Tag Archives: trucking companies

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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Women Leading Change in Trucking

Women can do it! That was the message at a recent event talking about leadership for women in the trucking industry. The event was a traveling road show by Trucking HR Canada and sponsored by TransCore Link Logistics to help women improve their careers by offering information on what successful women in the industry have done to reach the career heights. The panel of women included Claudia Milicevic of TransCore Link Logistics, Tracy Clayson of In-Transit Personnel, and Stephanie Carruth of One for Freight. All of these ladies have reached executive levels within the transportation industry.

Although the room was filled with industry professionals for the most part the message wasn’t just about trucking. Women make good leaders and the information on how they got there is good information for everyone. A common theme with all the panelists was that women have to get themselves out there and push themselves to network. Doing this is one way to gain confidence and even though it may seem scary at first knowing that attending events and meeting other leaders on a level playing field is paramount to growing your career. Claudia Milicevic constantly mentioned that “Failure was not an option” meaning if you want to grow your career you have to do things that may be uncomfortable, but will help your career grow. That sentiment was echoed by all women on the panel. Other messages included not taking yourself so seriously, know what you’re doing, and not being afraid to ask with confidence for projects that will help your career.

The event was a mix of panel discussion and networking event for women and the transportation industry. Payments made for the event went to the Children’s Wish Foundation as there was a charge for the event. I think all in attendance got a positive message from the panel and information we can all use in our everyday lives and careers. Women are stepping up to the plate more and more in many industries and I think this is good for all of us. It shouldn’t matter what the gender, if a person has the qualifications and aptitude for the job it is worth it for them to be considered. Well done ladies!

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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Be Thankful for Trucking at Thanksgiving

As we move into another Canadian Thanksgiving I always like to remind everyone that without trucking you would have an empty table. I have always said that trucking has terrible marketing campaigns and what many refer to as a dumping ground for people with a lack of education in the past is possibly one of the most important professions on the planet. Without truck drivers there would be nothing on that Thanksgiving table.

I recently interviewed a young reporter on my podcast who has been reporting specifically on the transportation industry for the last two years. She was in her mid twenties and when I asked her what people her age thought of the trucking industry she said they didn’t find it attractive. She mentioned that many young people feel the industry is such as those movies from the 70’s where we are all shown speeding from the police, gear jamming through outlaw convoys, and drinking in the truck stops before heading out on the road. Being a product of that time and starting my trucking career in the early 80’s I can tell you the industry couldn’t be any further from those scenarios seen in many movies. Like any good movie scenario getting a turkey to the kitchen table by truck certainly isn’t as thrilling as hauling illegal beer back from Texarkana Texas with Police in chase.

Even the movies that are made to reflect a more accurate look on the industry get caught up in movie making effects and can soon turn fable over fact in a short period of time. Unfortunately these movies and television shows are there for entertainment and that causes scenarios to be embellished for ratings. My friends that are involved in some of those shows will tell stories of how producers will ask them to make a scene more interesting by re-shooting it outside of what is allowed in the regulations or cut out certain scenes to make things more dramatic.

It’s a shame that television changes reality into fiction because our industry may be very different. Since it is such an important industry to the economy of our Country it should be treated as such because we keep saying, “Without trucks there would be nothing on our shelves.” Truck drivers are expected to get deliveries made in all sorts of weather and traffic situations yet we treat them like children. Even though our industry has changed over the years our importance is still being determined by movies made for entertainment from a time that is long gone.

Thank a truck driver!

As you sit down for that fabulous meal at Thanksgiving this weekend take a moment to reflect on the items on your table. The food came from a store that was supplied by a truck. Your table ware came from stores that were supplied by trucks. For many truck drivers they aren’t sitting at a table for Thanksgiving, they are driving up and down the roadways keeping those shelves stocked for others while you enjoy your meal. Thank a truck driver and Happy Thanksgiving.

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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Company vs Freight-Choosing a Carrier

Scrolling through a recent social media website on trucking I noticed a lot of questions from new drivers on whether to go work for a certain company based on the type of freight they haul. Sure drivers do choose carriers based on the type of freight they haul but is that the best way to choose a company that you hope to stay with for a good part of your career?

