Tag Archives: Truck Training Schoolsof Association

Trucking for the Right Reasons

There is a certain wonder about life on the road and how people cope. People wonder about truckers in the trucking industry such as where they go, who they see, and how they handle the loneliness. We wonder the same thing about nomads, caravaners, and other people that seem to float from place to place not knowing what the next turn will bear. To some it is romantic and to others it is as scary as walking down a dark street at two in the morning.

I recently read an article from a young person thinking about getting into the trucking industry who currently worked from home and felt they had no social life. He didn’t get out to see people and was becoming bored with his job. This person felt that getting a job as a truck driver would change the loneliness and make their life more exciting. The question is, is that the proper reason to get into the trucking industry?

Another situation that arises is when someone takes a driving trip for vacation decides they like to drive and wants to move into the transportation industry. Driving on vacation and driving for work are two different things. Vacation is great for seeing the sights and enjoying the many great places across the Country. It is not always possible to do that in trucking.

The reasons above are what people tell us many times in conversation as to why they may want to get into the trucking industry. It may be a start but is not enough to begin a career without some more investigation into the lifestyle. If we take the scenarios above we will see that for the first person the reason of getting out of the house may be a first step to looking at the industry, but have they thought about life on the road as a whole. Life on the road is not for everyone and the driving is just one part of the job. Many drivers suffer from loneliness as well so trucking may or may not be the answer.

Driver-in-truck

In the second scenario a driving holiday is a beautiful way to see the beauty of North America with family and friends. You can stop when you want, drive to important monuments, and take your time enjoying the surroundings. You can do that in a truck as well but you may not have the time or access to go to certain places.

So how do you decide on a job in transportation? The scenarios above may be a good start to thinking about being in trucking but you need to look at the job and lifestyle as a whole. I think the trucking industry has a lot to offer any person whether in a truck or not but is also not for everyone. You do get to see the Country and you can see others on the road, but it can be a drastic change to people coming into the industry without the knowledge of the lifestyle. The best place to start the conversation about trucking is with a carrier or trucking school. An even better place to start is at www.ttsao.com

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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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3 Tips to Consider Before You Start Team Driving

There are many opportunities in our industry for people to run as teams and there are also many things to consider before you enter into a team operation as it can be a good and bad experience depending on the people involved. Understanding what team driving is and how it works should be the first step in deciding on being part of a team.

Benefits of Team Driving

I have run team a couple of times throughout my career and both times were with people I knew very well. The benefits of working in a team operation are usually money, camaraderie, and faster turn around times on trips. Team operations usually get paid for every mile of the trip whether driving or sleeping. A single driver may get paid 50 cents per mile for every mile they drive but not when stopped or sleeping. In a team operation one person drives and the other sleeps and both team members would get 25 cents per mile the whole time the truck is rolling.

If you are a husband and wife team and both have an interest in trucking then team driving is very popular. Many feel as though they are on vacation and stay out for long periods of time to enjoy the many amazing places in North America.

Teams usually driver far distances because they can keep driving and the truck doesn’t need to stop. You can drive double the distances in half the time of a single driver operation which is why it is so attractive for new people. If you make more money, turn a trip around faster, and have someone with you on the road that you enjoy then what is the downside to team driving?

What to Consider Before Team Driving

Team driving may sound like an attractive option, but there are also many things to consider before jumping into this type of arrangement. You have to really know who you are driving with while trusting them as a driver and their skills behind the wheel. Here are three things you should consider before team driving.

Safety First

Neglecting safety in any operation is bad but neglecting it in team driving can get you killed. You will be sleeping in a moving vehicle while the other person is driving at highway speeds. Are you comfortable with that and can trust that they can handle situations on the road confidently and safely. There have been many accidents in the history of trucking with team members when things went wrong. The team operations that I have seen successfully operate is where both members have strong driving skills with experience behind the wheel. Both team members need to have a safe driving mindset. Safety first!

Personality

Even the largest truck can seem small after a few days on the road and you will be with your partner 24 hours a day. Not only do you need to get along but you need to work together as a team. If one person has to clean up after the other then the operation will go down hill fast. Like minded personalities is a good start but that will only take you so far before you get tired of that person. This is why husband and wife teams work well because there is a stronger connection to each other. Make sure you get along with the other person.

