Tag Archives: truck training

Driving School Culture Starts at the Top

Being involved with the training industry over many years both directly and indirectly I have heard reviews and complaints on certain types of schools in the industry. I have worked with good schools and heard and seen the bad ones. Many times looking at the schools from the outside may or may not allow you to tell the good from the bad. Both will have trucks, offices, and a website. The real difference comes when applying to a school, starting a school, or operating a successful school?

The industry has been changing over the years with the implementation of Mandatory Entry Level Training and certification processes by the Government that are ensuring that the proper training programs are available to the market. Incident rates have been climbing in recent years and training is being blamed for part of the problem.

When you think of it training facilities can implement many of the Government requirements, but that still won’t make them a good school. The reason is that the culture of the school is really determined by the staff or management of the facility and the dedication to safety and training of the students. If I have a school and am just concerned with putting students through the program in the fastest way possible then that won’t be the best school to attend even if certifications are in place.

Man driving tractor

There have been many reports of students being crowded into a truck with one instructor and showing them a specific route to pass the test. Other reports include instructors doing business on the phone when they should be training or cookie cutting courses in order to charge more money.

A school or company with a good culture will train their staff properly, offer quality in their course material, and have a focus on safety instead of value over money. They will have a good culture that drips down from the top throughout their curriculum and staff ensuring students have a successful program helping the industry have successful workers. Culture is king!

If you are a potential student looking for a training facility then talk to other students and make sure the programming is thorough, staff are safety minded and professional, and the training program will give you all the tools to start a successful career in transportation.

If you are an instructor in the industry ensure you really care about the learning process for your students and that they have the training to be safe professional drivers when they complete the program.

If you are a school owner or company providing training realize training is not about just filling the seats with bodies, but ensuring everyone providing training and contact from trainer to reception is offering quality service. The culture has to come from the top down.

If you are looking to start a training facility deciding on the type of training facility you will be operating and supporting through your business decisions will be paramount. No matter how much making money enters the equation the difference between success and a good name in the industry is culture. If you would like to learn about the steps for starting a training facility the TTSAO has the process documented on their website. You can find the information by clicking here.

Start an Accredited School with TTSAO

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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Canadian Trucking Has Come a Long Way

As Canada reaches another birthday I can’t help think about the changes the trucking industry has come through over the years. I wasn’t around in those early 1900’s when the trucking industry was being born to supplement the rail industry and help with the war efforts but I have been around the industry since the early 1980’s and have seen a number of changes from deregulation to dangerous goods to truck equipment changes. I remember those days when the Teamsters were the largest union in the industry, truck drivers drove with uniforms including ties, and there was courtesy on the road. I remember the camaraderie at truck stops and the road where drivers would help other drivers or the general public when broke down at the side of the road.

The industry was a real mix in Canada back in it’s day. We were thought of as the dumping ground for people with a lack of education but it wasn’t really a place for hoodlums. In the early days feeding families took priority over education and there was a lot of work available due to the development of the Country. There was a time when you could not operate on certain days of the week depending on your freight type and that was changed to meet the demand of the people of Canada.

Deregulation opened up the transportation market being a major change for the industry in the late 1980’s and some will argue it was good or bad depending on the person you talk with. To that point companies had to buy licenses and permits to operate even in a local area and much of that was removed with deregulation. In todays market if you can buy a truck with authorization you are set to go. In older days carriers built relationships with the shippers and bought trips permits based on those travel lanes and relationships.

If you would like to see a timeline video for the industry have a look at the video below by the Ontario Trucking Association on the timeline of the industry.

Today the industry is becoming a technology advanced industry affecting everything from drivers to equipment. Safety is now at the forefront and security of freight has become more prominent as our World shrinks in a global market. Although we have developed the industry to be one of the most important industries in Canada responsible for supplying goods and services for Canadians across the Country we are still struggling with old images and a traditional mindset that is not attractive to new generations. It will be interesting to see where the industry goes in the future and I look forward to being part of the industry for a long time and doing my part in a small way to hopefully make it better.

On behalf of myself and the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario I would like to wish all Canadians a Happy Canada Day. Think about all of those in the trucking industry that has helped make Canada a great place to live.

Canada waving flag
Canada waving flag

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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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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Choosing a Carrier Based on Road Check

The first week of June each year is a program called Road Check which is a collaboration between law enforcement and inspection agencies across North America showing the public the importance of road safety by inspecting commercial vehicles for 72 hours straight. This happens every year at the same time and is well promoted to industry and the public. After 72 hours there will be a number of charges laid against non-compliance carriers or drivers and possibly some will be placed out of service. Charges can affect the companies safety rating, the driver’s driving record, and possibly the chance for driver employment for the future so it is important to understand the importance of the program. It’s important to note that inspections can happen at anytime of the year, but during Road Check there is high likely a driver will be inspected. How will Road Check help me find a carrier?

