving job may be good for you? Do you like to talk to people or have a great personality then a recruiting job may be best suited to you? Are you organized and enjoy fast-paced environments then a position as a dispatcher may be your calling? Like to fix things and tinker with machinery then a mechanic job may be best for you? Look at what interests you and start from there when choosing a position.

The type of work you’re good at doing?

The next area to look into is what type of work are you good at doing? Many of us have a natural talent for a certain type of work. Some people are good at administration and others hate it. Some are good at fixing things and others don’t like getting grease on their hands. Think about what you are good at doing and look for jobs that fit those skills.

The type of training you have acquired?

Have you had existing training in a particular area? If so that can be extremely valuable in helping direct you in a certain career. If you have had safety training in the past that may help guide you towards a position in the safety department. Lots of training is available in the industry so past training isn’t a necessity but can be very helpful if you have already achieved a certain skill set.

So if you are looking for a job or investigating a new career then the transportation holds many opportunities. The Truck Training School Association of Ontario (TTSAO) is holding a career fair on May 26th in the Mississauga area. You can learn more about the TTSAO Hiring Event by clicking the link below. Get out there and find the career for you!

Check out the TTSAO Hiring Event


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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