Personal Time and Expenses

We all need time off, but you want to think about your personal time off. Even though a team operation can turn trips faster they also travel longer distances. If you are the type of person that needs to be home during the week or home often then team driving may not be for you.
If the team operation is owner operator based then expenses are something that should be considered. Two people eating on the road can add up quickly and if the operation is employer / employee based with one person paying expenses it may be costing you more money to operate.

Team operations can be good and bad as it really depends on the people. Spouse based teams seem to do well and many enjoy the road making the most of traveling the Country. Teams that don’t have the experience or haven’t thought through the whole process usually have a lot of trouble so really think through the opportunity before accepting a position in a team. Everything looks good on paper.

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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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Become a top brand in the industry

If you are looking to improve your career for 2019 then becoming a top driver then improving your brand may be the way to do it. There are three areas that defines you as a brand and creates the opportunities that will take you forward in your career. If you want to build your personal brand then you need to focus specifically on these three areas. 

Area 1: Attitude

Attitude is the first and most important item of your personal brand. If this area is not in check you can say goodbye to the rest of the program. I have interviewed hundreds of people on my podcast and classes and attitude always comes up as the main factor in the success of ones career in the transportation industry. Your attitude reflects how you think about the job, your carrier, your customers, and the most important, yourself! Attitude makes you want to try harder, be better, and be thorough in what you do.  That makes you do better inspections, dress appropriately, and look professional in your dealings with others. If your attitude is not up to check this is the first thing you should be working on in 2019. 

Area 2: Time Management

Once your attitude has been adjusted (sorry I had to say it) then time management is the next crucial area to work on. You can be the best person in the world, but if you are late to all your customer deliveries then you will not make it in this industry. Time management isn’t just about being on time but how well organized you are, how you plan for delays, and how you plan your trips for maximum profits. Time management encompasses everything in the organizational sector of transportation. Being known as a driver that is on-time and organized can increase your brand ten-fold. Work on this area if you want to be a successful in the trucking industry. 

Truck on highway

Area 3: Teamwork

On a truck everything needs to work in conjunction with other components for a truck to run down the road. If the wheel doesn’t roll when you release the brakes you would have a hard time moving the truck. The same thing goes for teamwork in this industry. If the whole company is not working together a carrier will not be very successful. The system works as a whole from the carriers sales force, to the planning committee, dispatch, and the drivers. If the team doesn’t work together, communicate, and deliver on time everyone will be out of business. Many drivers see themselves as independent components to a carrier but they really are a vital part of a team. Take any member out of the team equation and you will have a flat tire so to speak. 

There is a lot going on in today’s transportation industry and one way to stand out is to be known as a professional driver. Drivers have to start working on their personal brands if they want to be in a position to work for the best carriers in the industry. Being the top in your fleet will offer you positions that require the best professional drivers. Over my career trying to be my best has provided work at great carriers, opportunities for advancement, and a career I am very proud of. Oh sure there have been mistakes along the way but at the end my brand is what provided the benefits of a good career. I just had to work on my brand. Focus on the three areas and you will find success as a professional driver in today’s trucking industry.

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. 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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Your resume May Be Your First Impression

Don’t expect to get hired if you’re as “Blah” as your resume! I was reading a question on a posting website where a driver said, “On paper I’m blah, I wouldn’t hire me, I’m woefully honest about things.” He went on to explain he was looking to haul regional van freight around the Midwest. He also mentioned that he had been driving for 20 years and had been through a number of bad carriers and was looking for a carrier that he felt deserved his experience. Reading this post a number of issues jumped out at me as to why this driver may not be experiencing the industry the way he should.

There are many opportunities available in trucking with different types of carriers, just go to any job fair to see them all lined up side by side. That being said carriers are also looking for he right person and not just anyone to join their team. Safety, experience, and professionalism all come into play when employers are looking for team members so that first impression is still very important when looking for work. There is one trait that many people don’t see as important but may be the most important part of your resume, your attitude.