Road Check is widely publicized in the industry and safety minded companies will go the extra mile to ensure that the equipment going down the road is safe and compliant. Some do mini inspections in their own yard while others will have mechanics look at each piece of equipment and change out anything that looks close to being non-compliant. A company that takes safety to the next level by being serious about safety is protecting their own safety rating and the ratings of their drivers.

Many drivers feel that if something is wrong with the equipment that the company will just pay the fine. That may be true in some cases but if it is part of the job of the driver to catch the default then the driver may be responsible for fine as well. Furthermore no matter who pays the fine the carrier and driver will have the fine added to their commercial vehicle operator record. This can cause problems if a driver is looking for new opportunities in the future as it will show a lack of ability to inspect their vehicle. In addition to the record issue, the delays, road service repair costs, and downtime to the driver are all elements that can’t be taken away after the fact. It is easier to do a good inspection and catch those issues before leaving the yard.

Whell and brake assembly picture

If you are in the process of looking for employment with a carrier then one of the most important factors to consider is the safety program of that carrier. Many carriers promote safety but don’t totally believe in it. You don’t want to work for those carriers as they are the ones that will leave you helpless during the inspection process. They blame the drivers for many things, don’t maintain their equipment, and ask drivers to bend the rules, you don’t want to work for those companies. You do want to work for a company that takes safety seriously and has a culture that empowers the drivers to put safety over productivity.

Ask that question to the carrier when applying for work. What is the safety rating of the company? What is your safety program like? What does the owner think of safety? These questions and more should all be asked of a carrier before signing on with them. With Road Check you can ask one more questions to test their culture, “What do you do during the week of Road Check to ensure your vehicles are safe on the road?” Hopefully the answer will make you want to apply to the right carrier. Good luck!

find-a-ttsao-Carrier

About the Author

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

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3 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.

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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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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Truck Drivers are the Glue to Keeping Trucking in Motion

I hear it everyday from carriers that the people coming into the industry are lacking commitment and don’t seem to have the skills necessary for the job. I see it in my classes that many students are trying to cookie cut their career and find the perfect job from day one. We see it as a whole in the industry that things are in a state of flux and organizations are trying to come up with answers that address the needs of the industry. No easy fix for sure! There is one constant component in the whole equation and that is you, the driver, the student, you’re the glue.

Why are you the glue, that important piece of a very complex puzzle? You are the piece that controls everything. As a driver you are in demand in the industry. There is a major recruiting shortage that is getting worse and drivers are needed badly. As a student you want the best job you can get, but getting that job may be harder than you expected because it is not just about driving a truck. As an industry we have been trying to find the right mix of regulations for both drivers and companies working in the industry and that has made the industry more complex over the years. How you perform as a driver glues all of those issues together. So how does this affect us going forward?

There are many that believe we don’t have a recruiting shortage but lack the necessary driver qualifications in today’s drivers. The industry has changed so much that once it was a dumping ground for people without education, it has now become one of the most regulated and education rich industries in North America. So how do you succeed in an industry that is changing at the speed of sound? The secret is to educate yourself, network, and take your position seriously.

For the most part people looking into the transportation industry have no fondness of being in classes or increasing their education. Many believe if they can drive then they have all that is needed to be successful as a professional driver. In fact the most popular reason that people get into this industry is because they went on a long trip, enjoyed the drive, and thought truck driving might be for them. What changes is when they actually get into the training aspect of the job they realize driving is only one part of the position. There are many different components to the job and driving is only 50 percent at best. Keeping yourself educated is the important aspect of being successful in today’s transportation industry. The other 50 percent of the job duties needed to be successful encompasses everything else that a driver does on a daily basis. Educate yourself regularly through videos, publications, podcasts, or other sources that you come across everyday. Find the ones that are best for you and keep up with the industry.

Man-with-blue-truck

Take your career to the next level and secure your position in the changing area of transportation. There is no reason why any person with a valid commercial licence should not be working for a decent carrier unless they choose not to drive. Realize that driving is only a portion of your responsibilities and the industry is changing. Don’t be one of the statistics of this industry, be part of the solution, be the glue that keeps it together.