The question comes down to what do you feel is more important? In my personal opinion choosing the right company to work with far outweighs the type of freight they haul however there are many drivers out there that prefer to work with only flatbed, tanker, automobiles, or more. Much of that is what you’ve been introduced to at the beginning of your career and what has been accessible to you over time. For instance I never pulled B-trains just because I never worked for companies that had those opportunities available. I fell into the hazmat side of the industry due to the companies I worked with did a lot of that type of work. When I look back on my career I worked for good companies so don’t think I would change anything if I could.

Where you are in your career will make the difference in how you answer the question company or freight, it is kind of like the chicken and the egg scenario. I feel it comes down to how long you have been driving and the type of work you enjoy doing.

Let’s start with new drivers. If you are a brand new driver or someone that has been driving for under 5 years then you should be choosing a company to work for that has a good culture, good training / finishing program, and can offer you various types of trips or freight to gain experience. You want to gain experience on the road and if you get hired by a company that offers different types of freight even better. I worked for several companies that had a variety of freight from flatbed or steel, to refrigerated freight, and dry van before settling on a carrier that was specifically hazardous materials. You want a company with a good culture and one that is willing to be patient with someone new as they learn the ropes.

pipe truck

If you have been driving for more than 5 years then you may want to choose a company based on the freight they haul. At this time in your career you may have experienced a certain type of freight and realized you enjoy working with that type of equipment and enjoy the work. Choosing the companies that have that freight type would be the better way to choose a company but only if you know exactly what you want. Even then I would determine the type of freight I want to work with and create a list of those companies, then choose a company by their culture and other criteria.

No matter where you are in your career you want to work for a company that treats you right as an employee no matter what they haul. Choosing a company that has your type of freight, but doesn’t pay you, has you sitting waiting for freight, or has bad equipment won’t offer you a rewarding career as a professional driver. Choose wisely!

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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I got my Licence But Can’t Get a Job!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Job Diversity Leading Attraction to get into Transportation

Have you ever been attracted to a job where the money was attractive and once in the industry you found it felt like a dead end? Once you started down that path you saw that everyone ended up doing the same job and there was very little career building areas to move around. When that happens boredom sets in and it is just a matter of time before you feel stuck and unfulfilled. This happens in many manufacturing environments where employees focus on a high hourly wage and benefits hoping longevity will see them through to retirement. We have all seen the writing on the wall when that happens and a plant closes down after a many years in operation.

TTSAO Conference 2018

I recently attended an interview session for people in the trucking industry asking them various questions about what they thought of the transportation industry as they have evolved in their careers. As we completed a number of the interviews I began to see two common themes throughout no matter who I talked with. The two themes were people in the industry and the different career paths available to those in the industry. It really came down to options. The questions for the interviews were created by a separate group so it wasn’t as though I themed the questions or asked them in certain way. I was asked to interview certain people about their career experiences and document the answers. During the course of 28 interviews half of those people mentioned that the opportunities available in the industry through different career paths were the top reasons that people stayed in the industry. Many responded that they started as drivers and over the years have had a number of job titles over their long career with many being with the same employer. I interviewed one person who began her career as a driver, went into dispatch, and is now in safety and operations. Others began in the family business and are now in sales, management, or insurance. Having opportunities to stay in such a diverse industry was the leading reason that transportation was such a lucrative industry to be part of.

The people were the second reason. One quarter of the interviewees said that the people kept them wanting to be involved in the trucking industry. Some said they could pick up the phone and call colleagues in the industry to get information even if that colleague was with a different employer. Others felt the people were genuine in trucking and the type of people that understood what a person can go through allowing them the information needed to solve problems. Others made lifelong friends in the industry that they have not found elsewhere.

TTSAO December 11th Meeting

I myself have experienced the same thing in this industry. I was one of those people that started my career not even in the driver’s seat but carrying furniture into houses as I moved people around the Province. That led to a career as a driver for over 25 years, a fleet supervisor, a trainer, author, and now podcaster just to mention a few. It is all due to the knowledge and friendships I have experienced in the trucking industry. I hope you get a chance to experience what myself and so many others have experienced in this industry in the people and opportunities. It will change your life, it did for me!

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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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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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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