If we go back to the opening of this article this driver wouldn’t even hire themselves to drive. That shows us a lack of enthusiasm for the job and bad self image. That attitude will creep into his work causing him to work for carriers that don’t respect him or he won’t work for carriers that pay what he is worth. Self image and attitude are a dangerous place and I am certainly not a professional in this area but his attitude is possibly keeping him back.

It sounds like he needs some help with his resume whether he is a stellar driver or not. He even admits it doesn’t look impressive and that he wouldn’t hire himself. A resume is easy to fix and assuming this driver has a safe driving history it may be a matter of arranging the resume to look a little more impressive. Many times the important part of a resume is not so much that you did some amazing feat that stands out from the crowd, but that you show longevity, safety, and growth throughout your career. If you have a resume that shows you worked for one or two companies during your career that is more impressive than someone that jumps around carrier to carrier every year from an employment standpoint.

depressed-person

The last part of the opening paragraph is his 20 years of experience and he is looking for the industry to give back to him for his experience. That attitude is entitlement and has been the killer of many careers for experienced and inexperienced drivers. Whether you’ve worked one year or twenty years the industry is not going give you a clean slate to the perfect job. You have to work for that position and that is where improving yourself over your career through education and work type are important. In business or careers there is only one way to go, up or down. If you’re not growing then you are heading the other way whether you know it or not. Set some goals and be willing to learn and try new things along the way.

This driver may be a stellar driver when it comes to operating the vehicle but his attitude and self image will keep him down for a long time. The other factor is the entitlement piece. You may feel that the industry owes you for a long career, but I can tell you from experience that there are many good people looking for work that have good solid work histories. You have to make your mark and keep yourself employable to have a sustainable career for the future. You can do 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. 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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Fuel-Efficient Driver Training

The SmartDriver for Highway Trucking (SDHT) training program helps heavy‑duty
truck drivers improve their fuel efficiency by up to 35%. In addition to protecting
personal income and industry competitiveness, SDHT benefits include reduced
greenhouse gas emissions, less vehicle wear and tear, and increased safety.

SDHT 04-FactSheet #1_2018-01-10
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Final day for submissions is next Thursday, March 14, 2019!

Follow these 4 easy steps for your chance to be in to WIN the TTSAO SmartDriver Challenge:

1 – Driver tracks trip data over a pre-established route and enters the data in the Fuel Consumption Form’s Pre-Training Assessment column

2 – Driver completes the SmartDriver for Highway Trucking online “Fundamentals” training (45-60 mins) at: https://smartdriver.eduperformance.com/client?culture=en-CA

3 – Driver tracks trip data over the identical pre-established route and enters the data in the Fuel Consumption Form’s Post-Training Assessment column

4 – Email your completed Fuel Consumption Form(s) to admin@ttsao.com

Remember$1600 worth of cash prizes and MORE* to be awarded to participating Truck Drivers and Driving Instructors/Fleet Managers!

*The first 90 completed forms received will qualify for an HONORARIUM!

*Honorarium for submitting New Driver data: $50 – drivers with less than 1 year of commercial vehicle driving experience

*Honorarium for submitting Experienced Driver data: $200 – drivers with more than 1 year of commercial vehicle driving experience

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CHET gives a presentation to the Peel Goods Movement Task Force

Hard on the heels of the Conference, I  was involved in giving a presentation to the Peel Goods Movement Task Force last Friday, and I now know that we, as a group (TTSAO) through CHET are accepted as a stakeholder in relation to Training.    A big plus for the Association to be among such an elite level of planners, logicians and academics in transportation. To view the information check out the link below.

https://www.peelregion.ca/pw/transportation/goodsmovement/pdf/goods-movement-strategic-plan-2017-2021.pdf

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Truck Training is a Relationship

The TTSAO (Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario) had their 4th annual conference at the end of February with a lot of good information shared with attendees. There were new awards, many great discussions around truck training and how schools or carriers can work closely together. Check out the conference recap here.