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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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Making our Industry Attractive to Millennials

How do we make our industry attractive to young people? Recruiting events are in high gear this Spring with multiple events happening each month starting in February and continuing into early Summer. Having attended many of these events across the Province I can tell you from first hand experience that the events are well attended with many people looking at the trucking industry. The question, is it enough to attract people to your team?

The argument is still out on whether there is an actual driver shortage or a qualified driver shortage in the industry? The real question is how do we make this job attractive to the next generation? With older generations cool trucks had a lot to do with it, following in your Father’s footsteps, or a love of working with machinery would be a big draw to starting a career in transportation. Those avenues have dried up as of late with fewer people coming in from those areas and more immigrant workers looking for a future in Canada.

There was a recent article in Truck News talking about the image of trucking and what we need to do to attract the younger generation. It talked about demographics and the future of the industry if we don’t do something to make the industry more attractive and soon. You can read the article here – https://www.trucknews.com/human-resources/you-really-have-some-work-to-do/1003090712/

Having Millennials myself there is a difference into what they want and what trucking can offer. Many younger people are looking for that lifestyle balance which is tough in trucking. Older generations have put working in front of many other areas of their lives and the younger generation doesn’t want to do that. By focusing more on lifestyle it is taking them longer to grow up for some and even harder to get into a career. This is why the gaming industry is so attractive, it’s what they do. Add on the pressure of social media where young people can see another person their age make millions by creating a YouTube channel and they find that even more attractive. Who can blame them?

Millennials- how to attract them to your team?

When we turn back to the transportation industry we see exactly the opposite of all of those things. We see long hours at work, we see a lifestyle that doesn’t offer the compensation or the fun of what young people are doing now. it’s also not where their friends are heading. Even though the career steps are there young people don’t see how the hard work is going to better their lives even though we as a different generation have lived it and try to tell them about it. The real question is what are we doing to address those issues and make trucking look sexy? How are we going to offer a work / lifestyle balance, earn a decent income, and offer an opportunity to be a star or do work that is cool? If you can implement those items into your recruiting I believe you will attract young people, I know it is easier said than done!

My suggestions are as follows:

  • We need to get create an industry where the hours are shorter such as a 40 hour work week.
  • Change the compensation and career towards a skilled trade so there is career progression.
  • Show the technology side of the business and the types of jobs needed in the future.
  • Show how cool the work is through it’s independence and travel.
  • Improve the trucking image as a whole to be more attractive to the younger generation.

Do you have those elements in your recruiting campaign? If there is a way of creating them then you will be a front runner for success.

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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How much is a load worth versus a life?

You’re a new driver and told by dispatch, “Get it there no matter what!” You’re running late due to problems on the road and the boss needs to make the customer happy and wants you to push through the night. You didn’t properly load your truck and have had load problems the trip from the shipper so you are focusing on other elements and not your driving. You’re in-experience, in-attention, and job in-securities all come together at once causing a life changing experience and you now look down a road of loss potential and life as a whole.

This week the driver of the Humboldt Bus crash was sentenced for the trucking accident that happened back in March 2018. A young driver with only three weeks of experience was driving through the night having trouble with the tarp on his load, he missed warning signs to a dangerous road crossing, and hit a bus with a hockey team killing 16 people and injuring many more. The team was from a tiny town in Western Canada named Humboldt and the surrounding area and this crash has devastated the town, the Province, and the Country. What’s worse is that it could have been prevented.

The driver and company were found guilty. The company was suspended and the driver charged with 8 years in prison, not allowed to drive for a number of years afterward, and may even be facing deportation. The driver had three weeks of training before being put on the road with a truck and load that many people with years of experience wouldn’t have been given.

So the question is, “How much is a load worth versus a life?”

Truck Crash

The decision on how to move forward is always held with the driver as they are the last point of contact between company and load and this is why it is extremely important for drivers to know what they’re doing and the consequences of their actions if they decide to move forward. When a driver is new they are constantly trying to remember their training and hoping they don’t have problems. Knowing how to do things properly and not being afraid to ask questions when unsure of a process should be part of your line of defence while on the road. Keeping your job by overriding safety precautions and training is a sure way to get yourself in trouble on the road as we’ve seen here.

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The driver from Humboldt will have 8 years to think about his actions and evaluate where he went wrong. Even worse is that he will see the faces of the victims in his mind for the rest of his life. Many drivers that have been in an accident with casualties never drive again. Many times I talk about knowing what type of driver you want to be and this is where the “rubber hits the road”so to speak. Not knowing your priorities as a driver can change your life and the lives of those around you. The question you need to ask yourself every time an issue comes up with a load is, “ How much is this load worth compared to a life?” I hope you choose the correct answer because the life you are thinking about may be your own.

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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