A panel discussion led by Geoff Topping of Challenger Motor Freight and consisting on Leanne Quail of Paul Quail Transport, Matt Richardson of Kim Richardson Transportation Specialists Inc, Garth Pitzel of Bison Transport, and Philip Fletcher of Commercial Heavy Equipment Training talked about carrier and school relationships and how it affects students coming into the industry. One of the areas that I thought was interesting about the panel discussion was the fact that relationships between carrier, school, and student were extremely important in the success of a student becoming a professional driver.

Geoff-Topping

Schools are working closely with carriers and developing strong relationships because they understand that carriers are playing a major part in truck training even if they don’t provide it. I have always said to new drivers that their first point of contact should be with a carrier of choice to find out what type of training they require and if they work with certain schools. This allows a student to get training knowing they are able to be hired once they graduate from the school.

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Good certified schools also understand that truck training is more than just passing a test and that training is a foundation for your whole career. Having that relationship with a carrier allows a school to prepare that student for the carrier style of operation so the student is successful at the end of the training.

Best-practices-panel

Carriers are investing in a student when they sign on and much of their orientation is focused on competency and skills training when a new driver starts with the fleet. The carrier’s job is to groom that driver once they have the basic skills and working with certain schools is offering that comfort that a new driver has been trained to certain standards. Although many carriers have formal mentor programs they know that mentorship and training happens best when it is a natural fit between the new driver and trainer. Many of us can remember our mentor or trainer when we got started hopefully as good memories. Carriers realize this and are focusing on soft skills and the customer service side of the improving a driver. Trust is a main factor in a relationship between a school, student, and carrier. Careers, safety, and the future depend on it.

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As a new student or driver it is important for you to spend time building that relationship with a school and a carrier. Go to events and meet the recruiters. Call carriers and find out which school they work with in your area and why. Talk to the schools about their training programs and which carriers they work with to evaluate what job types are available. Start that relationship before you even choose a training provider and it will help streamline the process of becoming a truck driver. Not only will that save you time, resources, and money, but will also fast track you into a quality carrier right from the start. If you need help getting started then www.ttsao.com is a good place to start.

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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What Type of Experience Do You Need as a New Driver?

A friend of mine graduated from a school with a new commercial drivers licence. He has completed training, did well on his test, and is now looking for a position with a company. He has been told by many carriers that he needs at least one year of experience before they will send him over the road to drive across the country. He has a couple of opportunities that would take a chance on hiring him, but he is not sure he is ready to go out on the highway. He says he prefers to stay close to home and has the opportunity to work at a local job picking up garbage for a local waste company. His dilemma is if he accepts the job at the waste company will that experience go towards having one year of driving experience? My answer is yes and no!

There is no right or wrong answer to the question of experience because much of it depends on the equipment, company, and type of work you are involved in. Let’s break it down so you can see how the experience will help or not help my friend.

Getting the job at the waste company will offer him some experience in the industry. He will be around equipment and will be conducting items like pre-trip inspections, city driving experience, and possibly offer advancement in the industry. What he will lack at the waste company depending on the equipment is the experience of driving a tractor trailer as much of the equipment in those types of operations is class “D” Straight truck equipment. He may not be gaining experience that will help him later transition to being an over the road highway driver. Once he moves to another job after a year he may be even more rusty because he hasn’t used those driving skills for a long time. After a year in a straight truck companies will still look at his experience as a new driver so he may not be so far ahead. He would need additional training.

Man driving tractor

If my friend was to go directly to work for someone that operates the type of equipment he was trained on such as a tractor trailer he would be gaining the experience for the equipment he was trained on. He could find a local company if that’s what he chooses and that would be a great way to gather experience for the open road. He would have more options after that year because he would have verifiable experience on over the road equipment.

It is important to gain experience directly after your training for that training to be engraved in your mind and become something that is routine. There are many licenced drivers that have never turned a wheel because they have decided to go in another career direction after training. They may be licenced but they aren’t experienced and are effectively at the starting point again. I am a firm believer in a step type of program for new drivers but it is important that program includes the type of equipment they were trained on. Look for experience in your trained type of equipment and it will work towards that experience marker.

TTSAO-carrierl-banner-2018

About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast 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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Please welcome new members Bryson Insurance and The City of Markham

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

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


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

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